Genetics, Paleontology, and Macroevolution / Edition 2

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"An engaging area of biology for more then a century, the study of macroevolution continues to offer profound insight into our understanding of the tempo of evolution and the evolution of biological diversity. In seeking to unravel the patterns and processes that regulate large-scale evolutionary change, the study of macroevolution asks: What regulates biological diversity and its historical development? Can it be explained by natural selection alone? Has geologic history regulated the tempo of diversification? The answers to such questions lie in many disciplines including genetics, paleontology, and geology." This expanded and updated second edition offers a comprehensive look at macroevolution and its underpinnings, with a primary emphasis on animal evolution. From a neo-Darwinian point of view, it integrates evolutionary processes at all levels to explain the diversity of animal life. It examines a wide range of topics including genetics and speciation, development and evolution, the constructional and functional aspects of form, fossil lineages, and systematics. This book also takes a hard look at the Cambrian explosion. This new edition possesses all of the comprehensiveness of the first edition, yet ushers it into the age of molecular approaches to evolution and development. It also integrated important recent contributions made to our understanding of the early evolution of animal life. Researchers and graduate students will find this insightful book a most comprehensive and up-to-date examination of macroevolution.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Levinton (ecology and evolution, State U. of New York at Stony Brook) presents the second edition of this volume exploring macroevolution, with a main emphasis on animal evolution. Coverage includes genetics and speciation, development and evolution, the constructional and functional aspects of form, fossil lineages, and systematics. In the second edition, the chapter on genetic variation has been eliminated and relevant descriptions of within-population variation studies moved to other chapters where necessary. The chapter on development and evolution has been extensively revised and expanded, and a new chapter added on the Cambrian Explosion. Intended for researchers and graduate students. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
"What regulates biological diversity and its historical development? Can it be explained by natural selection alone? Has geological history regulated the tempo of diversification? There are some of the questions the author asks in this very interesting book and provides reasonable answers to a large entent, in this highly complex and difficult field." Tad Murty, Marine Geodesy

"...a comprehensive and insightful volume..." Quaternary Research

"Levinton's comprehensive summary of macroevolutionary topics has adapted to incorporate many of the changes the field has undergone while still retaining the flavor of the first edition of the text.... With an extensive bibliography and far-ranging discussion of topics, this book is a good reference source for anyone concerned with the evolutionary record. Levinton has produced an impressive volume that provides an interesting and insightful perspective on macro-evolution.... It integrates information from genetics, whole-organism biology, paleontology, and stratigraphy.... Genetics, Paleontology, and Macroevolution serves as an excellent starting point for discussion in a graduate seminar course. It is important to consider Levinton's perspective on evolutionary history and processes..." Palaios

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521005500
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 634
  • Product dimensions: 6.97 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
1 Macroevolution: The Problem and the Field 1
2 Genealogy, Systematics and Macroevolution 32
3 Genetics, Speciation, and Transspecific Evolution 81
4 Development and Evolution 157
5 The Constructional and Functional Aspects of Form 227
6 Patterns of Morphological Change in Fossil Lineages 285
7 Patterns of Diversity, Origination, and Extinction 367
8 A Cambrian Explosion? 443
9 Coda: Ten Theses 495
Glossary of Macroevolution 511
References 519
Author Index 587
Subject Index 605
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