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Academic & Professional Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution

Rates of Evolution A Quantitative Synthesis

By: Philip Gingerich(Author)
427 pages, 96 b/w illustrations, 12 tables
Rates of Evolution
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  • Rates of Evolution ISBN: 9781107167247 Hardback Apr 2019 Available for pre-order : Due Apr 2019
Selected version: £55.99
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About this book

How fast is evolution, and why does it matter? The rate of evolution, and whether it is gradual or punctuated, is a hotly debated topic among biologists and paleontologists. Rates of Evolution: A Quantitative Synthesis compiles and compares examples of evolution from laboratory, field, and fossil record studies, analyzing them to extract their underlying rates. It concludes that while change is slow when averaged over many generations, on a generation-to-generation time scale, evolution is rapid. Chapters cover the history of evolutionary studies, from Lamarck and Darwin in the 19th Century to the present day. An overview of the statistics of variation, dynamics of random walks, processes of natural selection and random drift, and effects of scale and time averaging are also provided, along with methods for the analysis of evolutionary time series. Containing case studies and worked examples, this book is ideal for advanced students and researchers in palaeontology, biology, and anthropology.


1. Introduction
2. Variation in Nature
3. Evolutionary Time
4. Random Walks and Brownian Diffusion
5. Temporal Scaling and Evolutionary Mode
6. Directional Selection, Stabilizing Selection, and Random Drift
7. Phenotypic Change in Experimental Lineages
8. Phenotypic Change Documented in Field Studies
9. Phenotypic Change in the Fossil Record
10. A Quantitative Synthesis
11. Retrospective on Punctuated Equilibria
12. Genetic Models
13. Independent Contrasts: Phylogeny's Influence on Phenotypes
14. Rate Perspective on Early Bursts of Evolution
15. Summary and Conclusions

Appendix: Generation Times in Bacteria, Plants, and Animals

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By: Philip Gingerich(Author)
427 pages, 96 b/w illustrations, 12 tables
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