This book is useful for anyone interested in the basic structural and functional characteristics of the digestive system and how these vary among vertebrate groups and species. It discusses all of the major aspects of nutrition, anatomy and physiology in all of the major groups of vertebrates. It contains numerous figures and tables to aid in their comparison, including many illustrations of gastrointestinal tracts of vertebrates prepared so as to allow for direct comparison. The terminology of scientific specialties and sub-specialties is defined and animals are referred to by both their common and scientific names. Relationships between digestive strategies and the diet and environment are discussed throughout the text, and brought together in a chapter on the evolution of the digestive system. The final chapter offers a brief summary of the major concepts and suggests future directions for research.
Preface; 1. Energy and nutrient requirements; 2. General characteristics of the digestive system; 3. The digestive system of fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds; 4. The mammalian gastrointestinal tract; 5. Motor activity; 6. Digesta transit and retention; 7. Digestion of carbohydrate, lipids and protein, and the absorption of end products; 8. Microbial fermentation and synthesis of nutrients, and the absorption of end products; 9. Secretion and absorption of electrolytes and water; 10. Neuroendocrine control; 11. Evolution of the digestive system; 12. Conclusions and future directions; References; Index.
'I would commend this book to any gastroenterologist with a spark of scientific curiosity and to every medical librarian.' Gut
'This is an excellent book … I would recommend it without reservation to all who profess an interest in the gastrointestinal tract and it should be in the personal library of every research gastroenterologist. To any young postgraduate worker contemplating a research career in the physiology of the gut, this book is a must.' Tim Scratcherd, Journal of Experimental Physiology
'… a useful and stimulating book, well worth reading.' Richard Naftalin, Gut