the walking whales from land to water in eight million years

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The Walking Whales

Author : J. G. M. "Hans" Thewissen
ISBN : 9780520959415
Genre : Science
File Size : 72. 67 MB
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Hans Thewissen, a leading researcher in the field of whale paleontology and anatomy, gives a sweeping first-person account of the discoveries that brought to light the early fossil record of whales. As evidenced in the record, whales evolved from herbivorous forest-dwelling ancestors that resembled tiny deer to carnivorous monsters stalking lakes and rivers and to serpentlike denizens of the coast. Thewissen reports on his discoveries in the wilds of India and Pakistan, weaving a narrative that reveals the day-to-day adventures of fossil collection, enriching it with local flavors from South Asian culture and society. The reader senses the excitement of the digs as well as the rigors faced by scientific researchers, for whom each new insight gives rise to even more questions, and for whom at times the logistics of just staying alive may trump all science. In his search for an understanding of how modern whales live their lives, Thewissen also journeys to Japan and Alaska to study whales and wild dolphins. He finds answers to his questions about fossils by studying the anatomy of otters and porpoises and examining whale embryos under the microscope. In the book's final chapter, Thewissen argues for approaching whale evolution with the most powerful tools we have and for combining all the fields of science in pursuit of knowledge.

The Walking Whales

Author : J. G. M. Thewissen
ISBN : 9780520277069
Genre : Nature
File Size : 23. 59 MB
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"A ... first-person account of the discoveries that brought to light the early fossil record of whales. As evidenced in the record, whales evolved from herbivorous forest-dwelling ancestors that resembled tiny deer to carnivorous monsters stalking lakes and rivers and to serpentlike denizens of the coast. Thewissen reports on his discoveries in the wilds of India and Pakistan, weaving a narrative that reveals the day-to-day adventures of fossil collection, enriching it with local flavors from South Asian culture and society"--Dust jacket flap.

Return To The Sea

Author : Annalisa Berta
ISBN : 9780520270572
Genre : Science
File Size : 88. 9 MB
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"Over the past 55 million years, mammals have returned to the sea many times and in many places. Annalisa Berta leads readers through this parade of transitions, highlighting how marine mammals have met the evolutionary challenge of living an aquatic life in a variety of ways. Return to the Sea weaves ecology, anatomy, and evolution into an ideal entry point for anyone interested in knowing more about one of the most fascinating phenomena in macroevolution."--Nicholas D. Pyenson, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution "Berta is to be congratulated. She drew on her vast knowledge of marine mammals and their evolution to write an excellent, readable introduction to the group, including the latest discoveries."--J.G.M. Thewissen, Northeast Ohio Medical University "This wide-ranging and up-to-date survey of marine mammal biology and evolution is a fine introduction to the subject for undergraduates and anyone interested in mammals of the sea."--Daryl P. Domning, Howard University

When The Invasion Of Land Failed

Author : George R. McGhee, Jr.
ISBN : 9780231536363
Genre : Science
File Size : 51. 23 MB
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The invasion of land by ocean-dwelling plants and animals was one of the most revolutionary events in the evolution of life on Earth, yet the animal invasion almost failed -- twice -- because of the twin mass extinctions of the Late Devonian Epoch. Some 359 to 375 million years ago, these catastrophic events dealt our ancestors a blow that almost drove them back into the sea. If those extinctions had been just a bit more severe, spiders and insects might have become the ecologically dominant forms of animal life on land. This book examines the profound evolutionary consequences of the Late Devonian extinctions, which shaped the composition of the modern terrestrial ecosystem. Only one group of four-limbed vertebrates now live on Earth while other tetrapod-like fishes are extinct. This gap is why the idea of "fish with feet" seems so peculiar yet these animals were once a vital part of our world.

Sperm Whales

Author : Hal Whitehead
ISBN : 0226895181
Genre : Nature
File Size : 88. 48 MB
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Famed in story as "the great leviathans," sperm whales are truly creatures of extremes. Giants among all whales, they also have the largest brains of any creature on Earth. Males can reach a length of sixty-two feet and can weigh upwards of fifty tons. With this book, Hal Whitehead gives us a clearer picture of the ecology and social life of sperm whales than we have ever had before. Based on almost two decades of field research, Whitehead describes their biology, behavior, and habitat; how they organize their societies; and how their complex lifestyles may have evolved in this unique environment. Among the many fascinating topics he explores is the crucial role that culture plays in the life of the sperm whale, and he traces the consequences of this argument for both evolution and conservation. Finally, drawing on these findings, Whitehead builds a general model of how the ocean environment influences social behavior and cultural evolution among mammals as well as other animals. The definitive portrait of a provocative creature, Sperm Whales will interest animal behaviorists, conservationists, ecologists, and evolutionary biologists as well as marine mammalogists.

