Avian Evolution

The Fossil Record of Birds and its Paleobiological Significance

Author: Gerald Mayr

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1119020727

Category: Science

Page: 312

View: 7189

Knowledge of the evolutionary history of birds has much improved in recent decades. Fossils from critical time periods are being described at unprecedented rates and modern phylogenetic analyses have provided a framework for the interrelationships of the extant groups. This book gives an overview of the avian fossil record and its paleobiological significance, and it is the only up-to-date textbook that covers both Mesozoic and more modern-type Cenozoic birds in some detail. The reader is introduced to key features of basal avians and the morphological transformations that have occurred in the evolution towards modern birds. An account of the Cenozoic fossil record sheds light on the biogeographic history of the extant avian groups and discusses fossils in the context of current phylogenetic hypotheses. This review of the evolutionary history of birds not only addresses students and established researchers, but it may also be a useful source of information for anyone else with an interest in the evolution of birds and a moderate background in biology and geology.
Release

The Origin and Evolution of Birds

Author: Alan Feduccia

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300078619

Category: Nature

Page: 466

View: 1954

An exploration of all that is known about the origin of birds and of avian flight. It draws on fossil evidence and studies of the structure and biochemistry of living birds to present knowledge and data on avian evolution and to propose a new model of this evolutionary process.
Release

Dinosaur Paleobiology

Author: Stephen L. Brusatte

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0470656581

Category: Science

Page: 322

View: 5511

The study of dinosaurs has been experiencing a remarkable renaissance over the past few decades. Scientific understanding of dinosaur anatomy, biology, and evolution has advanced to such a degree that paleontologists often know more about 100-million-year-old dinosaurs than many species of living organisms. This book provides a contemporary review of dinosaur science intended for students, researchers, and dinosaur enthusiasts. It reviews the latest knowledge on dinosaur anatomy and phylogeny, how dinosaurs functioned as living animals, and the grand narrative of dinosaur evolution across the Mesozoic. A particular focus is on the fossil evidence and explicit methods that allow paleontologists to study dinosaurs in rigorous detail. Scientific knowledge of dinosaur biology and evolution is shifting fast, and this book aims to summarize current understanding of dinosaur science in a technical, but accessible, style, supplemented with vivid photographs and illustrations. The Topics in Paleobiology Series is published in collaboration with the Palaeontological Association, and is edited by Professor Mike Benton, University of Bristol. Books in the series provide a summary of the current state of knowledge, a trusted route into the primary literature, and will act as pointers for future directions for research. As well as volumes on individual groups, the series will also deal with topics that have a cross-cutting relevance, such as the evolution of significant ecosystems, particular key times and events in the history of life, climate change, and the application of a new techniques such as molecular palaeontology. The books are written by leading international experts and will be pitched at a level suitable for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers in both the paleontological and biological sciences. Additional resources for this book can be found at: http://www.wiley.com/go/brusatte/dinosaurpaleobiology.
Release

Paleontology

A Philosophical Introduction

Author: Derek Turner

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139497782

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 4724

In the wake of the paleobiological revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, paleontologists continue to investigate far-reaching questions about how evolution works. Many of those questions have a philosophical dimension. How is macroevolution related to evolutionary changes within populations? Is evolutionary history contingent? How much can we know about the causes of evolutionary trends? How do paleontologists read the patterns in the fossil record to learn about the underlying evolutionary processes? Derek Turner explores these and other questions, introducing the reader to exciting recent work in the philosophy of paleontology and to theoretical issues including punctuated equilibria and species selection. He also critically examines some of the major accomplishments and arguments of paleontologists of the last 40 years.
Release

