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A key aim of the book is to show how vertebrate palaeontologists obtain their information. There is an illustrated account of how to dig up a dinosaur and how to interpret the bones. In addition, detailed case studies are presented which show how palaeontologists study taphonomy, exceptional preservation, form and function of bizarre animals and reconstruct phylogeny from cladistic analyses of morphological and molecular data. This new edition is extensively revised to include a great deal of material derived from work done in the 1990s. There is a new chapter on how to study fossil vertebrates and more emphasis is given to cladograms including full lists of diagnostic characters.
Vertebrate Palaeontology is designed for palaeontology courses given by biology and geology departments. It is also aimed at the enthusiast who wants to experience the real flavour of how leading palaeontologists design their research programmes and carry out multidisciplinary studies of ancient vertebrates. The book has a strongly phylogenetic focus making it an up-to-date source of the latest broad-scale systematic data on vertebrate evolution.
"...presents a complete outline of the history of the vertebrates, based on the latest studies by paleontologists around the world and includes a new chapter on how to study fossil vertebrates."
|2||How to study fossil vertebrates||16|
|3||Early Palaeozoic fishes||38|
|4||The early tetrapods and amphibians||74|
|5||The evolution of early amniotes||106|
|6||Tetrapods of the Triassic||136|
|7||The evolution of fishes after the Devonian||158|
|8||The age of dinosaurs||187|
|App||Classification of the vertebrates||389|