Life Cycles

An evolutionary approach to the physiology of reproduction, development and ageing

  • Peter Calow

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Peter Calow
      Pages 2-18
  3. Growing

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Peter Calow
      Pages 20-36
    3. Peter Calow
      Pages 37-46
    4. Peter Calow
      Pages 47-55
    5. Peter Calow
      Pages 56-63
  4. Reproduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 65-65
    2. Peter Calow
      Pages 66-86
    3. Peter Calow
      Pages 87-106
  5. Ageing

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 107-107
    2. Peter Calow
      Pages 108-123
    3. Peter Calow
      Pages 124-134
  6. Summary and conclusions

    1. Peter Calow
      Pages 135-136
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 137-164

About this book


As time progresses, biology becomes more and more fragmented and specialized and it becomes increasingly difficult to see how all the dis- ! parate facts fit together. It is completely proper that biologists should have sought to reduce complex biological wholes into their parts, and it is natural that studies on the products of this reduction should have diverged from more holistic studies on evolution and ecology. Yet the biological parts, what they do and how they are organized are products of an evolutionary process which fits organisms for life in particular ecological circumstances. Physiology, developmental biology, ecology and evolutionary biology must not be allowed to grow too far apart, therefore, because all these disciplines and the way their subject matters interact are crucial to understanding organisms - and it is this, it seems to me, which is the fundamental goal of the biological sciences. This book has been written in the spirit of unification and synthesis. It is, in a sense, a general biology of the organism - not, however, of organisms as static unchanging systems, but of organisms as dynamic entities which progress through a definite cycle of events from birth to maturity. The central theme, therefore, will be the life cycle, and the book is organized around the three main phases which are characteristic of all life cycles; growth (Part II), reproduction (Part III) and ageing (Part IV).


Adaptation biology development developmental biology evolution evolutionary biology growth physiology plants

Authors and affiliations

  • Peter Calow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of GlasgowUK

Bibliographic information