Subject: Animal Physiology

Scientific Area:



65 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - Basic knowledge of the history of research in animal physiology and its role in the development of physiology as a science.
2 - Describe the basic aspects of membrane transport.
3 - Describe the physiological systems at all levels (organs and cell systems) in major animal groups.
4 - Understand the concepts of regulation, adaptation and homeostasis by applying them to physiological systems.
5 - Able to integrate concepts of histology and anatomy in understanding the concepts of physiology of body systems.
6 - Describe the role of the nervous and endocrine systems as regulators of all other systems. Being familar with the mechanisms of endocrine and neuronal signaling.


1 - Introduction and Fundamentals of Physiology: Study methods, levels of organization, scale and volume surface ratio, homeostasis
2 - Cellular physiology: types of cells, water and cellular media, organization, and composition of membranes
3 - Membrane Physiology: membrane transport and cellular communication
4 - Neurophysiology 1: electrophysiology and electrochemistry, nerve impulse, signal propagation
5 - Neurophysiology 2: synaptic transmission, neuromuscular junction, nerve integration and neuronal signaling
6 - The nervous system: evolution, central and peripheral nervous system
7 - Physiology of the senses 1: stimulus and perception, somatotopic map, receptors, and sensory information, mechanoreceptors: balance and hearing, chemoreceptors
8 - Physiology of the senses 2: vision, thermoreception, nociception and electroreception
9 - Circulatory systems: evolution, open and closed, transport, lipoproteins, hemato-/erythropoiesis, types of pumps and evolution, human heart, cardiac cycle, circulatory pathways, vessels, lymphatic system, cardiac integration
10 - Endocrine System: chemical messengers, hormones, synthesis, transport, action, regulation, evolution: invertebrates, pheromones, metamorphosis, vertebrates, main glands, emergency physiological response
11 - System digestive: evolution of food strategies, motility, secretion, digestion, absorption, digestive systems and accessory organs, regulation.
12 - Energy balance and thermoregulation: energy balance, regulation, thermal physiology, ecto- and endothermy
13 - Reproductive system: reproductive systems, sex determination, male physiology, female physiology, mating and fertilization, birth


Sherwood, Klandorf, Yancey , 2012 , Animal Physiology: from genes to Organisms, 2nd. Ed , Cengage Learning
Randall, Burggren, French , 2001 , Eckert Animal Pgysiology, 5th Ed. , W. H. Freeman
Klein, B.G. , 2013 , Cunningham's textbook of veterinary physiology (5th ed.) , Elsevier/Saunders
Hill, R.W., Wyse, G.A. & Anderson, M. , 2016 , Animal physiology (4th ed.) , Sinauer Associates
Moyes, C.D. & Schulte, P.M. , 2016 , Principles of animal physiology (3rd ed.) , Pearson
Silverthorm , 2012 , Human Physiology: an integrated approach, 6th Ed , Pearson

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
The course is offered as theoretical classes and seminars with the use of didactic material encompassed in textbooks or taken directly from the web. The practice component are laboratory classes with two components: observation of histological slides of whole or partial organs and structures in which the student is asked more than mere identification of tissues but that describes the cytoarchitecture of the organs and systems observed. The other component of practical courses is the observation the anatomy of systems and organs taken the pig (or other animals) as a model. The evaluation of the course consists of two partial frequencies each covering half of the theoretical material and an end frequency component concerning the practical classes. The student will have successfully achieved the course in case he/she get more than 50% aproval for each component described above. The weight of the theoretical components is 60% and the practice is 40% of the final grade.