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Animal Physiology

Code: 143963
ECTS: 9.0
Lecturers in charge: izv. prof. dr. sc. Zoran Tadić
prof. dr. sc. Dubravka Hranilović
Lecturers: dr. sc. Haidi Arbanasić - Practicum
dr. sc. Julija Erhardt , v. pred. - Practicum
dr. sc. Barbara Nikolić - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


All teaching activities will be held in Croatian. However, foreign students in mixed groups will have the opportunity to attend additional office hours with the lecturer and teaching assistants in English to help master the course materials. Additionally, the lecturer will refer foreign students to the corresponding literature in English, as well as give them the possibility of taking the associated exams in English.

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 45
Practicum 60
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)

After finishing this course, the students will be able to:

1. Understand physiological processes from molecules to the whole organism.
2. Explain physiological processes and how they are integrated in the body.
3. Employ scientific method in the creation of physiological experiments.
4. Evaluate contemporary physiological literature.

Understanding the physiological mechanisms in living animals, from molecular to organismal level.

1 - Introduction to physiology - What is physiology and how it came about? History of physiology (Aristotle, Galen, Vesalius, Harvey, the golden age of physiology); physiological approach & methods; integrative view on physiology; physiology and biology; the key principles of homeostasis.

2 - Cellular physiology and energetics - Physiology of cellular compartments and organelles; biological macromolecules; basic cellular therodynamics; the free energy and chemical reactions; ATP and its production; ATP and coupled reactions; principles of cellular metabolism.

3 - Membrane physiology - Structure of biological membranes; physical phenomena and membrane transport; electrical properties of membranes; ionic distribution and gradients; equilibrium potentials and membrane resting potential.

4 - Communication in the body - Principles of communication; chemical and electrical communication; chemical communication and messengers; signal transduction; second messengers; neuronal communication: action potentials (APs) and chemical synapses; modulation of communication signals.

5 - Physiology of sensory perception: How do we percieve the world around us? Sensory receptors and organs; sensory transduction; mechanoreception, chemoreception and photoreception; smell and taste; somatic sensory system; hearing; balance; sight.

6 - Functional anatomy and physiology of the nervous system: Functions of the nervous systems; communication within nervous system; evolution and functional anatomy of the nervous systems; central and peripheral nervous systems; automomous nervous system.

7 - Endocrine glands and chemical messengers: Chemical communication within the body; principles of hormone action; receptors and ligands: modes of signal transduction; regulation of the endocrine system: hypothalamus and the pituitary gland; integrative functions of endocrine glands.

8 - Muscles and movement: Kinetic molecules and their evolution; muscle structure; How do the action potentials cause muscle contraction? Types of contraction and muscle mechanics; muscle metabolism; aerobic vs. anaerobic muscle energetics.

9 - Heart: The structure of mammalian heart; generation of electrical impulses and the heart conduction system; cardiac cycle; electrocardiogram; heart volumes and their significance; regulation of the stroke volume; oxygen consumption by heart; fish hearts; amphibian heart; reptile hearts; monitor and crocodilian heart; fetal heart and circulation.

10 - Vascular systems and blood flow: Physics of blood flow; general function of vascular system; arteries as blood pressure buffer and reservoir; arterioles and the regulation of blood flow; capillaries and microcirculation; distribution of water between capillaries and interstitial fluid; lymph and the lymphatics; veins: the blood reservoir; active distribution of blood in the vascular system; hemorrhage and the cardiovascular control; heart failure.

11 - Blood and the immune system: Functions of the blood; the components of blood and their functions; regulation of hematopoiesis; blood groups; bllod clotting; immunity and the immune system; the immune response; basic principles of the immune reactions.

12 - Breathing and the gas exchange: Why do we breathe? Physics of the gasses; basic principles of breathing and the gas exchange: lungs and gills; respiration pigments; Bohr, Haldane and Root effects of hemoglobins; dynamics of gas exchange in lungs and tissues; mammalian lungs; respiratory pressures and the mechanics of breathing; lung volumes; lung circulation and its regulation; alveolar perfusion and shunts; gill physiology; mechanics of gill respiration; regulation of respiration: primary and secondary chemoreceptors; hyperventilation and shallow water blackout syndrome.

13 - Osmoregulation: Ionic distribution in the body and the need for its regulation; osmoregulators and osmoconformers; osmoregulatory organs (gills; salt glands, Malpighian tubules); mammalian kidneys; physiology of nephons and urine concentrating mechanisms; renin - angiotensin - aldosterone axis; ADH and water retention; acid-base balance and its physiological principles.

14 - Digestion: Why do we eat? The structure and evolution of the digestive systems; basic physiology of the gut; digestion in mouth, stomach, duodenum and the intestines; gastrointestinal hormones and the regulation of digestion; digestion of cellulose: digastric stomachs; cellulose fermentation in cecum; apsorption of the nutrients; defecation.

15 - How is reproduction regulated? Male and female repruductive organs and their evolution; hormonal regulation of reproduction in males and females; the menstrual cycle and its hormonal regulation; regulation of fertility; pregnancy and its regulation; final stages of pregnancy: labor.


1 - Nerves and nerve impulse conduction (computer simulation and the prepared frog sciatic muscle)
2 - Muscle physiology (computer simulation and the prepared frog gastrocnemius muscle)
3 - Cardiovascular physiology (computer simulation and BIOPAC Systems Student Lab)
4 - Blood pressure and ECG (BIOPAC Systems Student Lab)
5 - Principles of working with the laboratory animals (living laboratory animals)
6 - Membrane physiology (computer simulation)
7 - Blood counts (laboratory animals, commercial microscory slides)
8 - Comparative hematology (commercial microscopy slides)
9 - Hematological indexes (laboratory animal blood)
10 - Respiratory physiology (computer simulation and BIOPAC Systems Student Lab)
11 - Renal physiology (computer simulation)
  1. C. D. Moyes, P. M. Schulte: "Principles of Animal Physiology, 2nd ed.", Pearson Education, 2008, ISBN 9780321501554 (http://www.pearsonhighered.com/educator/product/Principles-of-Animal-Physiology/9780321501554.page)
  2. D. Randall, W. Burrgren, K. French: "Eckert Animal Physiology, 5th ed.", W. H. Freeman & Co, 2002, ISBN 9780716738633 (http://www.macmillanhighered.com/Catalog/product/eckertanimalphysiology-fifthedition-randall)
Prerequisit for:
Enrollment :
Attended : Fundamentals of Biochemistry

Examination :
Passed : Fundamentals of Biochemistry
5. semester
Mandatory course - Regular study - Biology
Consultations schedule: