Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record / Edition 1

Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record / Edition 1

by Michael Benton, David A. T. Harper
     
 

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.

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Overview

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.

This book will be essential reading for undergraduates studying paleontology or Paleobiology in earth or biological science degree courses worldwide.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781405141574
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
02/09/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
608
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.80(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

1 Paleontology as a science 1

2 Fossils in time and space 22

3 Taphonomy and the quality of the fossil record 57

4 Paleoecology and paleoclimates 79

5 Macroevolution and the tree of life 116

6 Fossil form and function 137

7 Mass extinctions and biodiversity loss 162

8 The origin of life 183

9 Protists 204

10 Origin of the metazoans 234

11 The basal metazoans: sponges and corals 260

12 Spiralians 1: lophophorates 297

13 Spiralians 2: mollusks 326

14 Ecdysozoa: arthropods 361

15 Deuterostomes: echinoderms and hemichordates 389

16 Fishes and basal tetrapods 427

17 Dinosaurs and mammals 453

18 Fossil plants 479

19 Trace fossils 509

20 Diversification of life 533

Glossary 554

App. 1 Stratigraphic chart 573

App. 2 Paleogeographic maps 575

Index 576

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