Dinosaur Paleobiology

Author: Stephen L. Brusatte

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0470656581

Category: Science

Page: 322

View: 2424

The study of dinosaurs has been experiencing a remarkable renaissance over the past few decades. Scientific understanding of dinosaur anatomy, biology, and evolution has advanced to such a degree that paleontologists often know more about 100-million-year-old dinosaurs than many species of living organisms. This book provides a contemporary review of dinosaur science intended for students, researchers, and dinosaur enthusiasts. It reviews the latest knowledge on dinosaur anatomy and phylogeny, how dinosaurs functioned as living animals, and the grand narrative of dinosaur evolution across the Mesozoic. A particular focus is on the fossil evidence and explicit methods that allow paleontologists to study dinosaurs in rigorous detail. Scientific knowledge of dinosaur biology and evolution is shifting fast, and this book aims to summarize current understanding of dinosaur science in a technical, but accessible, style, supplemented with vivid photographs and illustrations. The Topics in Paleobiology Series is published in collaboration with the Palaeontological Association, and is edited by Professor Mike Benton, University of Bristol. Books in the series provide a summary of the current state of knowledge, a trusted route into the primary literature, and will act as pointers for future directions for research. As well as volumes on individual groups, the series will also deal with topics that have a cross-cutting relevance, such as the evolution of significant ecosystems, particular key times and events in the history of life, climate change, and the application of a new techniques such as molecular palaeontology. The books are written by leading international experts and will be pitched at a level suitable for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers in both the paleontological and biological sciences. Additional resources for this book can be found at: http://www.wiley.com/go/brusatte/dinosaurpaleobiology.
Posted in Science

Avian Evolution

The Fossil Record of Birds and Its Paleobiological Significance

Author: Gerald Mayr

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 111902076X

Category: NATURE

Page: 312

View: 1348

Knowledge of the evolutionary history of birds has much improved in recent decades. Fossils from critical time periods are being described at unprecedented rates and modern phylogenetic analyses have provided a framework for the interrelationships of the extant groups. This book gives an overview of the avian fossil record and its paleobiological significance, and it is the only up-to-date textbook that covers both Mesozoic and more modern-type Cenozoic birds in some detail. The reader is introduced to key features of basal avians and the morphological transformations that have occurred in the evolution towards modern birds. An account of the Cenozoic fossil record sheds light on the biogeographic history of the extant avian groups and discusses fossils in the context of current phylogenetic hypotheses. This review of the evolutionary history of birds not only addresses students and established researchers, but it may also be a useful source of information for anyone else with an interest in the evolution of birds and a moderate background in biology and geology.
Posted in NATURE

Cetacean Paleobiology

Author: Felix G. Marx,Olivier Lambert,Mark D. Uhen

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118561279

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 1214

Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) have fascinated and bewildered humans throughout history. Their mammalian affinities have been long recognized, but exactly which group of terrestrial mammals they descend from has, until recently, remained in the dark. Recent decades have produced a flurry of new fossil cetaceans, extending their fossil history to over 50 million years ago. Along with new insights from genetics and developmental studies, these discoveries have helped to clarify the place of cetaceans among mammals, and enriched our understanding of their unique adaptations for feeding, locomotion and sensory systems. Their continuously improving fossil record and successive transformation into highly specialized marine mammals have made cetaceans a textbook case of evolution - as iconic in its own way as the origin of birds from dinosaurs. This book aims to summarize our current understanding of cetacean evolution for the serious student and interested amateur using photographs, drawings, charts and illustrations.
Posted in Science

Paleontology

A Philosophical Introduction

Author: Derek Turner

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139497782

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 9420

In the wake of the paleobiological revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, paleontologists continue to investigate far-reaching questions about how evolution works. Many of those questions have a philosophical dimension. How is macroevolution related to evolutionary changes within populations? Is evolutionary history contingent? How much can we know about the causes of evolutionary trends? How do paleontologists read the patterns in the fossil record to learn about the underlying evolutionary processes? Derek Turner explores these and other questions, introducing the reader to exciting recent work in the philosophy of paleontology and to theoretical issues including punctuated equilibria and species selection. He also critically examines some of the major accomplishments and arguments of paleontologists of the last 40 years.
Posted in Science

