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Vertebrate Palaeontology

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Vertebrate Palaeontology

Vertebrate palaeontology is a lively field, with new discoveries reported...

NHBS Price: £44.50 $54/€50 approx

By: Michael J Benton (Author)

455 pages, b/w illustrations


Paperback | Oct 2004 | Edition: 3 | #147883 | ISBN: 0632056371
Out of Print Details

About this book

Vertebrate Palaeontology is a complete, up-to-date history of the evolution of vertebrates. The third edition of this popular text has been extensively revised to incorporate the latest research, including new material from North and South America, Australia, Europe, China, Africa and Russia.

- It highlights astonishing new discoveries including new dinosaurs and Mesozoic birds from China.
- Features a new chapter on how to study fossil vertebrates
- Provides an increased emphasis on the cladistic framework with cladograms set apart from the body of the text and full lists of diagnostic characters
- Includes new molecular evidence on early mammal diversification
- New features aid study including new functional and developmental feature spreads, key questions and extensive references to useful web sites.
- Strong phylogenetic focus making it an up-to-date source of the latest broad-scale systematic data on vertebrate evolution.

"This fine textbook by Michael Benton (Department of Geology University of Bristol) sets the standard in the field – a well-developed and wonderfully researched book that will serve the student community in the study of Palaeontology for years to come."
- Electric Review.Net, September 2004

"This is the third edition of a very long running (1990) and highly successful textbook in the field of vertebrate palaeontology [...] an invaluable aid to those who wish to know more about vertebrate fossils. There are plenty of well-drawn labelled diagrams. The text is clear and the book superbly planned and ordered [...] A classic textbook [...] "
- Down to Earth, December 2004

"Mike Benton's textbook on vertebrate palaeontology has been an aclaimed success since its first edition in 1990 [...] it has now undergone very substantial further revision for its newly published third edition [...] This new edition reflects the enormous upsurge in research and results for vertebrate palaeontology over just the past ten years, in which Mike himself has played a leading role [...] a one-stop buy for all those who would like a good background perspective and summary of vertebrate palaeontology [...] a book which I can strongly recommend."
- Robin Cocks, GA Magazine of the Geologists' Association, March 2005

"[The] simple language and general attitude make it accessible even to readers not familiar with paleontology at all. [...] the author has succeeded in making it as comprehensive as possible in respect to such complex factual material. In few other books is the biological diversity of vertebrates presented in such an elegant and precise manner [...] These parts of the book impressively show the unusual extent of the author's knowledge. Michael Benton is an expert on the early evolution of dinosaurs, but his expertise in a range of problems of vertebrate paleontology is astonishing [...] No doubt that Michael Benton's professional review of the evolution of the most complex of animals has to be placed high on the evolutionary tree of university textbooks. There is probably no better, more comprehensive and up-to-date source [...] "
- Journal of Sedimentary Research, March 2005

"This volume [...] is on the way to becoming a classic. This third edition [...] is also all one could hope for in a field that is changing so fast [...] The interest of the book is very much in the diversity of approaches used [...] This book is certainly the best introduction to the palaeontology of the vertebrates which is currently available, and its potential readership clearly passes beyond the student world alone. It has been translated into many languages, and one can only hope that a French edition will also see the light of day."
- Professor Eric Buffetaut (Paris), Geochronique, June 2005

"[...] a textbook aimed at enthusiasts and undergraduates [...] it is well laid out and the clear narrative style makes it accessible and easily read. I am sure anyone who wishes to learn more about the history of vertebrates will find it a very useful and informative book with much of interest to be gleaned."
- Glasgow Naturalist, June 2006


1. Vertebrate Origins
2. How To Study Fossil Vertebrates
3. Early Fishes
4. The Early Tetrapods And Amphibians
5. The Evolution Of Early Amniotes
6. Reptiles Of The Triassic
7. The Evolution Of Fishes After The Devonian
8. The Age Of Dinosaurs
9. The Birds
10. The Mammals
11. Human Evolution

Appendix: Classification Of The Vertebrates

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Michael Benton is Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Bristol. He is interested particularly in early reptiles, Triassic dinosaurs and macroevolution, and has published 50 books and 160 scientific articles.

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