199 pages, 21 b/w photos, 68 b/w illus, 2 maps, 3 tabs
More than three hundred million years ago – a relatively recent date in the two billion years since life first appeared – vertebrate animals first ventured onto land.
How Vertebrates Left the Water describes how some finned vertebrates acquired limbs, giving rise to more than 25,000 extant tetrapod species. The author uses paleontological, geological, physiological and comparative anatomical data to describe this monumental event and summarizes key concepts of modern paleontological research, including biological nomenclature, paleontological and molecular dating, and the methods used to infer phylogeny and character evolution.
"Summarizes key concepts of modern paleontological research."
– The Guardian
"I recommend the book to students especially, although the book certainly would be a welcome addition into any natural historian's library."
– Systematic Biology
"The text is detailed, well referenced, and [...] readable."
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Michel Laurin is a vertebrate paleontologist and a CNRS research scientist working in the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.