The Rise of Birds

225 Million Years of Evolution

Author: Sankar Chatterjee

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 142141614X

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 5209

A small set of fossilized bones discovered almost thirty years ago led paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee on a lifelong quest to understand their place in our understanding of the history of life. They were clearly the bones of something unusual, a bird-like creature that lived long, long ago in the age of dinosaurs. He called it Protoavis, and the animal that owned these bones quickly became a contender for the title of "oldest known bird." In 1997, Chatterjee published his findings in the first edition of The Rise of Birds. Since then Chatterjee and his colleagues have searched the world for more transitional bird fossils. And they have found them. This second edition of The Rise of Birds brings together a treasure trove of fossils that tell us far more about the evolution of birds than we once dreamed possible. With no blind allegiance to what he once thought he knew, Chatterjee devours the new evidence and lays out the most compelling version of the birth and evolution of the avian form ever attempted. He takes us from Texas to Spain, China, Mongolia, Madagascar, Australia, Antarctica, and Argentina. He shows how, in the "Cretaceous Pompeii" of China, he was able to reconstruct the origin and evolution of flight of early birds from the feathered dinosaurs that lay among thousands of other amazing fossils. Chatterjee takes us to where long-hidden bird fossils dwell. His compelling, occasionally controversial, revelations—accompanied by spectacular illustrations—are a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in the evolution of "the feathered dinosaurs," from vertebrate paleontologists and ornithologists to naturalists and birders. -- Alan Feduccia, University of North Carolina
Release

Forerunners of Mammals

Radiation • Histology • Biology

Author: Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253005337

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 1438

About 320 million years ago a group of reptiles known as the synapsids emerged and forever changed Earth’s ecological landscapes. This book discusses the origin and radiation of the synapsids from their sail-backed pelycosaur ancestor to their diverse descendants, the therapsids or mammal-like reptiles, that eventually gave rise to mammals. It further showcases the remarkable evolutionary history of the synapsids in the Karoo Basin of South Africa and the environments that existed at the time. By highlighting studies of synapsid bone microstructure, it offers a unique perspective of how such studies are utilized to reconstruct various aspects of biology, such as growth dynamics, biomechanical function, and the attainment of sexual and skeletal maturity. A series of chapters outline the radiation and phylogenetic relationships of major synapsid lineages and provide direct insight into how bone histological analyses have led to an appreciation of these enigmatic animals as once-living creatures. The penultimate chapter examines the early radiation of mammals from their nonmammalian cynodont ancestors, and the book concludes by engaging the intriguing question of when and where endothermy evolved among the therapsids.
Release

Birds of Stone

Chinese Avian Fossils from the Age of Dinosaurs

Author: Luis M. Chiappe,Meng Qingjin

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421420252

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 7752

When fossils of birds from China’s Jehol region first appeared in scientific circles, the world took notice. These Mesozoic masterpieces are between 120 and 131 million years old and reveal incredible details that capture the diversity of ancient bird life. Paleontologists all over the world began to collaborate with Chinese colleagues as new and wondrous fossil-related discoveries became regular events. The pages of National Geographic and major scientific journals described the intricate views of feathers as well as food still visible in the guts of these ancient birds. Now, for the first time, a sweeping collection of the most interesting of Jehol’s avian fossils is on display in this beautiful book. Birds of Stone makes visible the unexpected avian diversity that blanketed the earth just a short time (geologically speaking) after a dinosaur lineage gave rise to the first birds. Our visual journey through these fossils is guided by Luis M. Chiappe, a world expert on early birds, and Meng Qingjin, a leading figure in China's natural history museum community. Together, they help us understand the "meaning" of each fossil by providing straightforward narratives that accompany the full-page photographs of the Jehol discoveries. Anyone interested in the history of life—from paleontologists to inquisitive birders—will find Birds of Stone an irresistible feast for the eyes and mind.
Release

Cetacean Paleobiology

Author: Felix G. Marx,Olivier Lambert,Mark D. Uhen

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118561279

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 1169

Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) have fascinated and bewildered humans throughout history. Their mammalian affinities have been long recognized, but exactly which group of terrestrial mammals they descend from has, until recently, remained in the dark. Recent decades have produced a flurry of new fossil cetaceans, extending their fossil history to over 50 million years ago. Along with new insights from genetics and developmental studies, these discoveries have helped to clarify the place of cetaceans among mammals, and enriched our understanding of their unique adaptations for feeding, locomotion and sensory systems. Their continuously improving fossil record and successive transformation into highly specialized marine mammals have made cetaceans a textbook case of evolution - as iconic in its own way as the origin of birds from dinosaurs. This book aims to summarize our current understanding of cetacean evolution for the serious student and interested amateur using photographs, drawings, charts and illustrations.
Release