Amphibian Evolution

The Life of Early Land Vertebrates

Author: Rainer R. Schoch

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118759133

Category: Science

Page: 280

View: 4038

This book focuses on the first vertebrates to conquer land and their long journey to become fully independent from the water. It traces the origin of tetrapod features and tries to explain how and why they transformed into organs that permit life on land. Although the major frame of the topic lies in the past 370 million years and necessarily deals with many fossils, it is far from restricted to paleontology. The aim is to achieve a comprehensive picture of amphibian evolution. It focuses on major questions in current paleobiology: how diverse were the early tetrapods? In which environments did they live, and how did they come to be preserved? What do we know about the soft body of extinct amphibians, and what does that tell us about the evolution of crucial organs during the transition to land? How did early amphibians develop and grow, and which were the major factors of their evolution? The Topics in Paleobiology Series is published in collaboration with the Palaeontological Association, and is edited by Professor Mike Benton, University of Bristol. Books in the series provide a summary of the current state of knowledge, a trusted route into the primary literature, and will act as pointers for future directions for research. As well as volumes on individual groups, the series will also deal with topics that have a cross-cutting relevance, such as the evolution of significant ecosystems, particular key times and events in the history of life, climate change, and the application of a new techniques such as molecular palaeontology. The books are written by leading international experts and will be pitched at a level suitable for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers in both the paleontological and biological sciences.
Posted in Science

The Dinosauria

Author: David B. Weishampel,Peter Dodson,Halszka Osmólska

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520941438

Category: Science

Page: 880

View: 7868

When the The Dinosauria was first published more than a decade ago, it was hailed as "the best scholarly reference work available on dinosaurs" and "an historically unparalleled compendium of information." This second, fully revised edition continues in the same vein as the first but encompasses the recent spectacular discoveries that have continued to revolutionize the field. A state-of-the-science view of current world research, the volume includes comprehensive coverage of dinosaur systematics, reproduction, and life history strategies, biogeography, taphonomy, paleoecology, thermoregulation, and extinction. Its internationally renowned authors—forty-four specialists on the various members of the Dinosauria—contribute definitive descriptions and illustrations of these magnificent Mesozoic beasts. The first section of The Dinosauria begins with the origin of the great clade of these fascinating reptiles, followed by separate coverage of each major dinosaur taxon, including the Mesozoic radiation of birds. The second part of the volume navigates through broad areas of interest. Here we find comprehensive documentation of dinosaur distribution through time and space, discussion of the interface between geology and biology, and the paleoecological inferences that can be made through this link. This new edition will be the benchmark reference for everyone who needs authoritative information on dinosaurs.
Posted in Science

The Origin and Evolution of Birds

Author: Alan Feduccia

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300078619

Category: Nature

Page: 466

View: 6277

An exploration of all that is known about the origin of birds and of avian flight. It draws on fossil evidence and studies of the structure and biochemistry of living birds to present knowledge and data on avian evolution and to propose a new model of this evolutionary process.
Posted in Nature

Anatomy of Dolphins

Insights into Body Structure and Function

Author: Bruno Cozzi,Stefan Huggenberger,Helmut A Oelschläger

Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 0124076556

Category: Science

Page: 456

View: 7919

The Anatomy of Dolphins: Insights into Body Structure and Function is a precise, detailed, fully illustrated, descriptive, and functionally oriented text on the anatomy and morphology of dolphins. It focuses on a number of delphinid species, with keynotes on important dolphin-like genera, such as the harbor porpoise. It also serves as a useful complement for expanding trends and emphases in molecular biology and genetics. The authors share their life-long expertise on marine mammals in various disciplines. Written as a team rather than being prepared as a collection of separate contributions, the result is a uniform and comprehensive style, giving each of the different topics appropriate space. Many color figures, which use the authors’ access to wide collections of unique dolphin and whale material, round out this exceptional offering to the field. Includes high-quality illustrations, drawings, halftone artwork, photographic documentations, microphotos, and tables detailing dolphin anatomy, function, and morphology Facilitates education and training of students of all basic research and applied sciences dedicated to marine biology and the medical care of marine mammals Brings together the current knowledge and information on this topic, including those in obscure past or non-English publications, or scattered in short chapters in volumes Covers a number of delphinid species and serves as a useful complement for expanding trends in molecular biology and genetics
Posted in Science

