Download e-book for iPad: Amphibian Evolution: The Life of Early Land Vertebrates by Rainer R. Schoch

By Rainer R. Schoch

ISBN-10: 0470671777

ISBN-13: 9780470671771

This booklet makes a speciality of the 1st vertebrates to overcome land and their lengthy trip to turn into totally self sustaining from the water. It strains the beginning of tetrapod beneficial properties and attempts to provide an explanation for how and why they remodeled into organs that allow lifestyles on land. even though the most important body of the subject lies long ago 370 million years and unavoidably bargains with many fossils, it truly is faraway from constrained to paleontology. the purpose is to accomplish a entire photograph of amphibian evolution. It makes a speciality of significant questions in present paleobiology: how various have been the early tetrapods? within which environments did they dwell, and the way did they arrive to be preserved? What will we learn about the delicate physique of extinct amphibians, and what does that let us know concerning the evolution of an important organs throughout the transition to land? How did early amphibians advance and develop, and which have been the most important elements in their evolution?

The Topics in Paleobiology Series is released in collaboration with the Palaeontological organization, and is edited through Professor Mike Benton, college of Bristol.

Books within the sequence offer a precis of the present country of data, a relied on direction into the first literature, and may act as tips for destiny instructions for learn. in addition to volumes on person teams, the sequence also will care for subject matters that experience a cross-cutting relevance, equivalent to the evolution of vital ecosystems, specific key instances and occasions within the historical past of existence, weather switch, and the applying of a brand new recommendations similar to molecular palaeontology.

The books are written through major foreign specialists and should be pitched at a degree appropriate for complex undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers in either the paleontological and organic sciences.

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Extra resources for Amphibian Evolution: The Life of Early Land Vertebrates

Sample text

The vertebrae are part of the inner skeleton, formed first by cartilaginous elements that usually are replaced by bone later. The vertebral column encloses several vital organs ­ that are aligned along the main body axis: the spinal cord, the embryonic notochord, and the ­ dorsal ligament; in the tail, the vertebrae also enclose the aorta. 6 Traditionally regarded as of high significance, the structure of vertebrae has received less attention recently, after numerous convergences have become known.

The preopercular in the cheek and anocleithrum in the pectoral girdle are rudiments ­ ectoral of the ancient bony bridge between the p girdle and skull. The lateral-line organs were mostly enclosed in dermal bone, opening in ­so-called pit lines, which is a fish-like feature. The vertebrae are rhachitomous with a crescent-shaped ventral intercentrum and paired dorsal pleurocentra. The entire body was ­covered by bony scales, and the tail is long and deep, with substantial fin rays that include dermal elements typical of bony fishes (­lepidotrichia).

Skull originates as a cartilaginous structure in the embryo, but may be partially replaced by bone during later stages of ontogeny. In contrast, the dermal skull is bony from the start, it usually forms rather late, and cartilage is never involved. Braincase and jaws. In the inner skull, the braincase forms an unpaired central unit encapsu- 16 THE AMPHIBIAN WORLD: NOW AND THEN lating the brain, whereas the endoskeletal jaws (palatoquadrate and mandible) form the paired upper and lower jaw halves, respectively.

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Amphibian Evolution: The Life of Early Land Vertebrates by Rainer R. Schoch


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