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Functional Morphology in Vertebrate Paleontology

Functional Morphology in Vertebrate Paleontology

$113.00 (P)

Harold N. Bryant, Arthur B. Buseby, A. W. Crompton, Stephen M. Gatesy, Emily B. Giffin, Walter S. Greaves, Rolf E. Johnson, Christine M. Janis, George V. Lauder, Virginia L. Naples, John H. Ostrom, Kevin Padian, John M. Rensberger, Anthony P. Russell, Jeffrey J. Thomason, Keith S. Thomson, David B. Weishampel, Lawrence M. Witmer
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  • Date Published: October 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521629218

$ 113.00 (P)
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About the Authors
  • A crucial task for paleontologists and paleobiologists is the reconstruction of the appearance, movements, and behavior of extinct vertebrates from studies of their bones or other, more rarely preserved parts. A related issue is the boundary between the scientific evidence for reconstruction and the need to resort to imagination. In this book, sixteen paleontologists and biologists discuss these questions, review the current status of functional studies of extinct vertebrates in the context of similar work on living animals, and present a broad philosophical view of the subject's development within the framework of phylogenetic analysis. The authors describe and debate methods for making realistic inferences of function in fossil vertebrates, and present examples where we may be confident that our reconstructions are both detailed and accurate.

    • A snapshot of the current status of the functional studies of fossil vertebrates
    • The science behind Jurassic Park's dinosaurs!
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is an excellent, well-focused compendium, the best in at least a decade in this area of functional research. Highly recommended for both students and researchers." Choice

    "Overall, this is a lot of book in a relatively small volume. It covers diverse topics. all more-or-less addressed to the central theme of functional morphology, but with a lot of basic vertebrate anatomy included. There is much I would presume any paleontologist may learn in here, and highly recommended this book for both graduate students and professional paleontologist." David R. Schwimmer, Palaios

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 1997
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521629218
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 178 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 150 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. On the inference of function from structure George V. Lauder
    2. The extant phylogenetic bracket and the importance of reconstructing soft tissues in fossils Lawrence M. Witmer
    3. Fossils, function and phylogeny David B. Weishampel
    4. Masticatory function in nonmammalian cynodonts and early mammals A. W. Crompton
    5. Correlations between craniodental morphology and feeding behavior in ungulates: reciprocal illumination between living and fossil taxa Christine M. Janis
    6. Functional predictions from theoretical models of the skull and jaws in reptiles and mammals Walter S. Greaves
    7. Carnassial functioning in nimravid and felid sabretooths: theoretical basis and robustness of inferences Harold N. Bryant and Anthony P. Russell
    8. The artificial determination of wear patterns on tooth models as a means to infer mandibular movement during feeding in mammals Virginia L. Naples
    9. Determination of stresses in mammalian dental enamel and their relevance to the interpretation of feeding behaviors in extinct taxa John M. Rensberger
    10. The structural consequences of skull flattening in crocodilians Arthur S. Busbey
    11. Graphical analysis of dermal skull roof patterns Keith S. Thomson
    12. The forelimb of Torosaurus, and an analysis of the posture and gait of ceratopsian dinosaurs Rolf E. Johnson and John H. Ostrom
    13. Functional evolution of the hindlimb and tail from basal theropods to birds Stephen M. Gatesy
    14. Functional interpretation of spinal anatomy in living and fossil amniotes Emily B. Giffin
    15. To what extent may the mechanical environment of a bone be inferred from its internal architecture? Jeffrey J. Thomason
    16. Form vs function: the evolution of a dialectic Kevin Padian.

  • Editor

    Jeffrey J. Thomason, University of Guelph, Ontario

    Contributors

    Harold N. Bryant, Arthur B. Buseby, A. W. Crompton, Stephen M. Gatesy, Emily B. Giffin, Walter S. Greaves, Rolf E. Johnson, Christine M. Janis, George V. Lauder, Virginia L. Naples, John H. Ostrom, Kevin Padian, John M. Rensberger, Anthony P. Russell, Jeffrey J. Thomason, Keith S. Thomson, David B. Weishampel, Lawrence M. Witmer

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