The Bones Of Grace

Author : Tahmima Anam
ISBN : 9780062199317
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 59. 98 MB
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From the award-winning, nationally bestselling author of A Golden Age and The Good Muslim comes a lyrical, deeply moving modern love story about belonging, migration, tragedy, survival, and the mysteries of origins. On the eve of her departure to find the bones of the walking whale—the fossil that provides a missing link in our evolution—Zubaida Haque falls in love with Elijah Strong, a man she meets in a darkened concert hall in Boston. Their connection is immediate and intense, despite their differences: Elijah belongs to a prototypical American family; Zubaida is the adopted daughter of a wealthy Bangladeshi family in Dhaka. When a twist of fate sends her back to her hometown, the inevitable force of society compels her to take a very different path: she marries her childhood best friend and settles into a traditional Bangladeshi life. While her family is pleased by her obedience, Zubaida seethes with discontent. Desperate to finally free herself from her familial constraints, she moves to Chittagong to work on a documentary film about the infamous beaches where ships are destroyed, and their remains salvaged by locals who depend on the goods for their survival. Among them is Anwar, a shipbreaker whose story holds a key that will unlock the mysteries of Zubaida’s past—and the possibilities of a new life. As she witnesses a ship being torn down to its bones, this woman torn between the social mores of her two homes—Bangladesh and America—will be forced to strip away the vestiges of her own life . . . and make a choice from which she can never turn back.

Flying Dinosaurs

Author : John Pickrell
ISBN : 9781742241760
Genre : Nature
File Size : 64. 53 MB
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Dinosaurs didn’t die out when an asteroid hit Earth 66 million years ago. Get ready to unthink what you thought you knew and journey into the deep, dark depths of the Jurassic. The discovery of the first feathered dinosaur in China in 1996 sent shockwaves through the palaeontological world. Were the feathers part of a complex mating ritual, or a stepping stone in the evolution of flight? And just how closely related T. rex to a chicken Award-winning journalist John Pickrell reveals how dinosaurs developed flight and became the birds in our backyards. He delves into the latest discoveries in China, the US, Europe and uncovers a thriving black market in fossils and infighting between dinosaur hunters, plus the controversial plan to use a chicken to bring dinosaurs back from the dead.

Gaining Ground Second Edition

Author : Jennifer A. Clack
ISBN : 9780253005373
Genre : Science
File Size : 75. 73 MB
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Around 370 million years ago, a distant relative of a modern lungfish began a most extraordinary adventure—emerging from the water and laying claim to the land. Over the next 70 million years, this tentative beachhead had developed into a worldwide colonization by ever-increasing varieties of four-limbed creatures known as tetrapods, the ancestors of all vertebrate life on land. This new edition of Jennifer A. Clack's groundbreaking book tells the complex story of their emergence and evolution. Beginning with their closest relatives, the lobe-fin fishes such as lungfishes and coelacanths, Clack defines what a tetrapod is, describes their anatomy, and explains how they are related to other vertebrates. She looks at the Devonian environment in which they evolved, describes the known and newly discovered species, and explores the order and timing of anatomical changes that occurred during the fish-to-tetrapod transition.

Cetacean Paleobiology

Author : Felix G. Marx
ISBN : 9781118561270
Genre : Science
File Size : 64. 46 MB
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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.

The Rise Of Marine Mammals

Author : Annalisa Berta
ISBN : 9781421423258
Genre : Science
File Size : 36. 43 MB
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Setting the stage : rocks, fossils and evolution -- The oldest marine mammals : whales and sea cows -- Later diverging whales : Neoceti -- Aquatic carnivores : pinnipeds and a bear-like carnivoran -- Crown sirenians and their desmostylian relatives -- Aquatic sloths and recent occupants of the sea-sea otters and polar bears -- Diversity changes through time : the influence of climate change and humans

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