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Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History

Honorable Mention—2008 PROSE Award in Earth Sciences, Association of American Publishers

By: Xiaoming Wang (Author), Richard H Tedford (Author), Mauricio Antón (Illustrator)

219 pages, colour plates, illustrations

Columbia University Press

Paperback | Jun 2010 | #183811 | ISBN-13: 9780231135290
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £16.95 $21/€19 approx
Hardback | Jul 2008 | #170816 | ISBN-13: 9780231135283
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £23.95 $29/€27 approx

About this book

New discoveries of early domestic dogs in Israel and Germany, beginning more than 14 000 years ago, push back their first arrival in the fossil record and provide tantalizing evidence that China, not Europe or the Middle East, was the center of first domestication.

Canids are the most widely spread living carnivores in the world and, in some continents, the dominant predators. Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History captures the excitement of recent advances in understanding the natural history of this family or carnivores and provides an unprecedented visual reference for specialists as well as general readers.

"An easy-to-read text, accompanied by Antón's marvelous illustrations [...] Recommended."

"A definitive, readable treatment of the evolution of the canine clan."
Fossil News

"Sets a new standard [...] With Antón's imagery, Wang and Tedford's Dogs is nothing short of wonderful."
American Paleontologist

"A must-read for dog junkies."
– H.J. Kirchhoff, Toronto Globe & Mail

"Nothing short of wonderful."
– Richard A. Kissel, American Paleontologist

"Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History is an extremely valuable and interesting book with text and illustrations by the best in the business. The volume is an original contribution to the field, bringing together all known information about canid evolution into one readily accessible text."
– Lars Werdelin, Swedish Museum of Natural History

"Comprehensive and fascinating account of the anatomy, evolution, and diversification of members of the dog family. Mauricio Antón's skillful anatomical illustrations and life reconstructions enrich this well-written text by the world's leading canid paleontologists. The paleobiology of canids is set against a backdrop of 40 million years of environmental change. This perspective provides a unique and useful insight into how carnivore ecosystems have evolved – a framework for considering the consequences of long-term climate change and human contact on these top predators."
– Annalisa Berta, San Diego State University

"A beautifully illustrated guide to the wonderful world of canids, past and present. Man's best friend finally gets his full history told."
– Blaire Van Valkenburgh, University of California, Los Angeles

"A breezy and highly engaging romp through the rich history of the Canidae. Renowned paleontologists Xiaoming Wang and Richard Tedford team up with noted artist Mauricio Antón to create a compelling picture of this fascinating group of carnivores. Few books can match its seamless blend of scientific accuracy and artistic beauty to explain both the roots and branches of the dog 'Tree of Life.'"
– John J. Flynn, American Museum of Natural History



1. Dogs: Methods of Study and the Place of Dogs in Nature
2. The Origin of Canids and Other Doglike Carnivorous Mammals
3. Diversity: Who Is Who in the Dog Family
4. Anatomy and Function: How the Parts Work
5. Hunting and Social Activity
6. Changing Environments and Canid Evolution
7. Going Places: Braving New Worlds
8. Domestic Dogs

Appendix: Canid Species and Classification
Further Reading

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Xiaoming Wang is a curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and has been studying the evolutionary history of the family Canidae for the past twenty years. In collaboration with Richard H. Tedford, he has published three volumes on the fossil canids of North America.

Richard H. Tedford is curator emeritus in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. Mauricio Anton is a paleontological artist based at the National Museum of Natural Sciences, Madrid. Among his books are, with Jordi Agusti, Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids: 65 Million Years of Mammalian Evolution in Europe and, with Alan Turner, The Big Cats and Their Fossil Relatives: An Illustrated Guide to Their Evolution and Natural History and Evolving Eden: An Illustrated Guide to the Evolution of the African Large Mammal Fauna.

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