Primate Origins: Adaptations and Evolution

Springer Science & Business Media
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This book provides a novel focus on adaptive explanations for cranial and postcranial features and functional complexes, socioecological systems, life history patterns, etc. in early primates. It further offers a detailed rendering of the phylogenetic affinities of such basal taxa to later primate clades as well as to other early/recent mammalian orders. In addition to the strictly paleontological or systemic questions regarding Primate Origins, the editors concentrate on the adaptive significance of primate characteristics. Thus, the book provides the broadest possible perspective on early primate phylogeny and the adaptive uniqueness of the Order Primates.
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Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Jan 5, 2007
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Pages
829
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ISBN
9780387335070
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Life Sciences / Zoology / General
Science / Paleontology
Social Science / Anthropology / General
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This volume brings together a series of papers that address the topic of reconstructing behavior in the primate fossil record. The literature devoted to reconstructing behavior in extinct species is ovelWhelming and very diverse. Sometimes, it seems as though behavioral reconstruction is done as an afterthought in the discussion section of papers, relegated to the status of informed speculation. But recent years have seen an explosion in studies of adaptation, functional anatomy, comparative sociobiology, and development. Powerful new comparative methods are now available on the internet. At the same time, we face a rapidly growing fossil record that offers more and more information on the morphology and paleoenvironments of extinct species. Consequently, inferences of behavior in extinct species have become better grounded in comparative studies of living species and are becoming increas ingly rigorous. We offer here a series of papers that review broad issues related to reconstructing various aspects of behavior from very different types of evi dence. We hope that in so doing, the reader will gain a perspective on the various types of evidence that can be brought to bear on reconstructing behavior, the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches, and, perhaps, new approaches to the topic. We define behavior as broadly as we can including life-history traits, locomotion, diet, and social behavior, giving the authors considerable freedom in choosing what, exactly, they wish to explore.
"THE ULTIMATE DINOSAUR BIOGRAPHY," hails Scientific American: A thrilling new history of the age of dinosaurs, from one of our finest young scientists.

"A masterpiece of science writing." —Washington Post

A New York Times Bestseller • Goodreads Choice Awards Winner • A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Smithsonian, Science Friday, The Times (London), Popular Mechanics, Science News, and more.

"This is scientific storytelling at its most visceral, striding with the beasts through their Triassic dawn, Jurassic dominance, and abrupt demise in the Cretaceous." —Nature

The dinosaurs. Sixty-six million years ago, the Earth’s most fearsome creatures vanished. Today they remain one of our planet’s great mysteries. Now The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs reveals their extraordinary, 200-million-year-long story as never before.

In this captivating narrative (enlivened with more than seventy original illustrations and photographs), Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field—naming fifteen new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies and fieldwork—masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy. Captivating and revelatory, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a book for the ages.

Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.”

Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China.

An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come.

Includes 75 images, world maps of the prehistoric earth, and a dinosaur family tree.

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