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This book examines how different fields of biology have contributed to the growing understanding of the origins and evolution of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. After an historical treatment in which different approaches are placed in perspective, each is examined in more detail. The contributions that the study of the anatomy of soft tissues and bones, geographic distributions, molecular characteristics, genetics, life histories, and (for frogs) vocalizations have made toward a classification reflecting the evolutionary history of amphibians are assessed by specialists in their respective fields.
The result is a coherent appreciation of the blend of all of biology into amphibian systematics that serves not only as a review of past achievements and current trends but as a signpost to the future.