Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids takes us on a journey through 65 million years, from the aftermath of the extinction of the dinosaurs to the glacial climax of the Pleistocene epoch; from the rain forests of the Paleocene and the Eocene, with their lemur-like primates, to the harsh landscape of the Pleistocene Steppes, home to the woolly mammoth. It is also a journey through space, following the migrations of mammal species that evolved on other continents and eventually met to compete or coexist in Cenozoic Europe. Finally, it is a journey through the complexity of mammalian evolution, a review of the changes and adaptations that have allowed mammals to flourish and become the dominant land vertebrates on Earth. With the benefit of recent advances in geological and geophysical techniques, Jordi Agustí and Mauricio Antón are able to trace the processes of mammalian evolution as never before; events that hitherto appeared synchronous or at least closely related can now be distinguished on a scale of hundreds or even dozens of thousands of years, revealing the dramatic importance of climactic changes both major and minor. Evolutionary developments are rendered in magnificent illustrations of the many extraordinary species that once inhabited Europe, detailing their osteology, functional anatomy, and inferred patterns of locomotion and behavior. Based on the latest research and field work, Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids transforms our understanding of how mammals evolved and changed the face of the planet.
With their spectacularly enlarged canines, sabertooth cats are among the most popular of prehistoric animals, yet it is surprising how little information about them is available for the curious layperson. What’s more, there were other sabertooths that were not cats, animals with exotic names like nimravids, barbourofelids, and thylacosmilids. Some were no taller than a domestic cat, others were larger than a lion, and some were as weird as their names suggest. Sabertooths continue to pose questions even for specialists. What did they look like? How did they use their spectacular canine teeth? And why did they finally go extinct? In this visual and intellectual treat of a book, Mauricio Antón tells their story in words and pictures, all scrupulously based on the latest scientific research. The book is a glorious wedding of science and art that celebrates the remarkable diversity of the life of the not-so-distant past.
The journey began with a gut reaction. When award-winning scientist Dr Brian Hare watched a chimpanzee fail to read a simple human hand gesture in an intelligence test, he blurted out, ‘My dog can do that!’ The psychologist running the test challenged him to prove it, sending Hare on an odyssey to unlock the cognitive and evolutionary mysteries of our four-legged friends. Hare’s research over the past two decades has yielded startling discoveries about how dogs think. He has pioneered studies that have proven that dogs exhibit a brand of genius for getting along with people that is unique in the animal kingdom, and that when dogs domesticated themselves around 40,000 years ago they became far more like human infants than their wolf ancestors. These findings are transforming how we live and work with our canine friends, and how we understand them. Is your dog purposefully disobeying you? Probably, and often behind your back. Should you act like ‘top dog to maintain control? No, you’re better off displaying your friendliness – not just to your dog but to everyone around you. Which breed is cleverest? As it happens, breed doesn’t matter much, though other factors do. These are just some of the extraordinary insights to be found in The Genius of Dogs – the seminal book on how dogs evolved their unique intelligence alongside human companions, and how you can use this groundbreaking science to build a better relationship with your own dog.
A fascinating study of the thousands of new animal species that walked in the footsteps of the dinosaurs—and the climate changes that brought them forth. The fascinating group of animals called dinosaurs became extinct some 65 million years ago (except for their feathered descendants). In their place evolved an enormous variety of land creatures, especially mammals, which in their way were every bit as remarkable as their Mesozoic cousins. The Age of Mammals, the Cenozoic Era, has never had its Jurassic Park, but it was an amazing time in earth’s history, populated by a wonderful assortment of bizarre animals. The rapid evolution of thousands of species of mammals brought forth many incredible creatures―including our own ancestors. Their story is part of a larger story of new life emerging from the greenhouse conditions of the Mesozoic, warming up dramatically about 55 million years ago, and then cooling rapidly so that 33 million years ago the glacial ice returned. The earth’s vegetation went through equally dramatic changes, from tropical jungles in Montana and forests at the poles. Life in the sea underwent striking evolution reflecting global climate change, including the emergence of such creatures as giant sharks, seals, sea lions, dolphins, and whales. Engaging and insightful, After the Dinosaurs is a book for everyone who has an abiding fascination with the remarkable life of the past.
