The Rise of Marine Mammals

50 Million Years of Evolution

Author: Annalisa Berta,James L. Sumich

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421423251

Category: Science

Page: 216

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Setting the stage : rocks, fossils and evolution -- The oldest marine mammals : whales and sea cows -- Later diverging whales : Neoceti -- Aquatic carnivores : pinnipeds and a bear-like carnivoran -- Crown sirenians and their desmostylian relatives -- Aquatic sloths and recent occupants of the sea-sea otters and polar bears -- Diversity changes through time : the influence of climate change and humans
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Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals

Author: Bernd Würsig,J.G.M. Thewissen,Kit M. Kovacs

Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 0128043814

Category: Science

Page: 1190

View: 2607

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The Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, Third Edition covers the ecology, behavior, conservation, evolution, form and function of whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, manatees, dugongs, otters and polar bears. This edition provides new content on anthropogenic concerns, latest information on emerging threats such as ocean noise, and impacts of climate change. With authors and editors who are world experts, this new edition is a critical resource for all who are interested in marine mammals, especially upper level undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and managers, and is a top reference for those in related fields, from oceanographers to environmental scientists. Significant content and topic updates, as well as the addition of new topics in such areas as anthropogenic disturbance Visual maps of the oceans and seas mentioned in contributions, helping to place the geographical features described in the text with clear, consistent species illustrations Written to help users learn new information or brush up on a topic quickly, with the references at the end of each entry to help guide readers into more specialist literature
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Spying on Whales

The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures

Author: Nick Pyenson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735224579

Category: Nature

Page: 336

View: 3559

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“A palaeontological howdunnit…[Spying on Whales] captures the excitement of…seeking answers to deep questions in cetacean science.” —Nature Called “the best of science writing” (Edward O. Wilson) and named a best book by Popular Science, a dive into the secret lives of whales, from their four-legged past to their perilous present. Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-sized creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and travel entire ocean basins. Whales fill us with terror, awe, and affection--yet there is still so much we don't know about them. Why did it take whales over 50 million years to evolve to such big sizes, and how do they eat enough to stay that big? How did their ancestors return from land to the sea--and what can their lives tell us about evolution as a whole? Importantly, in the sweepstakes of human-driven habitat and climate change, will whales survive? Nick Pyenson's research has given us the answers to some of our biggest questions about whales. He takes us deep inside the Smithsonian's unparalleled fossil collections, to frigid Antarctic waters, and to the arid desert in Chile, where scientists race against time to document the largest fossil whale site ever found. Full of rich storytelling and scientific discovery, Spying on Whales spans the ancient past to an uncertain future--all to better understand the most enigmatic creatures on Earth.
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Mammalian Evolution, Diversity and Systematics

Author: Frank Zachos,Robert Asher

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG

ISBN: 3110382547

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 4298

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There are nearly 6,000 mammalian species, among them our own. Research on our evolutionary cousins has a long history, but the last 20 years have seen particularly rapid progress in disentangling the interrelationships and evolutionary history of mammals. The present volume combines up-to-date reviews on mammalian phylogenetics with paleontological, taxonomic and evolutionary chapters and also summarizes the historical development of our insights in mammalian relationships, and thus our own place in the Tree of Life. Our book places the present biodiversity crisis in context, with one in four mammal species threatened by extinction, and reviews the distribution and conservation of mammalian diversity across the globe. This volume is the introductory tome to the new Mammalia series of the Handbook of Zoology and will be essential reading for mammalogists, zoologists and conservationists alike.
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The Rise of Birds

225 Million Years of Evolution

Author: Sankar Chatterjee

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 142141614X

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 4728

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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
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Evolution and Genetics

Author: Sol 90

Publisher: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.

