Showing all 10 results
Walking Whales: From Land to Water in Eight Million YearsArtist/Author: Thewissen, J. G. M.
A leading researcher in the field of whale paleontology and anatomy, Thewissen, gives a sweeping first-person account of the discoveries that brought to light the early fossil record of whales. As evidenced in the record, whales evolved from herbivorous forest-dwelling ancestors that resembled tiny deer to carnivorous monsters stalking lakes and rivers and to serpentlike denizens of the coast. Thewissen reports on his discoveries in the wilds of India and Pakistan, weaving a narrative that reveals the day-to-day adventures of fossil collection, enriching it with local flavors from South Asian culture and society. The reader senses the excitement of the digs as well as the rigors faced by scientific researchers, for whom each new insight gives rise to even more questions, and for whom at times the logistics of just staying alive may trump all science. In his search for an understanding of how modern whales live their lives, Thewissen also journeys to Japan and Alaska to study whales and wild dolphins. He finds answers to his questions about fossils by studying the anatomy of otters and porpoises and examining whale embryos under the microscope. In the book’s final chapter, Thewissen argues for approaching whale evolution with the most powerful tools we have and for combining all the fields of science in pursuit of knowledge.
Fossil Mammals of Asia: Neogene Biostratigraphy and ChronologyArtist/Author: Wang, Xiaoming, Lawrence J. Flynn, and Mikael Fortelius, editors.
The first major work devoted to the late Cenozoic (Neogene) mammalian biostratigraphy and geochronology of Asia. This volume employs cutting-edge biostratigraphic and geochemical dating methods to map the emergence of mammals across the continent. Written by specialists working in a variety of Asian regions, it uses data from many basins with spectacular fossil records to establish a groundbreaking geochronological framework for the evolution of land mammals. Asia’s violent tectonic history has resulted in some of the world’s most varied topography, and its high mountain ranges and intense monsoon climates have spawned widely diverse environments over time. These geologic conditions profoundly influenced the evolution of Asian mammals and their migration into Europe, Africa, and North America. Focusing on amazing new fossil finds that have redefined Asia’s role in mammalian evolution, this volume synthesizes information from a range of field studies on Asian mammals and biostratigraphy, helping to trace the histories and movements of extinct and extant mammals from various major groups and all northern continents, and providing geologists with a richer understanding of a variety of Asian terrains.
The Saber-toothed cat of the North Sea.Artist/Author: Mol, Dick, Wilrie van Logchem, Kees van Hooijdonk and Remie Bakker.
In March 2000, while fishing for flatfish, a Dutch fishig vessel from the village of Urk brought up a fossilized lower jaw bone of a Saber-toothed cat (Homotherium latidens) from the bottom of the North Sea. At that time it was thought that this Eurasian species went extinct some 300,000-400,000 years ago. When the jawbone was radiocarbon-dated, the startling result was an age of 28,000 years. This sensational finding has been the incentive to produce this informative and abundantly-illustrated book, providing never-before-published pictures.
The Other Saber-Tooths: Scimitar-Tooth Cats of the Western HemisphereArtist/Author: Naples, Virginia L. et al.
Like the better-known Smilodon, or saber-tooth cat, the scimitar-tooth cats of the New World were fierce predators that killed and consumed the largest of North America’s species. This volume syntheses all currently known information about the scimitar-tooths. Scimitar-tooth cats had serrated teeth that were shorter and stouter than those of Smilodon. Using a mix of new research and previously published accounts, the contributors examine all aspects of the natural history of these extinct cats. They reconstruct what scimitar-tooth cats might have looked like, discuss how they captured and killed prey, and describe their worldwide distribution and how they interacted with other, non-prey animals. Highly detailed descriptions reveal the biology of these cats, provide bone-by-bone comparisons of them to Smilodon and other cat-like carnivores, explain how they originated, and set them in an evolutionary context.
Prehistoric mammals.Artist/Author: McNamara, Ken and Peter Murray.
In 1909 a rich accumulation of many thousands of bones was excavated from Mammoth Cave in Australia’s south-west. Many of the bones far exceeded in size any modern-day native mammal, evidence that in prehistoric times giant mammals had roamed the Australian bush.
Cenozoic Mammals of AfricaArtist/Author: Werdelin, Lars and William Joseph Sanders.