Forerunners of Mammals

Radiation • Histology • Biology

Author: Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253005337

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 6682

About 320 million years ago a group of reptiles known as the synapsids emerged and forever changed Earth’s ecological landscapes. This book discusses the origin and radiation of the synapsids from their sail-backed pelycosaur ancestor to their diverse descendants, the therapsids or mammal-like reptiles, that eventually gave rise to mammals. It further showcases the remarkable evolutionary history of the synapsids in the Karoo Basin of South Africa and the environments that existed at the time. By highlighting studies of synapsid bone microstructure, it offers a unique perspective of how such studies are utilized to reconstruct various aspects of biology, such as growth dynamics, biomechanical function, and the attainment of sexual and skeletal maturity. A series of chapters outline the radiation and phylogenetic relationships of major synapsid lineages and provide direct insight into how bone histological analyses have led to an appreciation of these enigmatic animals as once-living creatures. The penultimate chapter examines the early radiation of mammals from their nonmammalian cynodont ancestors, and the book concludes by engaging the intriguing question of when and where endothermy evolved among the therapsids.
Posted in Science

Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record

Author: Michael Benton,David A. T. Harper

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118685407

Category: Science

Page: 608

View: 923

This book presents a comprehensive overview of the science of the history of life. Paleobiologists bring many analytical tools to bear in interpreting the fossil record and the book introduces the latest techniques, from multivariate investigations of biogeography and biostratigraphy to engineering analysis of dinosaur skulls, and from homeobox genes to cladistics. All the well-known fossil groups are included, including microfossils and invertebrates, but an important feature is the thorough coverage of plants, vertebrates and trace fossils together with discussion of the origins of both life and the metazoans. All key related subjects are introduced, such as systematics, ecology, evolution and development, stratigraphy and their roles in understanding where life came from and how it evolved and diversified. Unique features of the book are the numerous case studies from current research that lead students to the primary literature, analytical and mathematical explanations and tools, together with associated problem sets and practical schedules for instructors and students. “..any serious student of geology who does not pick this book off the shelf will be putting themselves at a huge disadvantage. The material may be complex, but the text is extremely accessible and well organized, and the book ought to be essential reading for palaeontologists at undergraduate, postgraduate and more advanced levels—both in Britain as well as in North America.” Falcon-Lang, H., Proc. Geol. Assoc. 2010 “…this is an excellent introduction to palaeontology in general. It is well structured, accessibly written and pleasantly informative …..I would recommend this as a standard reference text to all my students without hesitation.” David Norman Geol Mag 2010 Companion website This book includes a companion website at: www.blackwellpublishing.com/paleobiology The website includes: · An ongoing database of additional Practical’s prepared by the authors · Figures from the text for downloading · Useful links for each chapter · Updates from the authors
Posted in Science

Cetacean Societies

Field Studies of Dolphins and Whales

Author: Janet Mann

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226503417

Category: Science

Page: 433

View: 8052

"Part review, part testament to extraordinary dedication, and part call to get involved, Cetacean Societies highlights the achievements of behavioral ecologists inspired by the challenges of cetaceans and committed to the exploration of a new world."—from the preface by Richard Wrangham Long-lived, slow to reproduce, and often hidden beneath the water's surface, whales and dolphins (cetaceans) have remained elusive subjects for scientific study even though they have fascinated humans for centuries. Until recently, much of what we knew about cetaceans came from commercial sources such as whalers and trainers for dolphin acts. Innovative research methods and persistent efforts, however, have begun to penetrate the depths to reveal tantalizing glimpses of the lives of these mammals in their natural habitats. Cetacean Societies presents the first comprehensive synthesis and review of these new studies. Groups of chapters focus on the history of cetacean behavioral research and methodology; state-of-the-art reviews of information on four of the most-studied species: bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, sperm whales, and humpback whales; and summaries of major topics, including group living, male and female reproductive strategies, communication, and conservation drawn from comparative research on a wide range of species. Written by some of the world's leading cetacean scientists, this landmark volume will benefit not just students of cetology but also researchers in other areas of behavioral and conservation ecology as well as anyone with a serious interest in the world of whales and dolphins. Contributors are Robin Baird, Phillip Clapham, Jenny Christal, Richard Connor, Janet Mann, Andrew Read, Randall Reeves, Amy Samuels, Peter Tyack, Linda Weilgart, Hal Whitehead, Randall S. Wells, and Richard Wrangham.
Posted in Science

