Exciting paleo-science is happening - we are witnessing a revolution. Our knowledge of evolution's transformational mechanisms is fundamentally shifting. As new ancient vertebrates discoveries fill gaps in the fossil record, the traditionally recognized differences between principal groups of vertebrates are being redefined.
The transition between major groups of vertebrates was an early stumbling block to in proving evolutionary theory. This volume surveys the new information about fossils and developments enriching our understanding of vertebrates' long and complex history. In recent years, major discoveries and hotly contested theories of macro-evolutionary mechanisms have held center stage in evolutionary thought. These important, radical changes affect our understanding of the vertebrates' evolutionary history-including the evolution of our own species.
The topic is one of the most fascinating aspects of the general field of vertebrate paleobiology. The range of chapters and the reputation of the authors as experts in their fields make this a significant contribution. Bruce MacFadden, Florida Museum of Natural History "Very topical, particularly from an evo-devo perspective. The authors are top-notch, each appropriate to the topics under consideration." David S. Weishampel, Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution, Johns Hopkins University
Introduction: Studying Evolutionary Transitions among Vertebrates / Hans-Dieter Sues and Jason S. Anderson; 1. Plasticity of and Transitions between Skeletal Tissues in Vertebrate Evolution and Development / Brian K. Hall and P. Eckard Witten; 2. Homologies and Evolutionary Transitions in Early Vertebrate History / Philippe Janvier; 3. Paired Fins of Jawless Vertebrates and Their Homologies across the "Agnathan"-Gnathostome Transition / Mark V. H. Wilson, Gavin F. Hanke, and Tiiu Marss; 4. MODEs of Developmental Evolution: An Example with the Origin and Definition of the Autopodium / Hans C. E. Larsson; 5. Incorporating Ontogeny into the Matrix: A Phylogenetic Evaluation of Developmental Evidence for the Origin of Modern Amphibians / Jason S. Anderson; 6. The Cranial Anatomy of Basal Diadectomorphs and the Origin of Amniotes / Robert R. Reisz; 7. Snake Phylogeny, Origins, and Evolution: The Role, Impact, and Importance of Fossils (1869-2006) / Michael W. Caldwell; 8. The Beginnings of Birds: Recent Discoveries, Ongoing Arguments, and New Directions / Luis M. Chiappe and Gareth J. Dyke; 9. Successive Diversifications in Early Mammalian Evolution / Zhe-Xi Luo; 10. The Terrestrial to Aquatic Transition in Cetacea / Mark D. Uhen
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