This new edition has been completely revised and updated. The molecular systematics sections have been rewritten and the book now has a strong evolutionary theme throughout, which reflects the importance of molecular techniques.
The first part of the book describes all the known phyla of invertebrates with living representatives, together with their component classes. Rather than outline all the anatomical features of different types of animals, the book distills those essential characteristics of each group with which the student should be familiar. Lists of diagnostic features permit comparison between the phyla; the diversity of body plans illustrated by line figures of different forms.
The second part concentrates on the unifying features of invertebrate functional anatomy, physiology and behavior, describing how the invertebrates display a range of solutions to the problems of living and reproduction. Throughout, form and function are presented from an evolutionary viewpoint, in the light of the selective pressures that have influenced and continue to mold invertebrates biology.
Nature of the first edition:
′Students will like this book. It deserves to succeed.′
Part I: Evolutionary Introduction.
1. Introduction: Basic Approach and Principles.
2. The Evolutionary History and Phylogeny of the Invertebrates.
Part II: The Invertebrate Phyla.
3. Parallel Approaches to Animal Multicellularity.
4. The Worms.
5. The Molluscs.
6. The Lophophorates.
7. The Deuterostomes.
8. Invertebrates with Legs: The Arthropods and Similar Groups.
Part III: Invertebrate Functional Biology.
10. Mechanics and Movement (Locomotion).
12. Excretion Ionic and Osmotic Regulation and Buoyancy.
14. Reproduction and Life Cycles.
16. Control Systems.
17. Basic Principles Revisited.
––Peter Bowen–Walker,Journal of Biological Education, 2002
"This edition of a very useful text contains new research adding to our knowledge of invertebrates, and many chapters have been updated and rewritten. [...] Zoology students will welcome this new edition." (Aslib Book Guide, Dec 2001)
"Essentially, this is a simple text. It aims to bring together all invertebrates and describe them in terms of their differences (phyla) and common elements (functions). Although the text needs to be precise, it is clear and the diagrams are very good. This is an excellent reference text which should find its way into field centres and school/college libraries." (TEGNews, Dec 2001)
"When it comes to the invertebrates the position is much less clear cut. There are many gaps in our knowledge and so often the evolutionary relationships between the phyla are neglected. It is also a difficult area of zoology because many of the key organisms are unfamiliar ones, but in this book the subject is dealt with very clearly. It is a bold step to put it at the beginning, because there are many unfamiliar terms and concepts not covered until later in the book, but I think it works, not least because it gives the subject the importance it deserves. The book ought to become the standard text for invertebrate courses." (New Scientist, Sept. 1993)
"... a good student–orientated introductory text which is attractive, liveley and informative. I am sure it will continue to be a favourite..." (Journal of Animal Ecology, 1994)