Paleoimagery

The Evolution of Dinosaurs in Art

Author: Allen A. Debus,Diane E. Debus

Publisher: McFarland Publishing

ISBN: 9780786464203

Category: Art

Page: 285

View: 9627

Discusses how the scientific and cultural imagery of prehistoric animals has evolved since the nineteenth century.
Posted in Art

The Rise of Birds

225 Million Years of Evolution

Author: Sankar Chatterjee

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 142141614X

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 3811

A small set of fossilized bones discovered almost thirty years ago led paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee on a lifelong quest to understand their place in our understanding of the history of life. They were clearly the bones of something unusual, a bird-like creature that lived long, long ago in the age of dinosaurs. He called it Protoavis, and the animal that owned these bones quickly became a contender for the title of "oldest known bird." In 1997, Chatterjee published his findings in the first edition of The Rise of Birds. Since then Chatterjee and his colleagues have searched the world for more transitional bird fossils. And they have found them. This second edition of The Rise of Birds brings together a treasure trove of fossils that tell us far more about the evolution of birds than we once dreamed possible. With no blind allegiance to what he once thought he knew, Chatterjee devours the new evidence and lays out the most compelling version of the birth and evolution of the avian form ever attempted. He takes us from Texas to Spain, China, Mongolia, Madagascar, Australia, Antarctica, and Argentina. He shows how, in the "Cretaceous Pompeii" of China, he was able to reconstruct the origin and evolution of flight of early birds from the feathered dinosaurs that lay among thousands of other amazing fossils. Chatterjee takes us to where long-hidden bird fossils dwell. His compelling, occasionally controversial, revelations—accompanied by spectacular illustrations—are a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in the evolution of "the feathered dinosaurs," from vertebrate paleontologists and ornithologists to naturalists and birders. -- Alan Feduccia, University of North Carolina
Posted in Science

Graptolite Paleobiology

Author: Dr. Jörg Maletz

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118515706

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 8677

The graptolites constitute one of the geologically most useful taxonomic groups of fossils for dating rock successions, understanding paleobiogeography and reconstructing plate tectonic configurations in the Lower Palaeozoic. Graptolites were largely planktic, marine organisms, and as one of the first groups that explored the expanses of the world’s oceans are vital for understanding Palaeozoic ecology. They are the best and often the only fossil group for dating Lower Palaeozoic rock successions precisely. Thousands of taxa have been described from all over the planet and are used for a wide variety of geological and palaeontological (biological) research topics. The recent recognition of the modern pterobranch Rhabdopleura as a living benthic graptolite enables a much better understanding and interpretation of the fossil Graptolithina. In the decades since the latest edition of the Graptolite Treatise, the enormous increase of knowledge on this group of organisms has never been synthesised in a compelling and coherent way, and information is scattered in scientific publications and difficult to sort through. This volume provides an up-to-date insight into research on graptolites. Such research has advanced considerably with the use of new methods of investigation and documentation. SEM investigation and research on ultrastructure of the tubaria has made it possible to compare extant and extinct taxa in much more detail. Cladistic interpretation of graptolite taxonomy and evolution has advanced the understanding of this group of organisms considerably in the last two decades, and has highlighted their importance in our understanding of evolutionary processes. This book will show graptolites, including their modern, living relatives, in a quite new and fascinating light, and will demonstrate the impact that the group has had on the evolution of the modern marine ecosystem. This book is aimed not only at earth scientists but also at biologists, ecologists and oceanographers. It is a readable and comprehensible volume for students at the MSc level, while remaining accessible to undergraduates and non-specialists seeking up-to-date information about this fascinating topic in palaeobiology.
Posted in Science