This magnificent volume is a clear and comprehensive review of the African mammalian fossil record over the past 65 million years. It includes current taxonomic and systematic revisions of all African mammal taxa, detailed compilations of fossil site occurrences, and a wealth of information regarding paleobiology, phylogeny, and biogeography. Primates, including hominins, are particularly well covered. The discussion addresses the systematics of endemic African mammals, factors relating to species richness, and a summary of isotopic information. The work also provides contextual information about Cenozoic African tectonics, chrono stratigraphy of sites, paleobotany, and global and regional climate change. Updating our understanding of this important material with the wealth of research from the past three decades, this volume is an essential resource for anyone interested in the evolutionary history of Africa and the diversification of its mammals.
The legacy of the Mastodon: the golden age of fossils in America.Artist/Author: Thomson, Keith.
The uncovering in the mid-1700s of fossilized mastodon bones and teeth at Big Bone Lick, Kentucky, signalled the beginning of a great American adventure. The West was opening up and unexplored lands beckoned. Unimagined palaeontological treasures awaited discovery: strange horned mammals, birds with teeth, flying reptiles, gigantic fish, diminutive ancestors of horses and camels, and more than a hundred different kinds of dinosaurs. This exciting book tells the story of the grandest period of fossil discovery in American history, the years from 1750 to 1890.The volume begins with Thomas Jefferson, whose keen interest in the American mastodon led him to champion the study of fossil vertebrates. The book continues with vivid descriptions of the actual work of prospecting for fossils (a pick-axe in one hand, a rifle in the other), and offers enthralling portraits of Joseph Leidy, Ferdinand Hayden, Edward Cope and Othniel Marsh, among other major figures in the development of the science of palaeontology., “The Legacy of the Mastodon” sheds new light on these scientists’ feuds and rivalries, on the connections between fossil studies in Europe and America, and on palaeontology’s contributions to America’s developing national identity.
Australia’s Mammal Extinctions: A 50,000 Year HistoryArtist/Author: Johnson, Chris.
Of the forty mammal species known to have vanished in the world in the last 200 years, almost half have been Australian. Our continent has the worst record of mammal extinctions, with over 65 mammal species having vanished in the last 50 000 years. It began with the great wave of megafauna extinctions in the last ice-age, and continues today, with many mammal species vulnerable to extinction. The question of why mammals became extinct, and why so many became extinct in Australia has been debated by experts for over a century and a half and we are no closer to agreement on the causes. This book introduces readers to the great mammal extinction debate. Chris Johnson takes us on a detective-like tour of these extinctions, uncovering how, why and when they occurred.
Systematics and evolution of the Sthenurine Kangaroos.Artist/Author: Prideaux, Gavin J.
Univeristy of California Publications in Geological Sciences, V. 146. This work represents an exhaustive review of one of the most important late Cenozoic radiations of Australian marsupials: the short-faced, or sthenurine kangaroos. Sthenurines originated in the Miocene, diversified in the Pliocene, and radiated in the Quaternary to become one of Australiaâs most conspicuous mammal groups, the only lineage of browsing marsupials comparable in diversity to the browsing artiodactyl guilds of other continents. The culmination of 12 yearsâ research, the monograph details the taxonomy of the sthenurines, redescribing each of the six genera (two new) and 26 species (four new), and is amply illustrated with line drawings and more than 100 pages of plates. It presents the first cladistic analysis of sthenurines, and by synthesizing systematic, functional morphological, biochronologic and zoogeographic data, considers the major directions of adaptive change within the group, and the major environmental factors that drove their evolution. It is one of the most comprehensive studies of an extinct marsupial lineage ever made, and should be an essential reference for students of Australian late Cenozoic vertebrates, marsupial evolution, environmental change and Pleistocene extinctions.
Horns, tusks and flippers: the evolution of hoofed mammals.Artist/Author: Prothero, Donald R. and Robert M. Schoch.
The authors present a compelling new evolutionary history of ungulates, combining the latest scientific evidence with current information about their ecology and behaviour. Both living and extinct ungulates are discussed, including rhinos and their dinosaur sized hornless ancestors, elephants whose earliest ancestors had neither tusks nor trunks and whales who descend from hoofed mesonychids.