Books  Palaeontology  Palaeontology: General 

On the Origin of Phyla

The first comprehensive investigation of phyla - a modern classic now available in paperback

By: James W Valentine

614 pages, 261 illus

University of Chicago Press

Paperback | Dec 2006 | #157514 | ISBN: 0226845494
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £24.99 $31/€28 approx
Hardback | Sep 2004 | #142376 | ISBN: 0226845486
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £45.00 $55/€51 approx

About this book

Groundbreaking investigation of the mystery of the origin of phyla. The distinguished paleobiologist integrates data from molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology, embryology, comparative morphology and paleontology into a synthesis accessible to scholars from any of these fields. He begins by examining the sorts of evidence that can be gleaned from fossils, molecules and morphology, then reviews and compares the basic morphology and development of animal phyla, emphasizing the important design elements found in the body plans of both living and extinct phyla. Finally, he undertakes the monumental task of developing models to explain the origin and early diversification of animal phyla, as well as their later evolutionary patterns.
`[James Valentine], with his remarkable combination of intuition and quantitative analysis, has led the way for many others, drawing on techniques and approaches of many disciplines to seek answers to the unique questions of paleontology. . . . [Valentine] has so often been ahead of his time that workers are still rediscovering principles and evolutionary patterns in his publications from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Presumably the field will have caught up to his current work by the middle of the next century!' Douglas Erwin, David Jablonski and Jere Lipps in Evolutionary Paleobiology

A magisterial compendium.... Valentine offers a judicious evaluation of an astonishing array of evidence. - Richard Fortey, New Scientist "Truly a magnum opus, On the Origin of Phyla has already taken its place as one of the classic scientific texts of the twentieth century, affecting the work of paleontologists, morphologists, and developmental, molecular, and evolutionary biologists for decades to come." - Ethology, Ecology & Evolution "Valentine is one of the Renaissance minds of our time.... Darwin wisely called his best-known work On the Origin of Species; the origin of the phyla is an even stickier problem, and Valentine deserves credit for tackling it at such breadth.... A magnificent book." - Stefan Bengtson, Nature"

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


James W. Valentine is professor emeritus of integrative biology and is affiliated with the Museum of Paleontology and the Center for Integrative Genomics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Evolutionary Paleoecology of the Marine Biosphere, coauthor of Evolution and Evolving, and editor of Phanerozoic Diversity Patterns: Profiles in Macroevolution.

Bestsellers in this subject

The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals

NHBS Special Offer Price: £17.99 £24.95 (Save £6.96) $22/€20 approx (ends 31/12/2016)

Las Hoyas: A Cretaceous Wetland

NHBS Price: £89.99 $110/€101 approx

Fossil Insects

NHBS Price: £24.99 $31/€28 approx

The Artist and the Scientists

NHBS Price: £46.99 $57/€53 approx

After the Dinosaurs

NHBS Special Offer Price: £28.99 £34.99 (Save £6.00) $35/€33 approx (ends 31/12/2016)