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The Evolution of North American Rhinoceroses

By: Donald Prothero

218 pages, Illus

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Mar 2005 | #147450 | ISBN: 0521832403
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £92.99 $114/€105 approx

About this book

The family Rhinocerotidae has a long history in North America. From their first appearance about 40 million years ago, they diversified into a remarkable array of taxa, with a variety of ecologies at variance with the five living species. They ranged from delicate long-legged dog-sized forms, to huge hippo-like forms that apparently lived in rivers and lakes. This book includes a systematic review of the entire North American Rhinocerotidae, with complete descriptions, measurements, and figures of every bone in every species - the first such review in over a century. More importantly, it discusses the biogeographic patterns of rhinos, their evolutionary patterns and paleoecology, and what rhinos tell us about the evolution of North American landscapes and faunas over 35 million years. It will stand as an authoritative reference for years to come.

'Only scientists from before personal computers (let alone laptops) can realise how much work is in the book The Evolution of North American Rhinoceroses of Prothero. It is impressive! ! From every species the holotype, hypodigm, known distribution, diagnosis, a description and a discussion is given. ! This book is not a casual reading book, but I can recommend it to all palaeontologists who are interested in mammal vertebrates.' 'For anyone planning to work on rhinos, it contains a wealth of information on North American specimens and the history of their study. The Evolution of North American Rhinoceroses stands as the only modern comprehensive review of this diverse and intriguing group.' Palaeontological Association Newsletter 'It is not often that you get to see a book that contains more than 20 years of work ! How many people do you know who need to identify the pisiform (a wrist bone) of a rhino, much less be able to distinguish between such an element from different rhinos? However, for those of us who need this kind of detail, this book is virtually unmatched and indispensable. ! The book is professionally done (what you would expect from Cambridge University Press) ! numerous photos that are ! well produced ! the illustrations alone make the book useful ! this book is bound to become THE reference for North American rhinos, and it represents such a monumental amount of work ! Prothero's book will remain the state of the art on North American rhinos for years to come, and it will be well used on my shelf during that time.' David Froehlich, Austin Community College, Texas 'Within 218 richly-illustrated pages Donald R. Prothero achieves the amazing feat of encapsulating the 35 million years of the North American history of one of the most successful groups of Cenozoic ungulates, the rhinoceroses. ! This work ! will be in demand for more than 20 years ! It delivers a considerable sum of historic, anatomical, stratigraphic, and evolutionary information on a group that dominated the Oligocene of North America. Prothero's work already constitutes the essential reference for paleomammalogists specializing in rhinos, and more broadly those interested in dealing in the Tertiary of North America.' Translated from French in Geochronique: Magazine des Geosciences '! Prothero's book is remarkable ! his part on systematics, which is particularly exhaustive, as well as his paleobiogeographic and biostratigraphic part, are excellent and render it indispensable to all paleontologists interested in the evolution of Tertiary vertebrates. ! it will leave a lasting impression more for the clarity of its style, its beautiful presentation, and its excellent illustrations, making for very pleasant reading.' Translated from French in Geobios '! should set standards and expectations in a number of areas of the globe that are notable for their rich Tertiary vertebrate faunas.' Geological Magazine 'This book provides a thorough treatment for the taxa and North American populations of a family of Tertiary fossils ! Abundance of remains makes Prothero's book both necessary and very instructive. The book is well produced, and adequately ilustrated. I noticed no typos.' Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 'Prothero has accomplished the important task of providing a sound alpha-taxonomy for North American rhinos that can be readily put to good use not only by systematists, but also by biostratigraphers and other vertebrate paleobiologists whose work involves fossil rhinos.' Journal of Mammalian Evolution


1. Introduction; 2. Methods; 3. Systematics; 4. Postcranial osteology; 5. Biogeography; 6. Paleoecology and evolutionary patterns; 7. Conclusions; Bibliography.

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Chair and Professor of Geology, Occidental College and Lecturer in Geobiology, California Institute of Technology.

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