Perspectives in Animal Phylogeny and Evolution

Paperback | January 18, 2009

byAlessandro Minelli

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Animal phylogeny is undergoing a major revolution due to the availability of an exponentially increasing amount of molecular data and the application of novel methods of phylogenetic reconstruction, as well as the many spectacular advances in palaeontology and molecular developmental biology.Traditional views of the relationships among major phyla have been shaken and new, often unexpected, relationships are now being considered. At the same time, the emerging discipline of evolutionary developmental biology, or 'evo-devo', has offered new insights into the origin and evolvability ofmajor traits of animal architecture and life cycle. All these developments call for a revised interpretation of the pathways along which animal structure and development has evolved since the origin of the Metazoa. iPerspectives in Animal Phylogeny and Evolution/i takes on this challenge, successfully integrating morphological, fossil and molecular evidence to produce a novel reinterpretation of animal evolution. Central to the book's approach is an 'evo-devo' perspective on animal evolution (with all thefresh insights this has given into the origin of animal organization and life cycles), complementary to the more traditional perspectives of pattern (cladistics, comparative anatomy and embryology), mechanisms (developmental biology) and adaptation (evolutionary biology). The author advocates theneed to approach the study of animal evolution with a critical attitude towards many key concepts of comparative morphology and developmental biology. Particular attention in the book is paid to the evolution of life cycles and larval forms.

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Animal phylogeny is undergoing a major revolution due to the availability of an exponentially increasing amount of molecular data and the application of novel methods of phylogenetic reconstruction, as well as the many spectacular advances in palaeontology and molecular developmental biology.Traditional views of the relationships among...

Alessandro Minelli is a professor of zoology at the University of Padova, Italy. Until the mid 90s his main scientific interests have been myriapod phylogeny and taxonomy as well as the principles and methods of biological systematics. During the last decade his main research interests have turned towards evolutionary developmental bi...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.07 inPublished:January 18, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198566212

ISBN - 13:9780198566212

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Reading the history of life2. Animal phylogenetics3. Metazoans enter the stage4. Deep branches of the metazoan tree5. The entangled phylogeny of the Bilateria6. A gallery of major bilaterian clades7. The life cycle and its evolution8. The evolution of animal body architecture9. The overall pictureReferencesIndex