physiological vs anatomical adaptationsWatch
+ rep will be given to anyone who can actually get me to understand it!
a good way to distinguish between the two is to have in mind that physiological involve chemical reactions which are often reversible and temporary, while anatomical adaptations you are born with. for example the size of the elephant's ear is big to maximise heat loss, this is an anatomical adaptation, an elephant is born with it.
Whilst a good way to think about it overall, its not entirely rigorous... i mean, you are born with all of your physiological processes working, and you have anatomical changes later on in life. Not all anatomy is un-healable, and some physiological changes can be permanent...
I appreciate your approach and agree with it, it is just the easy way out, and I was trying to explain as simply as possible as i said physiological adaptations are OFTEN temporary and reversible, and all anatomical adaptations you are born with, even though they could be healable
Although on the last point...your anatomy CAN change post-birth - think puberty, any species with life phases like a caterpillar... I mean, arguably these 'adaptations' are all present in the genetics pre-birth, but then so are all physiological adaptations.
I think the structure-function distinction is better to use.
Eg - the anatomy of the heart describes what structures make it up (chambers, valves, vessels etc...). The physiology of the heart describes how it pumps blood (if you like, how it uses its anatomy), and how it responds to changes etc.
Anatomy and physiology are pretty distinct things - anatomy deals with the structure of an organism, so its skeleton, organ system, tissue structure, cell structure, whereas physiology looks at function, so how these organ work, how cell metabolism works, communication of a systemic and local level. They are clearly highly linked to each other.