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Sequel to the widely acclaimed Palaeobiology: A Synthesis first published in 1990. Using the same successful formula, Briggs and Crowther have arranged the contents as a series of concise articles, taking a thematic approach to the subject, rather than treating the various fossil groups systematically.
Part I: Major Events in the History of Life: 1. Early Life. 2. The Cambrian Radiation. 3. Palaeozoic Events. 4. Mesozoic Events. 5. Cenozoic Events. Part II: The Evolutionary Process and the Fossil Record: 6. Species Evolution. 7. Evolution of Form. 8. Macroevolution. 9. Patterns of Diversity. Part III: Taphonomy: 10. Fossilized Materials. 11. Fossilization Processes. 12. Preservation in Different Ecological Settings. 13. Lagerstatten. Part IV: Palaeoecology: 14. Fossils as Living Organisms. 15. Ancient Communities. 16. Fossils as Environmental Indicators. Part V: Systematics, Phylogeny and Stratigraphy: 17. Morphology and Taxonomy. 18. Calibrating Diversity. 19. Reconstructing Phylogeny. 20. Fossils in Stratigraphy.
One of the great strengths of the volume is the combination of focused treatments of well-studied areas (Taylor on locomotion in Mesozoic marine reptiles or Trewin on the Rhynie Chert) with discussion on broader principles (the late Jack Sepkoski, to whom the volume is dedicated, on competition in macroevolution or Cerling on the evolution of modern grasslands). ... This approach provides both the general patterns and processes behind the history of life as well as the richness of unique events. Douglas H. Erwin, The Palaeontological Association Newsletter "The bottom line, as I think you'll see, is that this volume is an entirely new one, and it provides an excellent complement to the first. ... I will have to recommend it. If not for individual purchases, then an absolute must for libraries. Faculty will find it very useful in preparing their lectures ... Students will find it useful for getting a comprehensive survey of what's going on in palaeontology all in one place ... In addition, it is an easy-browsing text. ... I very much recommend it." Linda C. Ivany, American Paleontologist "Palaeobiology II is an essential reference work for any geology library and most palaeobiologists will want their own copies, but do not lend them out as they may never return. ... The editors have done an excellent job of marshalling their authors and the huge volume of information into a readily usable structure and format." Douglas Palmer, Geoscientist "What this book covers is no less than the current state of thinking on just about every paleontological topic imaginable...I would recommend it to anyone interested in adding a comprehensive, authoritative, up-to-date volume to their library. I can guarantee that you won't be disappointed." Fossil News, August 2003