Vertebrate Palaeontology: Edition 4

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Vertebrate palaeontology is a lively field, with new discoveries reported every week… and not only dinosaurs! This new edition reflects the international scope of vertebrate palaeontology, with a special focus on exciting new finds from China.

A key aim is to explain the science. Gone are the days of guesswork. Young researchers use impressive new numerical and imaging methods to explore the tree of life, macroevolution, global change, and functional morphology.

The fourth edition is completely revised. The cladistic framework is strengthened, and new functional and developmental spreads are added. Study aids include: key questions, research to be done, and recommendations of further reading and web sites.

The book is designed for palaeontology courses in biology and geology departments. It is also aimed at enthusiasts who want to experience the flavour of how the research is done. The book is strongly phylogenetic, and this makes it a source of current data on vertebrate evolution.

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About the author

Michael J. Benton FRS is Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Bristol. He is particularly interested in early reptiles, Triassic dinosaurs, and macroevolution, and has published over 50 books and 300 scientific articles. He leads one of the most successful palaeontology research groups at the University of Bristol, and has supervised over 60 PhD students.
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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Aug 4, 2014
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Pages
480
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ISBN
9781118407646
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Paleontology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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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.

This book presents a comprehensive overview of the science of the history of life. Paleobiologists bring many analytical tools to bear in interpreting the fossil record and the book introduces the latest techniques, from multivariate investigations of biogeography and biostratigraphy to engineering analysis of dinosaur skulls, and from homeobox genes to cladistics.

All the well-known fossil groups are included, including microfossils and invertebrates, but an important feature is the thorough coverage of plants, vertebrates and trace fossils together with discussion of the origins of both life and the metazoans. All key related subjects are introduced, such as systematics, ecology, evolution and development, stratigraphy and their roles in understanding where life came from and how it evolved and diversified.

Unique features of the book are the numerous case studies from current research that lead students to the primary literature, analytical and mathematical explanations and tools, together with associated problem sets and practical schedules for instructors and students.

“..any serious student of geology who does not pick this book off the shelf will be putting themselves at a huge disadvantage. The material may be complex, but the text is extremely accessible and well organized, and the book ought to be essential reading for palaeontologists at undergraduate, postgraduate and more advanced levels—both in Britain as well as in North America.” Falcon-Lang, H., Proc. Geol. Assoc. 2010

“…this is an excellent introduction to palaeontology in general. It is well structured, accessibly written and pleasantly informative …..I would recommend this as a standard reference text to all my students without hesitation.” David Norman Geol Mag 2010

Companion website
This book includes a companion website at:

 www.blackwellpublishing.com/paleobiology

The website includes: 

·         An ongoing database of additional Practical’s prepared by the authors

·         Figures from the text for downloading

·         Useful links for each chapter

·         Updates from the authors

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