Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology

Kobo ebook | November 12, 2013

byDonald R. Prothero

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The leading textbook in its field, this work applies paleobiological principles to the fossil record while detailing the evolutionary history of major plant and animal phyla. It incorporates current research from biology, ecology, and population genetics. Written for biology and geology undergrads, the text bridges the gap between purely theoretical paleobiology and solely descriptive invertebrate paleobiology books, emphasizing the cataloguing of live organisms over dead objects. This third edition revises art and research throughout, expands the coverage of invertebrates, includes a discussion of new methodologies, and adds a chapter on the origin and early evolution of life.

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The leading textbook in its field, this work applies paleobiological principles to the fossil record while detailing the evolutionary history of major plant and animal phyla. It incorporates current research from biology, ecology, and population genetics. Written for biology and geology undergrads, the text bridges the gap between pure...

Donald R. Prothero is one of today's leading scientists and authors in the field of paleontology and evolution. He is a former professor of geology at Occidental College and a lecturer in geobiology at Caltech. He is presently a research associate in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Los Angeles County Natural History M...

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Format:Kobo ebookPublished:November 12, 2013Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231536909

ISBN - 13:9780231536905

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Table of Contents

Preface

To the Student: Why Study Fossils?

PART I: THE FOSSIL RECORD: A WINDOW ON THE PAST
1. The Fossil Record
What is a Fossil? How Does an Organism Become a Fossil? What Factors Affect the Fossilization Potential of an Organism? What Factors are Required for Extraordinary Preservation? How Good is the Fossil Record? Conclusions

2. Variation in Fossils
Theme: Variation; How do Organisms vary during their Lifespans? How do Populations of Organisms Vary? Conclusions

3. Species and Speciation

4. Systematics
Why Systematics? Evolution and Classification; Competing Systematic Philosophies; Molecular Systematics; Codes of Systematic Nomenclature; Conclusions

5. Evolution
The Evolution of Evolution; The "Evolutionary Synthesis"; Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis; Evolution and the Fossil Record; Conclusions

6. Extinction

7. Functional Morphology
Form and Function; Theoretical Morphology; Functional Hypotheses as Testable Science; Case Studies in Functional Morphology; Conclusions

8. Paleoecology
Ecology and Paleoecology; Ecological Relationships; Environmental Limiting Factors; Direct Paleoecological Evidence; Some Ecological Ideas that have been Applied (and Misapplied) to the Fossil Record; Evolutionary Paleoecology; Conclusions

9. Biogeography
Organisms in Space and Time; Ecological Biogeography; Historical Biogeography; Conclusions

10. Biostratigraphy
Faunal Succession; Biostratigraphic Zonations; Factors controlling Fossil Distributions; Biostratigraphic Sampling; The Time Significance of Biostratigraphic Events; North American Land Mammal "Ages" and Biochronology; Resolution, Precision, and Accuracy; Index Fossils and the Global Biostratigraphic Standard; Conclusions

PART II: LIFE OF THE PAST AND PRESENT
11. Life's Origins and Early Evolution
Concocting the "Primordial Soup"; Mud and Mosh Pits, Kitty Litter and Fool's Gold; Life is a Commune; The Earliest Fossils; Cambrian "Explosion" -- or "Short Fuse"?; Why did Life Change So Slowly Before the Cambrian?; Rocks, Hox, and Molecular Clocks.

12. Micropaleontology: Fossil Protistans
Introduction; The Kingdoms of Life; Systematics; Foraminifera; Radiolaria; Diatoms; Coccolithophores

13. Colonial Life: Sponges, Archaeocyathans, and Cnidarians

14. The Lophophorates: Brachiopods and Bryozoans

15. Jointed Limbs: The Arthropods

16. Kingdom of the Seashell: The Molluscs
Introduction; Systematics; Mollusc Origins and Diversification; Gastropods; Bivalves; Cephalopods

17. Spiny Skins: The Echinoderms

18. Dry Bones: Vertebrates and their Relatives
Introduction; The Road to Amphioxus; Getting a Head: The Craniates; Jaws: The Gnathostomes; Fish Bones The Osteichthyans; Lobe Fins: The Sarcopterygians; Four on the Floor: The Tetrapods; Land Eggs: The Amniotes; Feathered Dinosaurs: The Birds; Furry Folk: Synapsids and Mammals

19. Fossilized Behavior: Trace Fossils

20. Traces of Earth's Green Mantle: Paleobotany
Introduction; Plant Taphonomy; The First Photosynthetic Organisms; The Plant Kingdom; Vascular Plants; Tracheophytes; Naked Seeds: The Gymnosperms; Flower Power: The Angiosperm Revolution; Floras through Time

Glossary

Bibliography

Index

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