This updated edition of a classic text includes illustrations of new fossil discoveries and new interpretations based on genetic analyses. The author reveals how fishes evolved from ancient, jawless animals, explains why fishes have survived on the Earth for so long, and describes how they have become the dominant aquatic life-form.
John A. Long is curator of vertebrate palaeontology at the Western Australian Museum in Perth. An established authority in palaeontology and ichthyology, he is the editor of 'Palaeozoic Vertebrate Biostratigraphy and Biogeography', which is also available from Johns Hopkins.
A great deal of background information and, above all, hundreds of superb photographs and drawings. One could almost take this for a coffee-table book at first glance, so profusely and well is it illustrated...This book is not just a scientific and educational tool; it is also a visual celebration of the glories of biological diversity as seen in the fossil record. It will come as a surprise to many who have not realized how far the paleontology of early vertebrates has progressed or experienced the depth of evolutionary information available from fossils. And, best of all, there is clearly more to come.--'Nature' "[Long] enlivens his account with tales from his extensive field work... His book is exceptionally lucid and comprehensively illustrated."--'New Scientist'