Animal Hormones: A Comparative Survey - Vol. 1

Animal Hormones: A Comparative Survey - Vol. 1

Animal Hormones: A Comparative Survey - Vol. 1

Animal Hormones: A Comparative Survey - Vol. 1

Excerpt

The idea of writing this book arose from lecturing on hormones to second and third year students of zoology, for whom the subject formed part of a course in comparative physiology. It was found that no introductory book covered the whole subject equally; even Hanström's admirable Hormones in Invertebrates (1939) dealt with only a part of the field and was already out of date in 1956, when he assured me that he would not be rewriting it and encouraged me to attempt this general survey.

To do so necessitated evolving a scheme within which to consider and select suitable examples from the mass of available material. This resulted in a comparative arrangement, which should be of general application, since it is based on the actions of hormones, rather than on their sources or on their phyletic distribution.

The actions of hormones were then seen to fall into three well-defined groups, the kinetic, the metabolic and the morphogenetic, although these had not all been named nor clearly defined at that time. Subdividing these groups brought together examples acting upon similar effectors, such as muscles, chromatophores or glands, or having similar metabolic actions, such as increasing water excretion, blood-sugar or respiration. Still further subdivision brought together the hormones that stimulate a given action or facilitate a given process and separated them from those having the opposite effects. When consistently adhered to, this approach helped to give a clear picture of hormone actions, to emphasize cases where antagonistic hormones were known and to draw attention to apparent gaps in recorded knowledge.

In writing the book, invertebrates and vertebrates were placed side by side to show the extent to which both are now known to have hormones with similar actions. Describing the invertebrate examples before those from vertebrates was a deliberate attempt . . .

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