the great fossil enigma the search for the conodont animal

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The Great Fossil Enigma

Author : Simon J. Knell
ISBN : 9780253006042
Genre : Science
File Size : 56. 17 MB
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Stephen Jay Gould borrowed from Winston Churchill when he described the conodont animal as a "riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." This animal confounded science for more than a century. Some thought it a slug, others a fish, a worm, a plant, even a primitive ancestor of ourselves. The list of possibilities grew and yet an answer to the riddle never seemed any nearer. Would the animal that left behind these miniscule fossils known as conodonts ever be identified? Three times the animal was "found," but each was quite a different animal. Were any of them really the one? Simon J. Knell takes the reader on a journey through 150 years of scientific thinking, imagining, and arguing. Slowly the animal begins to reveal traces of itself: its lifestyle, its remarkable evolution, its witnessing of great catastrophes, its movements over the surface of the planet, and finally its anatomy. Today the conodont animal remains perhaps the most disputed creature in the zoological world.

How The Snake Lost Its Legs

Author : Lewis I. Held, Jr
ISBN : 9781107782891
Genre : Science
File Size : 82. 61 MB
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How did the zebra really get its stripes, and the giraffe its long neck? What is the science behind camel humps, leopard spots, and other animal oddities? Such questions have fascinated us for centuries, but the expanding field of evo-devo (evolutionary developmental biology) is now providing, for the first time, a wealth of insights and answers. Taking inspiration from Kipling's 'Just So Stories', this book weaves emerging insights from evo-devo into a narrative that provides startling explanations for the origin and evolution of traits across the animal kingdom. Held's unique and engaging style makes this narrative both enlightening and entertaining, guiding students and researchers through even complex concepts and encouraging a fuller understanding of the latest developments in the field. The first five chapters cover the first bilaterally symmetric animals, flies, butterflies, snakes, and cheetahs. A final chapter surveys recent results about a menagerie of other animals.

Your Inner Fish

Author : Neil Shubin
ISBN : 9780307277459
Genre : Science
File Size : 49. 3 MB
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Details on a Major New Discovery included in a New Afterword Why do we look the way we do? Neil Shubin, the paleontologist and professor of anatomy who co-discovered Tiktaalik, the “fish with hands,” tells the story of our bodies as you've never heard it before. By examining fossils and DNA, he shows us that our hands actually resemble fish fins, our heads are organized like long-extinct jawless fish, and major parts of our genomes look and function like those of worms and bacteria. Your Inner Fish makes us look at ourselves and our world in an illuminating new light. This is science writing at its finest—enlightening, accessible and told with irresistible enthusiasm.

Rhinoceros Giants

Author : Donald R. Prothero
ISBN : 9780253008190
Genre : Nature
File Size : 52. 41 MB
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A book for everyone fascinated by the huge beasts that once roamed the earth, Rhinoceros Giants: The Paleobiology of the Indricotheres introduces a prime candidate for the largest land mammal that ever lived--the giant hornless rhinoceros, Indricotherium. These massive animals lived in Asia and Eurasia for more than 14 million years, about 37 to 23 million years ago. They had skulls 2 metres / 6 feet long, stood over 7 meters / 22 feet high at the shoulder, and were nearly twice as heavy as the largest elephant ever recorded, tipping the scales at 20,000 kg / 44,100 pounds. Fortunately, the big brutes were vegetarians, although they must have made predators think twice before trying to bring them down. In this book for lovers of ancient creatures great and small, Donald R. Prothero tells their story, from their discovery by palaeontologists just a century ago to the latest research on how they lived and died, with some interesting side trips along the way.

Beasts Of Eden

Author : David Rains Wallace
ISBN : 0520237315
Genre : Science
File Size : 42. 41 MB
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In this account of early mammals and their evolution, a leading naturalist presents fossil discoveries such as towering mammoths, tiny horses, and whales with legs, among other exotic extinct species, providing an expansive perspective on the grandeur of evolution.

Introduction To Paleobiology And The Fossil Record

Author : Michael Benton
ISBN : 9781118685402
Genre : Science
File Size : 61. 95 MB
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This book presents a comprehensive overview of the science of the history of life. Paleobiologists bring many analytical tools to bear in interpreting the fossil record and the book introduces the latest techniques, from multivariate investigations of biogeography and biostratigraphy to engineering analysis of dinosaur skulls, and from homeobox genes to cladistics. All the well-known fossil groups are included, including microfossils and invertebrates, but an important feature is the thorough coverage of plants, vertebrates and trace fossils together with discussion of the origins of both life and the metazoans. All key related subjects are introduced, such as systematics, ecology, evolution and development, stratigraphy and their roles in understanding where life came from and how it evolved and diversified. Unique features of the book are the numerous case studies from current research that lead students to the primary literature, analytical and mathematical explanations and tools, together with associated problem sets and practical schedules for instructors and students. “..any serious student of geology who does not pick this book off the shelf will be putting themselves at a huge disadvantage. The material may be complex, but the text is extremely accessible and well organized, and the book ought to be essential reading for palaeontologists at undergraduate, postgraduate and more advanced levels—both in Britain as well as in North America.” Falcon-Lang, H., Proc. Geol. Assoc. 2010 “...this is an excellent introduction to palaeontology in general. It is well structured, accessibly written and pleasantly informative .....I would recommend this as a standard reference text to all my students without hesitation.” David Norman Geol Mag 2010 Companion website This book includes a companion website at: The website includes: · An ongoing database of additional Practical’s prepared by the authors · Figures from the text for downloading · Useful links for each chapter · Updates from the authors

Of Pandas And People

Author : P. William Davis
ISBN : 0914513400
Genre : Science
File Size : 44. 21 MB
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