Amphibian Evolution

The Life of Early Land Vertebrates

Author: Rainer R. Schoch

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118759133

Category: Science

Page: 280

View: 9770

This book focuses on the first vertebrates to conquer land and their long journey to become fully independent from the water. It traces the origin of tetrapod features and tries to explain how and why they transformed into organs that permit life on land. Although the major frame of the topic lies in the past 370 million years and necessarily deals with many fossils, it is far from restricted to paleontology. The aim is to achieve a comprehensive picture of amphibian evolution. It focuses on major questions in current paleobiology: how diverse were the early tetrapods? In which environments did they live, and how did they come to be preserved? What do we know about the soft body of extinct amphibians, and what does that tell us about the evolution of crucial organs during the transition to land? How did early amphibians develop and grow, and which were the major factors of their evolution? The Topics in Paleobiology Series is published in collaboration with the Palaeontological Association, and is edited by Professor Mike Benton, University of Bristol. Books in the series provide a summary of the current state of knowledge, a trusted route into the primary literature, and will act as pointers for future directions for research. As well as volumes on individual groups, the series will also deal with topics that have a cross-cutting relevance, such as the evolution of significant ecosystems, particular key times and events in the history of life, climate change, and the application of a new techniques such as molecular palaeontology. The books are written by leading international experts and will be pitched at a level suitable for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers in both the paleontological and biological sciences.
Release

The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang, China

The Flowering of Early Animal Life

Author: Hou Xian-Guang,Richard J. Aldridge,Cong Pei-Yun,David J. Siveter,Derek J. Siveter,Sarah E. Gabbott,Ma Xiao-Ya,Mark A. Purnell,Mark Williams

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118896386

Category: Science

Page: 328

View: 6364

The celebrated lower Cambrian Chengjiang biota of Yunnan Province, China, represents one of the most significant ever paleontological discoveries. Deposits of ancient mudstone, about 520 million years old, have yielded a spectacular variety of exquisitely preserved fossils that record the early diversification of animal life. Since the discovery of the first specimens in 1984, many thousands of fossils have been collected, exceptionally preserving not just the shells and carapaces of the animals, but also their soft tissues in fine detail. This special preservation has produced fossils of rare beauty; they are also of outstanding scientific importance as sources of evidence about the origins of animal groups that have sustained global biodiversity to the present day. Much of the scientific documentation of the Chengjiang biota is in Chinese, and the first edition of this book was the first in English to provide fossil enthusiasts with a comprehensive overview of the fauna. The second edition has been fully updated and includes a new chapter on other exceptionally preserved fossils of Cambrian age, exciting new fossil finds from Chengjiang, and a phylogenetic framework for the biota. Displaying some 250 figures of marvelous specimens, this book presents to professional and amateur paleontologists, and all those fascinated by evolutionary biology, the aesthetic and scientific quality of the Chengjiang fossils.
Release

Beaks, Bones and Bird Songs

How the Struggle for Survival Has Shaped Birds and Their Behavior

Author: Roger Lederer

Publisher: Timber Press

ISBN: 1604697520

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 6869

“Reveals the strange and wondrous adaptations birds rely on to get by.” —National Audubon Society When we see a bird flying from branch to branch happily chirping, it is easy to imagine they lead a simple life of freedom, flight, and feathers. What we don’t see is the arduous, life-threatening challenges they face at every moment. Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs guides the reader through the myriad, and often almost miraculous, things that birds do every day to merely stay alive. Like the goldfinch, which manages extreme weather changes by doubling the density of its plumage in winter. Or urban birds, which navigate traffic through a keen understanding of posted speed limits. In engaging and accessible prose, Roger Lederer shares how and why birds use their sensory abilities to see ultraviolet, find food without seeing it, fly thousands of miles without stopping, change their songs in noisy cities, navigate by smell, and much more.
Release

