311 pages, 194 b/w photos, 50 b/w illustrations
Presents a new evolutionary history of ungulates, combining the latest scientific evidence with the most current information about their ecology and behaviour. Using an approach based on cladistics, the authors consider both living and extinct ungulates. Included in their discussion are the stories of rhinos, whose ancestors include both dinosaur-sized hornless species and hippo-like river waders; elephants, whose earliest ancestors had neither tusks nor trunks; and whales, whose descent from hoofed mesonychids has never properly been described for the lay audience. Prothero and Schoch also update the evolutionary history of the horse and present new evidence about the evolution of camels, horned antelopes, and cattle. In addition, they raise important conservation issues and relate anecdotes of significant fossil finds.
"A highly readable and enjoyable account full of historical anecdotes, scientific discovery, and biological detail [...] This is one of those rare books that is both fun to read and informative. Highly recommended for both specialists and general readers."
– Northeastern Naturalist
"To learn about these mammals-from arsinoitheres, brontotheres, chalicotheres, dugongs, and elephants to yaks and zebras-this is the place to turn."
– Choice 2003
"I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the morphological perspective on the evolution of hoofed mammals and particularly to those wanting to learn more about the fossil record of individual clades. It is enjoyable and informative."
– Dr. Samantha Price, Aquatic Mammals 2007
Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Introduction American savanna Names and dates Hoofed mammals Uinta beasts and the Cope-Marsh wars The lost world
2. Cloven hooves The kingdom of cloven hooves Gut reactions "Bunny deer" Phosphate and fossils Pseudopigs Sui generis "Nebraska man" and javelinas The "river horse"
3. Tylopods Camels without humps Ships of the desert "Mountain tooth"
4. Where the deer and the antelope play Graveyard of the Amazons Horns and antlers "Mouse deer" The "forest donkey" The camelopard Deer perfume All-American-but not an antelope Deer to us all Abbe David and his deer
5. Hollow horns A world of bovids Bovines Auroachs and wisent Where the buffalo roam Cattle call Diving bucks "Bright eyes" Mountain monarchs
6. A whale's tale Dr. Koch's "sea serpent" Walking whales? Andrew's giant "bear" The pedigree of Leviathan Life of Leviathan "So long, and thanks for all the fish" Moby Dick, Flipper, and their kin Filter-feeding monsters Save the whales!
7. Out of Africa The tethytheres Mermaids The "feeble folk"
8. The origin on Jumbo Giants in the earth Early tuskers The "Great Missourium" Shovel-tuskers and gomphotheres Elephant grinders Wooly wanderers The mystery of the missing mammoths
9. Kingdom of ivory Behold the behemoth Behemoth biology The sisterhood God and slave Blood and ivory
10. A horse of a different color (and shape) The origin of perissodactyls The "hyrax beast" Cuvier's "ancient beast" Halfway horses Browsing anchitheres Grazing horses The hipparion controversy
11. Equus One-toed horses Stripes do not a zebra make Wild asses Wild and domesticated horses
12. Thunder beasts The legend of the Thunder Beasts Bone rush Osborn, Asia, and orthogenesis The biology of brontotheres
13. Proboscises and claws Dragon's teeth Hall of the mountain cow Chalicotheres don't obey Cuvier's Law Just what are chalicotheres? Moropomorphs
14. Rhinoceroses without horns "Ancient Dacians" and Siberian mummies American rhinos The amphibious amynodonts Running rhinos and rhino giants True rhinoceroses Miocene invasions Rhinoceros Pompeii Hairy rhinos and giant "unicorns"
15. Thundering to extinction Unicorn, monoceros, and rhinoceros Black and white One-horned rhinos Horns of doom Epilogue References Index
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Donald R. Prothero is a professor of geology at Occidental College. Robert M. Schoch is on the faculty of the College of General Studies at Boston University.