Vertebrate Life / Edition 9

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For courses in Vertebrate Zoology, Vertebrate Biology Function, and Paleontology

Widely praised for its comprehensive coverage and exceptionally clear writing style, this best-selling text explores how the anatomy, physiology, ecology, and behavior of animals interact to produce organisms that function effectively in their environments and how lineages of organisms change through evolutionary time. The Ninth Edition features dozens of new figures and photos, updated information from molecular data and evolutionary development, and expanded discussions on global climate change, extinction, and conservation.

Verterbrate Life is the only book that integrates the ecology, behavior, morphology, and physiology of vertebrates in a phylogenetic context. It focuses on how animals work and the consequences--in ecological and evolutionary time--of working one way versus another.

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Editorial Reviews

An intermediate-level biology text, covering vertebrate diversity and evolution, aquatic vertebrates, and terrestrial ectotherms and endotherms and their evolutionary history and characteristics, using a cladistic perspective emphasizing derived characters of vertebrates. This fourth edition contains expanded material on conservation, especially the application of basic biological information in programs of captive husbandry and management of endangered species. Includes b&w and color photos and diagrams. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321773364
  • Publisher: Benjamin Cummings
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 9
  • Pages: 720
  • Sales rank: 181,726
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

F. Harvey Pough began his biological career at the age of fourteen when he and his sister studied the growth and movements of a population of eastern painted turtles in Rhode Island. His research now focuses on organismal biology, blending physiology, morphology, behavior, and ecology in an evolutionary perspective. Undergraduate students regularly participate in his research, and are coauthors of many of his publications. He especially enjoys teaching undergraduates and has taught courses in vertebrate zoology, functional ecology, herpetology, environmental physiology, and the organismal biology of humans. Currently he is teaching a year-long introductory biology course. He has published more than a hundred papers reporting the results of field and laboratory studies of turtles, snakes, lizards, frogs, and tuatara that have taken him to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Caribbean as well as most parts of the United States. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Past-President of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
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Table of Contents


1. The Diversity, Classification, and Evolution of Vertebrates

2. Vertebrate Relationships and Basic Structure

3. Early Vertebrates: Jawless Vertebrates and the Origin of Jawed Vertebrates


4. Living in Water

5. Radiation of the Chondrichthyes

6. Dominating Life in Water: The Major Radiation of Fishes

7. Geography and Ecology of the Paleozoic Era

8. Living on Land

9. Origin and Radiation of Tetrapods

10. Salamanders, Anurans, and Caecilians


11. Synapsids and Sauropsids: Two Approaches to Terrestrial Life

12. Turtles

13. The Lepidosaurs: Tuatara, Lizards, and Snakes

14. Ectothermy: A Low-Cost Approach to Life

15. Geography and Ecology of the Mesozoic Era

16. Mesozoic Diapsids: Dinosaurs, Crocodilians, Birds, and Others

17. Avian Specializations


18. The Synapsida and the Evolution of Mammals

19. Geography and Ecology of the Cenozoic Era

20. Mammalian Diversity and Characteristics

21. Mammalian Specializations

22. Endothermy: A High-Energy Approach to Life

23. Body Size, Ecology, and Sociality of Mammals

24. Primate Evolution and the Emergence of Humans

25. The Impact of Humans on Other Species of Vertebrates

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