Birds of Stone

Chinese Avian Fossils from the Age of Dinosaurs

Author: Luis M. Chiappe,Meng Qingjin

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421420252

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 6928

When fossils of birds from China’s Jehol region first appeared in scientific circles, the world took notice. These Mesozoic masterpieces are between 120 and 131 million years old and reveal incredible details that capture the diversity of ancient bird life. Paleontologists all over the world began to collaborate with Chinese colleagues as new and wondrous fossil-related discoveries became regular events. The pages of National Geographic and major scientific journals described the intricate views of feathers as well as food still visible in the guts of these ancient birds. Now, for the first time, a sweeping collection of the most interesting of Jehol’s avian fossils is on display in this beautiful book. Birds of Stone makes visible the unexpected avian diversity that blanketed the earth just a short time (geologically speaking) after a dinosaur lineage gave rise to the first birds. Our visual journey through these fossils is guided by Luis M. Chiappe, a world expert on early birds, and Meng Qingjin, a leading figure in China's natural history museum community. Together, they help us understand the "meaning" of each fossil by providing straightforward narratives that accompany the full-page photographs of the Jehol discoveries. Anyone interested in the history of life—from paleontologists to inquisitive birders—will find Birds of Stone an irresistible feast for the eyes and mind.
Posted in Science

The Sauropod Dinosaurs

Life in the Age of Giants

Author: Mark Hallett,Mathew J. Wedel

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421420287

Category: Nature

Page: 336

View: 2983

From The Land Before Time to Jurassic Park, images of fantastically large, long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs have captured our imaginations. These are the sauropods: centerpieces of museums and gentle giants of the distant past. Imagine what it must have been like to crest a hill and see in the valley below not just one sauropod, but an entire herd, feeding its way across the landscape. The most massive land animals ever to have lived, sauropods roamed widely across the continents through most of the "Age of Dinosaurs" from about 220 to 65 million years ago. They reached incredible sizes, giving rise to the question: Why were they so big? Early guesses suggested that they gained protection from predators by virtue of their size, which also allowed them to reach the tops of trees in order to eat leaves and conifer needles. More recent hypotheses hold that they needed a long and complicated digestive tract due to their consumption of low-nutrient food sources: size was an offshoot of that need. Whatever the explanation, there is little doubt that natural selection produced something extraordinary when the Sauropoda diversified into a wide variety of species. This book combines majestic artwork and the best of paleontological research to resurrect the lives of sauropods. The Sauropod Dinosaurs shows how these amazing creatures raised and defended their young, traveled in groups, and interacted with the rich diversity of Mesozoic plants and animals. Beautiful enough to sit on the coffee table, the book also serves as the best reference available on these bygone giants. Anyone with a passion for dinosaurs or prehistoric life will cherish this once-in-a-generation masterpiece. The book includes the following features:· Over 200 full-color illustrations· More than 100 color photographs from museums, field sites, and collections around the world· Thoughtfully placed drawings and charts· Clearly written text reviewed by major sauropod researchers· Descriptions of the latest sauropod concepts and discoveries· A field guide to major groups of sauropods· Detailed skeletal reconstructions and anatomical restorations· A comprehensive glossary
Posted in Nature

Basic Palaeontology

Author: Michael J. Benton,D. A. T. Harper

Publisher: Prentice Hall

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 342

View: 6935

Palaeontology, a fundamental topic in geology and evolutionary biology, has undergone exciting and rapid change in recent years. Contemporary debates on mass extinctions and the origin of life have had profound implications for our understanding of how life evolved. Basic Palaeontology is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to palaeontology. With in-depth analysis of basic principles and all the main fossil groups, this fully illustrated text presents new and exciting research on the origin and history of life. The text focuses on traditional topics such as marine invertebrate palaeontology and biostratigraphy, but also provides unique and unparalleled taxonomic coverage from microfossils to plants and vertebrates. Key Features include: - Covers important recent developments in macroevolution and mass extinctions - A strong focus on a statistical and quantitative approach, emphasising the vital importance of both applications and theory - Full coverage of the evolution of vertebrates and plants - Over 600 highly detailed illustrations - An accessible format with extensive boxed material and bullet points Basic Palaeontology is essential reading for undergraduate students of geology, environmental science and biology, taking courses in palaeontology, palaeobiology, palaeoecology or evolution, and will also be of interest to all those who have an interest in the origin of life and human evolution. Michael J Benton is a Reader in the Department of Geology, University of Bristol, UK. David A T Harper is a Lecturer in Geology at the Department of Geology, University College Galway, Ireland.
Posted in Science

