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Evolutionary History of the Marsupials and an Analysis of Osteological Characters

By: Frederick S Szalay

495 pages, 177 line illus, 4 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | May 2006 | #160013 | ISBN: 0521025923
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £40.99 $54/€47 approx
Hardback | Jan 1995 | #28524 | ISBN: 0521441692
Out of Print Details

About this book

The aim of this book is to examine a variety of problems in the understanding of the evolutionary history of the marsupials. In his exposition, the author covers developmental and reproductive biology, the cranio-skeletal system (including dentition, skull and postcranial morphology) and the ecologically related aspects of skeletal morphology. In reviewing the evidence from bones, he presents much new information on both living and fossil groups of marsupials. All groups of marsupials are treated in detail, and in the final chapter their history in space and time and their palaeobiogeography are considered.

Finally available in paperback, this is the only volume on the history of marsupials dealing with both living and extinct groups.

Here, for the first time in recent decades, a single morphologist has examined the entire range of living and extinct marsupials in terms of evolutionalry relationships...This tour de force of marsupialogy is highly recommended for natural history and broad biology collections. E. Delson, Choice "...Szalay deserves credit for compiling and synthesizing a wealth of data on the Metatheria." Kenneth D. Rose, American Scientist "...impressive...this is a reference book that will provide a comparative source of information for anyone interested in either marsupial systematics or the functional anatomy of the lower limb. Likewise, it provides the most extensive rendering of Szalay's philosophy of how one should address problems in evolutionary biology." John G. Fleagle, Quarterly Review of Biology


Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Phylogenetics of characters and groups, and the classification of taxa; 3. Problems in understanding metatherian evolution; 4. Form-function, and ecological and behavioural morphology in Metatheria; 5. Background to the analysis of metatherian cruropedal evidence; 6. Mesozoic and Cenozoic: fossil tarsals of ameridelphians unassociated with teeth; 7. Cruropedal attributes of living and fossil families of metatherians; 8. Taxa and phylogeny of Metatheria; 9. Paleobiogeography and metatherian evolution; References; Index.

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