Morphological Change in Quaternary Mammals of North America

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This book examines case studies of North American Quaternary mammalian evolution within the larger domain of modern evolutionary theory. It presents previously unpublished studies of a variety of taxa xenarthrans, rodents, carnivores, ungulates examined over several temporal scales, from a few thousand years during the Holocene to millions of years of late Pliocene and Pleistocene time. Different organizational levels are represented, from mosaic population variation, to a synopsis of Quaternary evolution of an entire order Rodentia. In addition to specific case histories, the book includes purely theoretical and methodological contributions, for example, on the statistical recognition of stasis in the fossil record, new ways to calculate evolutionary rates, and the use of digital image analysis in the study of dental ontogeny. Perhaps the most important aspect of the studies reported in this book is that they span the time between the ecological moment and deep time. Modern taxa can be traced back into the fossil record, and variation among extant taxa can be used as a control against which variation in the extinct ones can be understood.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...demonstrates the contribution that studies of Quaternary mammals can make to general evolutionary theory. Several of the contributions will provoke argument, and all will stimulate discussion and further work." Ernest L. Lundelius Jr., Science
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521020817
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Pages: 428
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
1 Quaternary mammals and evolutionary theory: introductory remarks and historical perspective 1
2 A method for recognizing morphological stasis 13
3 Mosaic evolution at the population level in Microtus pennsylvanicus 24
4 Variogram analysis of paleontological data 60
5 Morphological change in Quaternary mammals: a role for species interactions? 71
6 Rates of evolution in Plio-Pleistocene mammals: six case studies 84
7 Patterns of dental variation and evolution in prairie dogs, genus Cynomys 107
8 Quantitative and qualitative evolution in the giant armadillo Holmesina Edentata: Pampatheriidae in Florida 134
9 Evolution of mammoths and moose: the Holarctic perspective 178
10 Evolution of hypsodonty and enamel structure in Plio-Pleistocene rodents 205
11 Patterns of variation and speciation in Quaternary rodents 226
12 Decrease in body size of white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus during the late Holocene in South Carolina and Georgia 281
13 Short-term fluctuations in small mammals of the late Pleistocene from eastern Washington 299
14 Size change in North American Quaternary jaguars 343
15 Ontogenetic change of Ondatra zibethicus Arvicolidae, Rodentia cheek teeth analyzed by digital image processing 373
16 Morphological change in woodrat Rodentia: Cricetidae molars 392
Index 411
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