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Invertebrate Zoology: A Functional Evolutionary Approach

Invertebrate Zoology: A Functional Evolutionary Approach is a textbook that covers the biology of invertebrates, animals without backbones. It is written by Edward E. Ruppert, Richard S. Fox, and Robert D. Barnes, and published by Cengage Learning. The book is intended for undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in learning about the diversity, evolution, ecology, and physiology of invertebrates.

Overview of the book

The book is divided into 29 chapters, each focusing on a major group of invertebrates or a related topic. The chapters are organized into six parts:


  • Part I: Introduction to Invertebrates. This part provides a general overview of the characteristics, classification, and phylogeny of invertebrates, as well as the methods and principles of studying them.

  • Part II: Protozoa and Lower Metazoa. This part covers the simplest and most primitive invertebrates, such as protozoans, sponges, placozoans, cnidarians, and ctenophores.

  • Part III: Platyzoans and Mesozoans. This part deals with the flatworms, mesozoans, nemerteans, and mollusks, which are bilaterally symmetrical animals with a coelom (body cavity).

  • Part IV: Coelomate Protostomes. This part examines the annelids, echiurans, sipunculans, onychophorans, tardigrades, arthropods, cycloneuralians, gnathiferans, kamptozoans, and lophophorates, which are animals that develop a mouth from the first opening of the embryo.

  • Part V: Coelomate Deuterostomes. This part explores the chaetognaths, hemichordates, echinoderms, and chordates, which are animals that develop an anus from the first opening of the embryo.

  • Part VI: Ecology and Classification of Invertebrates. This part discusses the ecological roles and interactions of invertebrates in different habitats, as well as the principles and methods of classifying them.

The book emphasizes the functional and evolutionary aspects of invertebrate biology, rather than the descriptive and taxonomic details. It explains how the morphology and physiology of invertebrates are adapted to their environments and lifestyles, and how they are related to each other through common ancestry and evolutionary history. The book also integrates current research findings and controversies from various fields of biology, such as molecular genetics, developmental biology, ecology, and paleontology.

Features of the book

The book has several features that make it a valuable resource for students and instructors:

  • The book is richly illustrated with over 1,000 figures and photographs that show the diversity and beauty of invertebrates.

  • The book provides extensive citations and references to the primary literature for further reading and research.

  • The book includes learning objectives, summaries, key terms, review questions, critical thinking questions, and suggested readings at the end of each chapter to help students review and apply their knowledge.

  • The book is accompanied by a companion website that offers additional resources for students and instructors, such as animations, videos, quizzes, flashcards, glossary, web links, instructor's manual, test bank, PowerPoint slides, and image library.


Invertebrate Zoology: A Functional Evolutionary Approach is a comprehensive and authoritative textbook that covers the biology of invertebrates in a clear and engaging way. It is suitable for students who want to learn about the diversity and evolution of life on Earth from an invertebrate perspective. It is also a useful reference for researchers and professionals who work with invertebrates in various fields of biology.


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