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The Scope and Aims of Functional and Ecological Morphology

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Functional morphology asks how animal structures work and whether observed structures are superior to possible alternatives. Ecological morphology examines the structures of different animals in relation to their various environments and ways of life. Some studies in both fields are concerned mainly with topography, but most make use of at least one of the branches of physics and engineering: examples involving kinematics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, acoustics, optics, heat exchange and diffusion are presented, together with some of the important experimental methods. Whichever branches of physics are used, allometry, optimization and the study of symmorphoses are likely to be illuminating. Functional and ecological morphologists should be more aware of evolutionary theory.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Pure and Applied Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK

10.1163/156854288X00012
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/content/journals/10.1163/156854288x00012
1987-01-01
2016-12-03

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