1 - A THE STRUCTURAL NATURE OF ANIMALS Chapter 1. THE FORM...

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A THE STRUCTURAL NATURE OF ANIMALS Chapter 1. THE FORM OF ANIMALS When asked to explain the similarities and differences between pigs and horses, one would probably start by categorizing the points to be made in terms of form, structure, and function. These are the very aspects of the biology of domestic animals with which this text is concerned. Morphology is the study of form and appearance and it is a useful place to start because structure and function underlie much of what is called form. In gross terms, an animal can be thought of as a trunk or body, to which are attached a head and neck, appendages such as legs (arms for forelimbs), and usually a tail. Further elaboration is made by distinguishing the characteristics of these parts. For example, the giraffe with its extremely long neck provides a contrast to the pig with what seems to be an almost nonexistent neck. Most breeds of sheep have long tails (and they hang), while most breeds of goat have quite short tails (and they are held erect!). Newborn animals have large heads in comparison with the rest of the body (Figure 1-1), but during growth, the trunk and the limbs are favored. Thus, the proportion of the body constituted by the head is much less in adults than in the young. Even so, newborn animals are said to be "leggy" Their limbs seem to be extraordinarily long and spindly when compared with limbs of the adult animal (Figure 1-1). This difference is much more evident in animals that are adapted for running, such as the horse and other herbivores. Such animals Figure 1-1. Newborn camel with its mother. Young animals characteristically have large heads, relative to their trunk size and, in cursorial animals, the seemingly long legs
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This note was uploaded on 03/23/2009 for the course ANSCI 1110 taught by Professor Brucecurrie during the Fall '08 term at Cornell.

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1 - A THE STRUCTURAL NATURE OF ANIMALS Chapter 1. THE FORM...

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