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 : 82. 57 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 : 47. 44 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 : 67. 27 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 : 9780231160575
Genre : Science
File Size : 70. 81 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 : 72. 8 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.

Gaining Ground Second Edition

Author : Jennifer A. Clack
ISBN : 9780253005373
Genre : Science
File Size : 50. 12 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.

Adam And The Genome

Author : Scot McKnight
ISBN : 9781493406746
Genre : Religion
File Size : 86. 16 MB
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Genomic science indicates that humans descend not from an individual pair but from a large population. What does this mean for the basic claim of many Christians: that humans descend from Adam and Eve? Leading evangelical geneticist Dennis Venema and popular New Testament scholar Scot McKnight combine their expertise to offer informed guidance and answers to questions pertaining to evolution, genomic science, and the historical Adam. Some of the questions they explore include: - Is there credible evidence for evolution? - Do we descend from a population or are we the offspring of Adam and Eve? - Does taking the Bible seriously mean rejecting recent genomic science? - How do Genesis's creation stories reflect their ancient Near Eastern context, and how did Judaism understand the Adam and Eve of Genesis? - Doesn't Paul's use of Adam in the New Testament prove that Adam was a historical individual? The authors address up-to-date genomics data with expert commentary from both genetic and theological perspectives, showing that genome research and Scripture are not irreconcilable. Foreword by Tremper Longman III and afterword by Daniel Harrell.

Cetacean Paleobiology

Author : Felix G. Marx
ISBN : 9781118561270
Genre : Science
File Size : 80. 16 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.

At The Water S Edge

Author : Carl Zimmer
ISBN : 9780684856230
Genre : Science
File Size : 67. 70 MB
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AT THE WATER'S EDGE is a beautifully-written, accessible account of the greatest evolutionary mystery of all. We all know about evolution but it still seems absurd that our ancestors were fish. How did we ever get ashore? How did we make legs, arms and our extremely complex intelligence? Darwin's natural selection was the key to solving generation-to-generation evolution - microevolution - but it could only point us to an explanation still to come of the engines of macroevolution, the transformation of body shapes across millions of years. Carl Zimmer takes the reader on a fascinating quest to understand their beginnings, from pre-Darwinian scientists struggling to interpret early fossil discoveries to latter day geneticists, from whale graveyards in the deserts of Egypt to an amazing find in a forgotten specimen drawer at Oxford University. Including all the latest scientific research, AT THE WATER'S EDGE reveals how macroevolution works and, in doing so, provides a comprehensive, lucid and authoritative answer to the mystery of how nature actually made itself.

Fossil Mammals Of Asia

Author : Xiaoming Wang
ISBN : 9780231520829
Genre : Science
File Size : 81. 26 MB
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The first textbook devoted to the late Cenozoic (Neogene) mammalian biostratigraphy and geochronology of Asia, this volume deploys cutting edge biostratigraphical and geochemical dating methods to map the emergence of mammals across the continent. Written by specialists working in a variety of Asian regions, it uses data from many basins with spectacular fossil records to establish a groundbreaking geochronologic framework for land mammal evolution. Asia’s violent tectonic history has resulted in some of the world’s most varied topography, and its high mountain ranges and intense monsoon climates have spawned widely diverse environments over time. These geologic conditions profoundly influenced the evolution of Asian mammals and their migration into Europe, Africa, and North America. Focusing on amazing new fossil finds that have redefined Asia’s role in mammal evolution, this textbook synthesizes information from a range of field studies on Asian mammals and biostratigraphy, helping to trace the histories and movements of extinct and extant mammals from various major groups and all northern continents, and providing geologists from all disciplines with a richer understanding of a variety of Asia’s terrains.

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