ABOUT THIS BOOK
The purpose of this book, now in its third edition, is to introduce the morphology of vertebrates in a context that emphasizes a comparison of structire and of the function of structural units. The comparative method involves the analysis of the history of structure in both developmental and evolutionary frameworks. The nature of adaptation is the key to this analysis. Adaptation of a species to its environment, as revealed by its structure, function, and reproductive success, is the product of mutation and natural selection–the process of evolution. The evolution of structure and function, then, is the theme of this book which presents, system by system, the evolution of structure and function of vertebrates. Each chapter presents the major evolutionary trends of an organ system, with instructions for laboratory exploration of these trends included so the student can integrate concept with example.