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|Science editor:||doc. RNDr. Marcel Uhrin, PhD.|
|Year of publication:||2019|
|Document type:||Academic textbook - scripts|
|Number of pages:||150|
|Faculty:||Faculty of Science|
|Institute:||Ústav biologických a ekologických vied|
The structure of the animal body is extremely varied. Each species has its distinctive morphological features, which bears as a testimony to long-term development and belonging to the developmental lineage. At the same time, the body has been tested for a long time by natural conditions, resulting in unique adaptations to the environment and life strategy. Despite this admirable variety - which includes both recent and fossil animals and which we have far from mapped – a comparison of body parts brings knowledge we can generalize: the main building principles, and boundaries within which phenotypic diversity is realized. Comparative animal morphology today uses the latest methodological material and knowledge from other disciplines, from genetics, molecular biology and experimental embryology, through progressive imaging methods (e.g. electron microscopy, computer micro-tomography) and the possibilities of subsequent software processing of image material (measurement, staining, etc.) to the view of physics, chemistry, statics and geometry on the structures (to nanostructures) of the living body. Detailed knowledge of historical and contemporary conditions on Earth is an important interpretative context in the study of animal morphology. Surprisingly, the knowledge accumulated after centuries of research is now rapidly supplemented by new knowledge, and often the traditional knowledge is subsequently reinterpreted. Finally, and no less important, in studying animal (and human) morphology, we learn surprising knowledge about ourselves. The author of the presented textbook had the ambition in a simplified form to introduce the reader, especially the student of biological studies, into a dynamic and fascinating scientific discipline, as the current comparative animal morphology is.