Footprints in Stone

Fossil Traces of Coal-Age Tetrapods

Author: Ronald J. Buta,David C. Kopaska-Merkel

Publisher: University of Alabama Press

ISBN: 0817358447

Category: Science

Page: 348

View: 1383

Footprints in Stone is the definitive guide to the Steven C. Minkin (Union Chapel) Paleozoic Footprint Site in northwest Alabama, the discovery of whose vast quantity of 310-million-year-old fossil tetrapod footprints and other traces is one of the most significant developments in modern paleontology.
Release

A Triceratops Hunt in Pioneer Wyoming

The Journals of Barnum Brown & J.P. Sams : the University of Kansas Expedition of 1895

Author: Barnum Brown,James Polk Sams,Michael F. Kohl,Larry D. Martin,Paul Brinkman

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780931271762

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 188

View: 7909

One June Morning in 1895, five men made their final goodbyes on a platform in Lawrence, Kansas. The men--a politician, a professor, two students, and an interested citizen--were leaving town for the summer. They would live among the grasslands, badlands, dry, white-bottomed creek beds and Cretaceous rocks of eastern Wyoming, which they hoped to find rich in dinosaur bones. Two of the students--Barnum Brown, and Elmer Riggs--would go on to lead two of the most important American careers in dinosaur paleontology of the twentieth century. Their professor, Samuel Wendell Williston, was just reaching his prime. For his new museum at the university, Williston wanted the skull of a Triceratops--the enormous-headed, three-horned, rhino-like dinosaur of the Cretaceous Period, the first of which had been described for science only six years before. What would come to be called the Kansas University Expedition of 1895 would succeed in finding just such a skull. Two accounts of the expedition survive, and both are offered here. Neither is heavy in scientific obscurities. Both offer fascinating snapshots of the West at a time when it was changing fast. The first journal was kept by Brown on his wagon journey from Kansas to Wyoming. The second and far more extensive journal was kept by James Polk Sams, a middle aged Kansas farmer, former probate judge, and member of the Board of Regents of the University of Kansas. Sams was pious, humorous, teetotaling, curious and kind. The editors have put the diaries in context with footnotes.
Release