Turtles as Hopeful Monsters

Origins and Evolution

Author: Olivier Rieppel

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253025079

Category: Science

Page: 216

View: 4201

Where do turtles hail from? Why and how did they acquire shells? These questions have spurred heated debate and intense research for more than two hundred years. Brilliantly weaving evidence from the latest paleontological discoveries with an accessible, incisive look at different theories of biological evolution and their proponents, Turtles as Hopeful Monsters tells the fascinating evolutionary story of the shelled reptiles. Paleontologist Olivier Rieppel traces the evolution of turtles from over 220 million years ago, examining closely the relationship of turtles to other reptiles and charting the development of the shell. Turtle issues fuel a debate between proponents of gradual evolutionary change and authors favoring change through bursts and leaps of macromutation. The first book-length popular history of its type, this indispensable resource is an engaging read for all those fascinated by this ubiquitous and uniquely shaped reptile.
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A Triceratops Hunt in Pioneer Wyoming

The Journals of Barnum Brown & J.P. Sams : the University of Kansas Expedition of 1895

Author: Barnum Brown,James Polk Sams,Michael F. Kohl,Larry D. Martin,Paul Brinkman

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780931271762

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 188

View: 1947

One June Morning in 1895, five men made their final goodbyes on a platform in Lawrence, Kansas. The men--a politician, a professor, two students, and an interested citizen--were leaving town for the summer. They would live among the grasslands, badlands, dry, white-bottomed creek beds and Cretaceous rocks of eastern Wyoming, which they hoped to find rich in dinosaur bones. Two of the students--Barnum Brown, and Elmer Riggs--would go on to lead two of the most important American careers in dinosaur paleontology of the twentieth century. Their professor, Samuel Wendell Williston, was just reaching his prime. For his new museum at the university, Williston wanted the skull of a Triceratops--the enormous-headed, three-horned, rhino-like dinosaur of the Cretaceous Period, the first of which had been described for science only six years before. What would come to be called the Kansas University Expedition of 1895 would succeed in finding just such a skull. Two accounts of the expedition survive, and both are offered here. Neither is heavy in scientific obscurities. Both offer fascinating snapshots of the West at a time when it was changing fast. The first journal was kept by Brown on his wagon journey from Kansas to Wyoming. The second and far more extensive journal was kept by James Polk Sams, a middle aged Kansas farmer, former probate judge, and member of the Board of Regents of the University of Kansas. Sams was pious, humorous, teetotaling, curious and kind. The editors have put the diaries in context with footnotes.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang, China

The Flowering of Early Animal Life

Author: Hou Xian-Guang,Richard J. Aldridge,Cong Pei-Yun,David J. Siveter,Derek J. Siveter,Sarah E. Gabbott,Ma Xiao-Ya,Mark A. Purnell,Mark Williams

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118896386

Category: Science

Page: 328

View: 2092

The celebrated lower Cambrian Chengjiang biota of Yunnan Province, China, represents one of the most significant ever paleontological discoveries. Deposits of ancient mudstone, about 520 million years old, have yielded a spectacular variety of exquisitely preserved fossils that record the early diversification of animal life. Since the discovery of the first specimens in 1984, many thousands of fossils have been collected, exceptionally preserving not just the shells and carapaces of the animals, but also their soft tissues in fine detail. This special preservation has produced fossils of rare beauty; they are also of outstanding scientific importance as sources of evidence about the origins of animal groups that have sustained global biodiversity to the present day. Much of the scientific documentation of the Chengjiang biota is in Chinese, and the first edition of this book was the first in English to provide fossil enthusiasts with a comprehensive overview of the fauna. The second edition has been fully updated and includes a new chapter on other exceptionally preserved fossils of Cambrian age, exciting new fossil finds from Chengjiang, and a phylogenetic framework for the biota. Displaying some 250 figures of marvelous specimens, this book presents to professional and amateur paleontologists, and all those fascinated by evolutionary biology, the aesthetic and scientific quality of the Chengjiang fossils.
Posted in Science