The Ecology of Browsing and Grazing pp 47-88

Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 195)

The Morphophysiological Adaptations of Browsing and Grazing Mammals

  • Marcus Clauss
  • Thomas Kaiser
  • Jürgen Hummel

The behaviour, physiology and morphology of animals are the outcome of adaptations to particular ecological niches they occupy or once occupied. Studying the correlation between a given set of characteristics of an ecological niche and the morphological and physiological adaptations of organisms to these characteristics is one of the most basic approaches to comparative biology, and has fuelled scientific interest for generations (Gould 2002). However, current scientific standards cannot be met by mere descriptions of both the characteristics of the niche and the organism, and a (hypothetical) intuitive explanation for the adaptive relevance of the latter; the presence or absence of a characteristic must be demonstrated in sound statistical terms (Hagen 2003) ideally supported by experimental data (from in vivo, in vitro, or model assays) on its adaptive relevance.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcus Clauss
    • 1
  • Thomas Kaiser
    • 2
  • Jürgen Hummel
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, Vetsuisse FacultyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Biozentrum Grindel and Zoological MuseumUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Animal Science, Department of Animal NutritionUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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