Of Pandas and People

The Central Question of Biological Origins

Author: P. William Davis,Dean H. Kenyon,Charles B. Thaxton

Publisher: Foundation for Thought & Ethics

ISBN: 9780914513407

Category: Science

Page: 170

View: 516

Release

The Ascent of Birds

How Modern Science Is Revealing Their Story

Author: John Reilly

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781784271695

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 8758

When and where did the ancestors of modern birds evolve? What enabled them to survive the meteoric impact that wiped out the dinosaurs? How did these early birds spread across the globe and give rise to the 10,600-plus species we recognise today ― from the largest ratites to the smallest hummingbirds? Based on the latest scientific discoveries and enriched by personal observations, The Ascent of Birds sets out to answer these fundamental questions. The Ascent of Birds is divided into self-contained chapters, or stories, that collectively encompass the evolution of modern birds from their origins in Gondwana, over 100 million years ago, to the present day. The stories are arranged in chronological order, from tinamous to tanagers, and describe the many dispersal and speciation events that underpin the world's 10,600-plus species. Although each chapter is spearheaded by a named bird and focuses on a specific evolutionary mechanism, the narrative will often explore the relevance of such events and processes to evolution in general. The book starts with The Tinamou's Story, which explains the presence of flightless birds in South America, Africa, and Australasia, and dispels the cherished role of continental drift as an explanation for their biogeography. It also introduces the concept of neoteny, an evolutionary trick that enabled dinosaurs to become birds and humans to conquer the planet. The Vegavis's Story explores the evidence for a Cretaceous origin of modern birds and why they were able to survive the asteroid collision that saw the demise not only of dinosaurs but of up to three-quarters of all species. The Duck's Story switches to sex: why have so few species retained the ancestral copulatory organ? Or, put another way, why do most birds exhibit the paradoxical phenomenon of penis loss, despite all species requiring internal fertilisation? The Hoatzin's Story reveals unexpected oceanic rafting from Africa to South America: a stranger-than-fiction means of dispersal that is now thought to account for the presence of other South American vertebrates, including geckos and monkeys. The latest theories underpinning speciation are also explored. The Manakin's Story, for example, reveals how South America's extraordinarily rich avifauna has been shaped by past geological, oceanographic and climatic changes, while The Storm-Petrel's Story examines how species can evolve from an ancestral population despite inhabiting the same geographical area. The thorny issue of what constitutes a species is discussed in The Albatross's Story, while The Penguin's Story explores the effects of environment on phenotype ― in the case of the Emperor penguin, the harshest on the planet. Recent genomic advances have given scientists novel approaches to explore the distant past and have revealed many unexpected journeys, including the unique overland dispersal of an early suboscine from Asia to South America (The Sapayoa's Story) and the blackbird's ancestral sweepstake dispersals across the Atlantic (The Thrush's Story). Additional vignettes update more familiar concepts that encourage speciation: sexual selection (The Bird-of-Paradise's Story); extended phenotypes (The Bowerbird's Story); hybridisation (The Sparrow's Story); and 'great speciators' (The White-eye's Story). Finally, the book explores the raft of recent publications that help explain the evolution of cognitive skills (The Crow's Story); plumage colouration (The Starling's Story); and birdsong (The Finch's Story)
Release

The Rise of Fishes

500 Million Years of Evolution

Author: John A. Long

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

ISBN: 9780801896958

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 1431

The book includes photographs of fossils from around the world as well as dramatic color illustrations depicting what those fishes may have actually looked like.
Release

Atmospheric Evolution on Inhabited and Lifeless Worlds

Author: David C. Catling,James F. Kasting

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521844126

Category: Science

Page: 592

View: 5803

A comprehensive and authoritative text on the formation and evolution of planetary atmospheres, for graduate-level students and researchers.
Release

Palaeobiology II

Author: Derek E. G. Briggs,Peter R. Crowther

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0470999284

Category: Science

Page: 600

View: 9870

Palaeobiology: A Synthesis was widely acclaimed both for its content and production quality. Ten years on, Derek Briggs and Peter Crowther have once again brought together over 150 leading authorities from around the world to produce Palaeobiology II. Using the same successful formula, the content is arranged as a series of concise articles, taking a thematic approach to the subject, rather than treating the various fossil groups systematically. This entirely new book, with its diversity of new topics and over 100 new contributors, reflects the exciting developments in the field, including accounts of spectacular newly discovered fossils, and embraces data from other disciplines such as astrobiology, geochemistry and genetics. Palaeobiology II will be an invaluable resource, not only for palaeontologists, but also for students and researchers in other branches of the earth and life sciences. Written by an international team of recognised authorities in the field. Content is concise but informative. Demonstrates how palaeobiological studies are at the heart of a range of scientific themes.
Release

Marine Genetics

Author: Antonio Sole-Cava,Claudia A.M. Russo,John P. Thorpe

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 940172184X

Category: Science

Page: 219

View: 5789

Our current knowledge of marine organisms and the factors affecting their ecology, distribution and evolution has been revolutionised by the use, in the last 20 years, of molecular population genetics tools. This book is the result of a meeting of world-leading experts, in Rio de Janeiro, where the state of the art of this field was reviewed. Topics covered include the molecular analysis of bio-invasions, the recent developments in marine biotechnology, the factors affecting levels of genetic variation and population structure in marine organisms and their application to conservation biology, fisheries and aquaculture. This is the first book dedicated to the genetic study of marine organisms. It will be very useful to biology students, scientists and anyone working or simply interested in areas such as marine biology, zoology, ecology, and population and molecular genetics.
Release