Vertebrate Life / Edition 4

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Widely praised for its comprehensive coverage and exceptionally clear writing style, this best-selling exploration of vertebrate life is the only accurate and up-to-date treatment of vertebrates that employs a phylogenetic perspective and focuses on how vertebrates work, integrating ecology, behavior, anatomy, and physiology in an evolutionary context. A new chapter on conservation draws together information about the basic biology of vertebrates and shows how it is essential for biological and regulatory decisions that affect the survival of species. Discussions of anatomy, physiology, and behavior are placed in an evolutionary context, showing readers how animals work and how they got to be the way they are. Contains information about conservation and endangered species status—related to the basic biology of the groups stresses the importance of good biological information for management and legislation. Features a Cladistic perspective which reflects the widespread adoption of phylogenetic systematics (cladistics) as the basis for determining the evolutionary relationships of organisms. Includes emphasis on conservation—Includes the application of basic biological information about organisms in programs of captive husbandry and management of threatened and endangered species. For professionals in the fields of Vertebrate Zoology, Vertebrate Biology Function, as well as Paleontology and Herpetology.

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: 9780023963704
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 960
  • Product dimensions: 8.26 (w) x 10.33 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Vertebrate Diversity, Function, and Evolution 2
1 The Diversity, Evolution, and Classification of Vertebrates 3
2 The Origin of Vertebrates 33
3 Vertebrate Organ Systems and Their Evolution 54
4 Homeostasis and Energetics: Water Balance, Temperature Regulation, and Energy Use 111
5 Geography and Ecology from the Cambrian to the Mid-Devonian 147
Pt. 2 Aquatic Vertebrates: Cartilaginous and Bony Fishes 154
6 Early Vertebrates: Jawless Vertebrates and the Origin of Jawed Vertebrates 155
7 The Rise of Jawed Vertebrates and the Radiation of the Chondrichthyes 184
8 Dominating Life in Water: Teleostomes and the Major Radiation of Fishes 211
9 Geography and Ecology from the Mid-Devonian to the Late Permian 257
Pt. 3 Terrestrial Ectotherms: Amphibians, Turtles, Crocodilians, and Squamates 262
10 Origin and Radiation of Tetrapods in the Late Paleozoic 263
11 Salamanders, Anurans, and Caecilians 297
12 Turtles 342
13 Mesozoic Diapsids: Dinosaurs, Birds, Crocodilians, and Others 368
14 Geography and Ecology of the Mesozoic 419
15 The Lepidosaurs: Tuatara, Lizards, and Snakes 425
16 Ectothermy: A Low-Cost Approach to Life 468
Pt. 4 Terrestrial Endotherms: Birds and Mammals 486
17 Characteristics of Birds: Specializations for Flight 487
18 The Ecology and Behavior of Birds 516
19 The Synapsida and the Evolution of Mammals 552
20 Geography and Ecology of the Cenozoic 581
21 Characteristics of Mammals 599
22 Endothermy: A High-Energy Approach to Life 652
23 Body Size, Ecology, and Sociality of Mammals 679
24 Humans as Vertebrates 700
Glossary G-1
Subject Index SI-1
Author Index AI-1
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