Vertebrate Palaeontology: Edition 3

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Vertebrate Palaeontology is a complete, up-to-date history of the evolution of vertebrates. The third edition of this popular text has been extensively revised to incorporate the latest research, including new material from North and South America, Australia, Europe, China, Africa and Russia.
  • Highlights astonishing new discoveries including new dinosaurs and Mesozoic birds from China
  • features a new chapter on how to study fossil vertebrates
  • provides an increased emphasis on the cladistic framework with cladograms set apart from the body of the text and full lists of diagnostic characters
  • includes new molecular evidence on early mammal diversification
  • new features aid study including new functional and developmental feature spreads, key questions and extensive references to useful web sites
  • strong phylogenetic focus making it an up-to-date source of the latest broad-scale systematic data on vertebrate evolution

To access the artwork from the book, please visit: www.blackwellpublishing.com/benton.

An Instructor manual CD-ROM for this title is available. Please contact our Higher Education team at HigherEducation@wiley.com for more information.

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About the author

Michael Benton is Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Bristol. He is interested particularly in early reptiles, Triassic dinosaurs and macroevolution, and has published 50 books and 160 scientific articles.
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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Feb 5, 2009
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Pages
472
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ISBN
9781405144490
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Earth Sciences / Geology
Science / Paleontology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The Pleistocene epoch or Ice Age, an extended period of advancing and retreating ice sheets, is characterized by striking climatic oscillations and sea level fluctuations. This age saw the rise and spread of humans and a great extinction of large mammals by the end of the epoch; in fact, the world today is essentially the product of dramatic changes that took place in the Pleistocene. This book, a companion to the author's Pleistocene Amphibians and Reptiles in North America, discusses the Pleistocene amphibians and reptiles in Britain and the European continent eastward through present-day Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Yugoslavian republics, and Greece. The book begins with a general discussion of the Pleistocene in Britain and Europe with an emphasis on regional terms used to define Pleistocene chronological events. Next, a look at the pre-Pleistocene herpetofauna of the study area sets the stage for a discussion of Pleistocene herpetofauna. A significant section of the book consists of a "bestiary," a series of annotated taxonomic accounts of Pleistocene herpetological taxa from the region. Following this is the interpretive section, beginning with a discussion of herpetological species as paleoenvironmental indicators and continuing with an analysis of herpetological population adjustments to Pleistocene events in Britain and Europe, and then with a discussion of extinction patterns in the region. Finally, the author compares Pleistocene herpetological events in Europe with those in North America. This volume and its companion together provide an up-to-date and comprehensive review of Pleistocene herpetofaunas across a significant portion of the Northern Hemisphere.
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.

Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids takes us on a journey through 65 million years, from the aftermath of the extinction of the dinosaurs to the glacial climax of the Pleistocene epoch; from the rain forests of the Paleocene and the Eocene, with their lemur-like primates, to the harsh landscape of the Pleistocene Steppes, home to the woolly mammoth. It is also a journey through space, following the migrations of mammal species that evolved on other continents and eventually met to compete or coexist in Cenozoic Europe. Finally, it is a journey through the complexity of mammalian evolution, a review of the changes and adaptations that have allowed mammals to flourish and become the dominant land vertebrates on Earth.

With the benefit of recent advances in geological and geophysical techniques, Jordi Agustí and Mauricio Antón are able to trace the processes of mammalian evolution as never before; events that hitherto appeared synchronous or at least closely related can now be distinguished on a scale of hundreds or even dozens of thousands of years, revealing the dramatic importance of climactic changes both major and minor. Evolutionary developments are rendered in magnificent illustrations of the many extraordinary species that once inhabited Europe, detailing their osteology, functional anatomy, and inferred patterns of locomotion and behavior. Based on the latest research and field work, Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids transforms our understanding of how mammals evolved and changed the face of the planet.

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