turtles as hopeful monsters origins and evolution life of the past

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Turtles As Hopeful Monsters

Author : Olivier Rieppel
ISBN : 9780253025074
Genre : Science
File Size : 72. 55 MB
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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.

Terrestrial Conservation Lagerstatten

Author : Nicholas Fraser
ISBN : 1780460147
Genre : Science
File Size : 68. 76 MB
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Evolutionary biologists have long been concerned by the incompleteness of the fossil record. Although our knowledge of the diversity of life in 'deep time' has improved, many lineages of extant animals and plants still have only sparse fossil documentation. Even groups with 'hard parts' that render them suitable for fossilization often only have a limited record. Thus, although the fossil record is viewed as critical to the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of life, many biologists question its utility. Fortunately, discoveries of occurrences of exceptionally preserved fossils, known as conservation Lagerstatten (Konservat-Lagerstatten), shed much light on the past diversity of life. This book reviews selected conservation Lagerstatten for terrestrial animals and plants throughout the Phanerozoic worldwide, and includes sites in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. The included essays demonstrate the enormous progress made in recent years, both in documenting the biodiversity of such extraordinary fossil deposits and also in elucidating the geological conditions for and biogeochemical processes behind the formation of conservation Lagerstatten. The book's contributions have been written by eminent paleontologists who have enlisted additional expertise to make each chapter as comprehensive as possible. The volume is edited by Nicholas C. Fraser of the National Museum of Scotland and Hans-Dieter Sues of the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. [Subject: Paleontology]

Encyclopedia Of Turtles

Author : Peter Charles Howard Pritchard
ISBN : 0876669186
Genre : Pets
File Size : 23. 26 MB
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Discusses and depicts the many varities of turtles found throughout the world, including land tortoises, snapping turtles, sea turtles and many others

Rhinoceros Giants

Author : Donald R. Prothero
ISBN : 9780253008190
Genre : Nature
File Size : 75. 22 MB
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A book for everyone fascinated by the huge beasts that once roamed the earth, Rhinoceros Giants: The Paleobiology of the Indricotheres introduces a prime candidate for the largest land mammal that ever lived--the giant hornless rhinoceros, Indricotherium. These massive animals lived in Asia and Eurasia for more than 14 million years, about 37 to 23 million years ago. They had skulls 2 metres / 6 feet long, stood over 7 meters / 22 feet high at the shoulder, and were nearly twice as heavy as the largest elephant ever recorded, tipping the scales at 20,000 kg / 44,100 pounds. Fortunately, the big brutes were vegetarians, although they must have made predators think twice before trying to bring them down. In this book for lovers of ancient creatures great and small, Donald R. Prothero tells their story, from their discovery by palaeontologists just a century ago to the latest research on how they lived and died, with some interesting side trips along the way.

Biological Individuality

Author : Scott Lidgard
ISBN : 9780226446592
Genre : Science
File Size : 57. 83 MB
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Individuals are things that everybody knows—or thinks they do. Yet even scholars who practice or analyze the biological sciences often cannot agree on what an individual is and why. One reason for this disagreement is that the many important biological individuality concepts serve very different purposes—defining, classifying, or explaining living structure, function, interaction, persistence, or evolution. Indeed, as the contributors to Biological Individuality reveal, nature is too messy for simple definitions of this concept, organisms too quirky in the diverse ways they reproduce, function, and interact, and human ideas about individuality too fraught with philosophical and historical meaning. Bringing together biologists, historians, and philosophers, this book provides a multifaceted exploration of biological individuality that identifies leading and less familiar perceptions of individuality both past and present, what they are good for, and in what contexts. Biological practice and theory recognize individuals at myriad levels of organization, from genes to organisms to symbiotic systems. We depend on these notions of individuality to address theoretical questions about multilevel natural selection and Darwinian fitness; to illuminate empirical questions about development, function, and ecology; to ground philosophical questions about the nature of organisms and causation; and to probe historical and cultural circumstances that resonate with parallel questions about the nature of society. Charting an interdisciplinary research agenda that broadens the frameworks in which biological individuality is discussed, this book makes clear that in the realm of the individual, there is not and should not be a direct path from biological paradigms based on model organisms through to philosophical generalization and historical reification.

Pennsylvanian Fossils Of North Texas

Author : Mark McKinzie
ISBN : 9781105682148
Genre :
File Size : 54. 20 MB
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Cetacean Paleobiology

Author : Felix G. Marx
ISBN : 9781118561270
Genre : Science
File Size : 81. 33 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 Panda S Thumb More Reflections In Natural History

Author : Stephen Jay Gould
ISBN : 039334083X
Genre : Science
File Size : 66. 61 MB
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"Gould is a natural writer; he has something to say and the inclination and skill with which to say it." —P. B. Medawar, New York Review of Books With sales of well over one million copies in North America alone, the commercial success of Gould's books now matches their critical acclaim. The Panda's Thumb will introduce a new generation of readers to this unique writer, who has taken the art of the scientific essay to new heights. Were dinosaurs really dumber than lizards? Why, after all, are roughly the same number of men and women born into the world? What led the famous Dr. Down to his theory of mongolism, and its racist residue? What do the panda's magical "thumb" and the sea turtle's perilous migration tell us about imperfections that prove the evolutionary rule? The wonders and mysteries of evolutionary biology are elegantly explored in these and other essays by the celebrated natural history writer Stephen Jay Gould.

Cambrian Ocean World

Author : John Foster
ISBN : 9780253011886
Genre : Science
File Size : 60. 32 MB
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This volume, aimed at the general reader, presents life and times of the amazing animals that inhabited Earth more than 500 million years ago. The Cambrian Period was a critical time in Earth’s history. During this immense span of time nearly every modern group of animals appeared. Although life had been around for more than 2 million millennia, Cambrian rocks preserve the record of the first appearance of complex animals with eyes, protective skeletons, antennae, and complex ecologies. Grazing, predation, and multi-tiered ecosystems with animals living in, on, or above the sea floor became common. The cascade of interaction led to an ever-increasing diversification of animal body types. By the end of the period, the ancestors of sponges, corals, jellyfish, worms, mollusks, brachiopods, arthropods, echinoderms, and vertebrates were all in place. The evidence of this Cambrian "explosion" is preserved in rocks all over the world, including North America, where the seemingly strange animals of the period are preserved in exquisite detail in deposits such as the Burgess Shale in British Columbia. Cambrian Ocean World tells the story of what is, for us, the most important period in our planet’s long history.

Oceans Of Kansas Second Edition

Author : Michael J. Everhart
ISBN : 9780253027153
Genre : Science
File Size : 43. 1 MB
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Revised, updated, and expanded with the latest interpretations and fossil discoveries, the second edition of Oceans of Kansas adds new twists to the fascinating story of the vast inland sea that engulfed central North America during the Age of Dinosaurs. Giant sharks, marine reptiles called mosasaurs, pteranodons, and birds with teeth all flourished in and around these shallow waters. Their abundant and well-preserved remains were sources of great excitement in the scientific community when first discovered in the 1860s and continue to yield exciting discoveries 150 years later. Michael J. Everhart vividly captures the history of these startling finds over the decades and re-creates in unforgettable detail these animals from our distant past and the world in which they lived—above, within, and on the shores of America’s ancient inland sea.

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