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Biology of Amphibians


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Introduction to amphibia - the world of amphibians, historical resume, prospects for the future. Part 1 Life History: reproductive strategies - reproductive cycles, reproductive mode, quantitative aspects, parental care, evolution of reproductive strategies; courtship and mating - location of breeding site, secondary sexual characters, courtship behaviour, fertilization and oviposition, sexual selection, evolution of mating systems; vocalization - anuran communication system, mechanisms of sound production and reception, kinds of vocalizations and their functions, abiotic factors affecting vocalization, interspecific significance of vocalization, phylogenetic implications of vocalization; eggs and development - spermatozoa and fertilization, egg structure, egg development, hatching and birth, development and amphibian diversity; larvae - morphology of larvae, adaptive types of larvae, physiology and ecology, social behaviour, evolutionary significance of larvae; metamorphosis - endocrine control, other biochemical changes, morphological changes, neoteny, ecological and evolutionary significance of metamorphosis. Part 2 Ecology: relationships with the environment - water economy, temperature, gas exchange, energy metabolism and energy budgets, ecological synthesis; food and feeding - prey selection, location of prey, capture of prey, evolution of prey-capturing mechanisms and strategies; enemies and defence - diseases, parasites, predators, anti-predator mechanisms, evolution of defence mechanisms; population biology - characteristics of individuals, movements and territoriality, demography, factors regulating populations; community ecology and species diversity - community structure, species diversity, evolution of amphibian communities. Part 3 Morphology: musculoskeletal system - skull and hyobranchium, axial system, appendicular system, integration of functional units; integumentary, sensory and visceral systems - integument, sensory receptor systems, nervous system, circulatory and respiratory systems, urogenital system, digestive system, endocrine glands, evolutionary considerations. Part 4 Evolution: origin and early evolution - nature of a tetrapod, primitive tetrapods, tetrapod affinities (lungfishes or lobe-fins?), diversity and evolution of early tetrapods, status of the lissamphibia; cytogenetic, molecular and genomic evolution - cytogenetics, molecular evolution, genomic evolution; phylogeny - caudata, gymnophiona, anura; biogeography - biogeographic principles, historical setting, lissamphibia, caudata, gymnophiona, anura; classification.

About the Author

William E. Duellman and Linda Trueb are curators in the division of herpetology at the Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas, Lawrence.


Duellman and Trueb truly review the biology of amphibians, covering most conceivable topics from cytogenetics and development to biogeography and phylogeny... There is no recent textbook on amphibian biology that is worthy of comparison. Science An impressive review of current knowledge concerning all aspects of amphibian biology. The authors have organized a tremendous number of facts, observations, and theories around the complementary themes of structure and evolution... A major undertaking. Bioscience The text is clear and concise and richly illustrated... This book goes some way towards being all one could wish for and is likely to be an important source of reference. Nature

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