ISBN: 1615358358

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 101

View: 3251

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Updated for 2013, Evolution and Genetics, is one book in the Britannica Illustrated Science Library Series that covers today's most popular science topics, from digital TV to microchips to touchscreens and beyond. Perennial subjects in earth science, life science, and physical science are all explored in detail. Amazing graphics-more than 1,000 per title-combined with concise summaries help students understand complex subjects. Correlated to the science curriculum in grades 5-9, each title also contains a glossary with full definitions for vocabulary.
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Long-term Ecological Change in the Northern Gulf of Alaska

Author: R.B. Spies

Publisher: Elsevier

ISBN: 0080469426

Category: Nature

Page: 608

View: 4732

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This comprehensive text is a major synthesis on ecological change in the Gulf of Alaska. It encompasses the structural and annual changes, forces of change, long-ecological changes in the atmosphere and ocean, plankton, fish, birds and mammals, and the effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. With 5 major sections, Long-term Ecological Change in the Northern Gulf of Alaska first describes the physical features, the atmosphere and physical oceanography, the annual production cycle, the forage base for higher animals and trophic transfer, and the adaptations for survival in this changing environment for 9 portal species. Then, the major forces of change are introduced: climate, geophysics, fisheries and harvesting, species interactions, disease and contaminants. Next, the long-term records of change in physical factors and biological populations are presented, as well as the potential reasons for the biological changes. Following is the history of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and its long-term effects. And, finally, the emergent properties of the ecosystem are discussed and an attempt is made to weigh the importance of the major forcing factors in terms of their temporal and spatial scales of influence. * Examines important data on long-term change in the ecosystem and the forcing factors that are responsible for it * Provides an account of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill with emphasis on the long-term effects * Describes the effects of climate change, geophysical change, species interactions, harvesting, disease, the 1989 oil spill, and marine contaminants on key populations of marine organisms
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Landscape of the Mind

Human Evolution and the Archaeology of Thought

Author: John F. Hoffecker

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 023151848X

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 5649

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In Landscape of the Mind, John F. Hoffecker explores the origin and growth of the human mind, drawing on archaeology, history, and the fossil record. He suggests that, as an indirect result of bipedal locomotion, early humans developed a feedback relationship among their hands, brains, and tools that evolved into the capacity to externalize thoughts in the form of shaped stone objects. When anatomically modern humans evolved a parallel capacity to externalize thoughts as symbolic language, individual brains within social groups became integrated into a "neocortical Internet," or super-brain, giving birth to the mind. Noting that archaeological traces of symbolism coincide with evidence of the ability to generate novel technology, Hoffecker contends that human creativity, as well as higher order consciousness, is a product of the superbrain. He equates the subsequent growth of the mind with human history, which began in Africa more than 50,000 years ago. As anatomically modern humans spread across the globe, adapting to a variety of climates and habitats, they redesigned themselves technologically and created alternative realities through tools, language, and art. Hoffecker connects the rise of civilization to a hierarchical reorganization of the super-brain, triggered by explosive population growth. Subsequent human history reflects to varying degrees the suppression of the mind's creative powers by the rigid hierarchies of nationstates and empires, constraining the further accumulation of knowledge. The modern world emerged after 1200 from the fragments of the Roman Empire, whose collapse had eliminated a central authority that could thwart innovation. Hoffecker concludes with speculation about the possibility of artificial intelligence and the consequences of a mind liberated from its organic antecedents to exist in an independent, nonbiological form.
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The Next Species

The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man

Author: Michael Tennesen

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451677537

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 3795

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“Simultaneously sobering and exhilarating, Michael Tennesen’s wide-ranging survey of disasters highlights both life’s fragility and its metamorphosing persistence” (Booklist) and describes what life on earth could look like after the next mass extinction. A growing number of scientists agree we are headed toward a mass extinction, perhaps in as little as 300 years. Already there have been five mass extinctions in the last 600 million years, including the Cretaceous Extinction, during which an asteroid knocked out the dinosaurs. Though these events were initially destructive, they were also prime movers of evolutionary change in nature. And we can see some of the warning signs of another extinction event coming, as our oceans lose both fish and oxygen, and our lands lose both predators and prey. In The Next Species, Michael Tennesen questions what life might be like after it happens. In thoughtful, provocative ways, Tennesen discusses the future of nature and whether humans will make it through the bottleneck of extinction. Could life suddenly get very big as it did before the arrival of humans? Could the conquest of Mars lead to another form of human? Could we upload our minds into a computer and live in a virtual reality? How would we recognize the next humans? Are they with us now? Tennesen delves into the history of the planet and travels to rainforests, canyons, craters, and caves all over the world to explore the potential winners and losers of the next era of evolution. His predictions, based on reports and interviews with top scientists, have vital implications for life on earth today. The Next Species is “an engrossing history of life, the dismal changes wrought by man, and a forecast of life after the sixth mass extinction” (Kirkus Reviews).
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