Our understanding of vertebrate origins and the backbone of human history evolves with each new fossil find and DNA map. Many species have now had their genomes sequenced, and molecular techniques allow genetic inspection of even non-model organisms. But as longtime Nature editor Henry Gee argues in Across the Bridge, despite these giant strides and our deepening understanding of how vertebrates fit into the tree of life, the morphological chasm between vertebrates and invertebrates remains vast and enigmatic.
As Gee shows, even as scientific advances have falsified a variety of theories linking these groups, the extant relatives of vertebrates are too few for effective genetic analysis. Moreover, the more we learn about the species that do remain—from sea-squirts to starfish—the clearer it becomes that they are too far evolved along their own courses to be of much use in reconstructing what the latest invertebrate ancestors of vertebrates looked like. Fossils present yet further problems of interpretation. Tracing both the fast-changing science that has helped illuminate the intricacies of vertebrate evolution as well as the limits of that science, Across the Bridge helps us to see how far the field has come in crossing the invertebrate-to-vertebrate divide—and how far we still have to go.
Alabama Wildlife, Volume 5
Edited by Ericha Shelton-Nix University of Alabama Press, 2017 Library of Congress QL606.52.U6A58 2004 | Dewey Decimal 596.09761
Collects the most recent findings of virtually all experts in the field as of 2012
Alabama Wildlife, Volume 5 offers a comprehensive update and provides a wealth of new information concerning changes and developments relative to the conservation status of wild animal populations of the state that have occurred in the decade since publication of the previous four volumes in 2004. Enhancements include the addition of any new or rediscovered taxon, species priority status changes, and taxonomic changes, plus the addition of the crayfishes, which were left out previously because so little was known about these understudied taxa.
A complete taxonomic checklist is included, which lists each imperiled taxon along with its priority designation followed by detailed species accounts. The eighty-four crayfish species accounts are comprised of a physical description (including a photograph, when available), distribution map, habitat summary, key life history, ecological information, basis for its status classification, and specific conservation and management recommendations. This revised expansion of the Alabama Wildlife set will be helpful to those seeking to broaden their knowledge of Alabama’s vast wildlife resources and will greatly influence future studies in the conservation of many of the imperiled species.
Animals lead rich social lives. They care for one another, compete for resources, and mate. Within a society, social relationships may be simple or complex and usually vary considerably, both between different groups of individuals and over time. These social systems are fundamental to biological organization, and animal societies are central to studies of behavioral and evolutionary biology. But how do we study animal societies? How do we take observations of animals fighting, grooming, or forming groups and produce a realistic description or model of their societies?
Analyzing AnimalSocieties presents a conceptual framework for analyzing social behavior and demonstrates how to put this framework into practice by collecting suitable data on the interactions and associations of individuals so that relationships can be described, and, from these, models can be derived. In addition to presenting the tools, Hal Whitehead illustrates their applicability using a wide range of real data on a variety of animal species—from bats and chimps to dolphins and birds. The techniques that Whitehead describes will be profitably adopted by scientists working with primates, cetaceans, birds, and ungulates, but the tools can be used to study societies of invertebrates, amphibians, and even humans. Analyzing AnimalSocieties will become a standard reference for those studying vertebrate social behavior and will give to these studies the kind of quality standard already in use in other areas of the life sciences.
The Evolution of Vertebrate Design is a solid introduction to vertebrate evolution, paleontology, vertebrate biology, and functional, comparative anatomy. Its lucid style also makes it ideal for general readers intrigued by fossil history. Clearly drawn diagrams illustrate biomechanical explanations of the evolution of fins, jaws, joints, and body shapes among vertebrates. A glossary of terms is included.
"A luminous text is matched by lucid drawings rationally placed. . . . A great teaching monograph, the book will charm lay readers of fossil history. For virtually every college & public collection."—Scitech Book News
How did flying birds evolve from running dinosaurs, terrestrial trotting tetrapods evolve from swimming fish, and whales return to swim in the sea? These are some of the great transformations in the 500-million-year history of vertebrate life. And with the aid of new techniques and approaches across a range of fields—work spanning multiple levels of biological organization from DNA sequences to organs and the physiology and ecology of whole organisms—we are now beginning to unravel the confounding evolutionary mysteries contained in the structure, genes, and fossil record of every living species.
This book gathers a diverse team of renowned scientists to capture the excitement of these new discoveries in a collection that is both accessible to students and an important contribution to the future of its field. Marshaling a range of disciplines—from paleobiology to phylogenetics, developmental biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology—the contributors attack particular transformations in the head and neck, trunk, appendages such as fins and limbs, and the whole body, as well as offer synthetic perspectives. Illustrated throughout, Great Transformations in Vertebrate Evolution not only reveals the true origins of whales with legs, fish with elbows, wrists, and necks, and feathered dinosaurs, but also the relevance to our lives today of these extraordinary narratives of change.
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.
The average kilometer of tropical rainforest is teeming with life; it contains thousands of species of plants and animals. As The Ornaments of Life reveals, many of the most colorful and eye-catching rainforest inhabitants—toucans, monkeys, leaf-nosed bats, and hummingbirds to name a few—are an important component of the infrastructure that supports life in the forest. These fruit-and-nectar eating birds and mammals pollinate the flowers and disperse the seeds of hundreds of tropical plants, and unlike temperate communities, much of this greenery relies exclusively on animals for reproduction.
Synthesizing recent research by ecologists and evolutionary biologists, Theodore H. Fleming and W. John Kress demonstrate the tremendous functional and evolutionary importance of these tropical pollinators and frugivores. They shed light on how these mutually symbiotic relationships evolved and lay out the current conservation status of these essential species. In order to illustrate the striking beauty of these “ornaments” of the rainforest, the authors have included a series of breathtaking color plates and full-color graphs and diagrams.
The Retina (1987) quickly became the most widely recognized introduction to the structure and function of retinal cells. In this easy-to-read Revised Edition, John Dowling draws on twenty-five years of new research to produce an interdisciplinary synthesis focused on how retinal function contributes to our understanding of brain mechanisms.
“This compact book summarizes the distribution of all of the Recent species of vertebrates of Arizona. The introductory Part 1, 'Arizona landscapes and habitats,' by Lowe, is an instructive and detailed ecological discussion of the diversified topography, climate, and flora of the state, illustrated with numerous excellent photographs.”—The Auk
“An impressive volume . . . a valuable reference for professional biologists, students, and others interested in the native fauna of Arizona and its distribution there.”—Science