Bones, Stones and Molecules provides some of the best evidence for resolving the debate between the two hypotheses of human origins. The debate between the 'Out of Africa' model and the 'Multiregional' hypothesis is examined through the functional and developmental processes associated with the evolution of the human skull and face and focuses on the significance of the Australian record. The book analyzes important new discoveries that have occurred recently and examines evidence that is not available elsewhere. Cameron and Groves argue that the existing evidence supports a recent origin for modern humans from Africa. They also specifically relate these two theories to interpretations of the origins of the first Australians. The book provides an up-to-date interpretation of the fossil, archaeological and the molecular evidence, specifically as it relates to Asia, and Australia in particular. Readily accessible to the layperson and professional Provides concise coverage of current scientific evidence Presents a robust computer-generated model of human speciation over the last 7 million years Well illustrated with figures and photographs of important fossil specimens Presents a synthesis of great ape and human evolution
One of the leading textbooks in its field, Bringing Fossils to Life applies paleobiological principles to the fossil record while detailing the evolutionary history of major plant and animal phyla. It incorporates current research from biology, ecology, and population genetics, bridging the gap between purely theoretical paleobiological textbooks and those that describe only invertebrate paleobiology and that emphasize cataloguing live organisms instead of dead objects. For this third edition Donald R. Prothero has revised the art and research throughout, expanding the coverage of invertebrates and adding a discussion of new methodologies and a chapter on the origin and early evolution of life.
Artiodactyls are diverse and successful hoofed mammals, represented by nearly two hundred living species of pigs, peccaries, hippos, camels, deer, sheep, cattle, giraffes, and other even-toed ungulates. In the recent years, a tremendous amount of research has been conducted on this important order. The Evolution of Artiodactyls synthesizes this research into a single, comprehensive volume. Here Donald R. Prothero, Scott E. Foss, and a team of distinguished international experts explore a variety of topics, including molecular phylogeny of terrestrial artiodactyls phylogenetic relationships of cetaceans to terrestrial artiodactyls, and the earliest artiodactyls—Diacodexidae, Dichobunidae, Homacodontidae, Leptochoeridae, and Raoellidae. A landmark reference, The Evolution of Artiodactyls belongs in the library of every paleontologist, mammalogist, and evolutionary biologist. Contributors: Jean-Renaud Boisserie, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle; Edward Byrd Davis, University of Oregon; Stéphane Ducrocq, Université de Poitiers; Jörg Erfurt, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg; Jonathan H. Geisler, Georgia Southern University; Colin P. Groves, Australian National University; John M. Harris, George C. Page Museum; James G. Honey, University of Colorado, Boulder; Christine M. Janis, Brown University; Fabrice Lihoreau, Université de N'Djaména; Matthew R. Liter, Occidental College; Liu Li-Ping, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, China; Joshua A. Ludtke, San Diego State University; Jonathan D. Marcot, University of Colorado Museum; Grégoire Métais, Carnegie Museum of Natural History; Gertrud E. Rössner, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; Nikos Solounias, American Museum of Natural History; James Bowie Stevens and Margaret Skeels Stevens, Lamar University; Jessica M. Theodor, University of Calgary; Mark D. Uhen, Cranbrook Institute of Science; Inessa Vislobokova, Russian Academy of Sciences
Fossil Mammals of Asia, edited by and with contributions from world-renowned scholars, is the first major work devoted to the late Cenozoic (Neogene) mammalian biostratigraphy and geochronology of Asia. This volume employs cutting-edge biostratigraphic and geochemical dating methods to map the emergence of mammals across the continent. Written by specialists working in a variety of Asian regions, it uses data from many basins with spectacular fossil records to establish a groundbreaking geochronological framework for the evolution of land mammals. Asia's violent tectonic history has resulted in some of the world's most varied topography, and its high mountain ranges and intense monsoon climates have spawned widely diverse environments over time. These geologic conditions profoundly influenced the evolution of Asian mammals and their migration into Europe, Africa, and North America. Focusing on amazing new fossil finds that have redefined Asia's role in mammalian evolution, this volume synthesizes information from a range of field studies on Asian mammals and biostratigraphy, helping to trace the histories and movements of extinct and extant mammals from various major groups and all northern continents, and providing geologists with a richer understanding of a variety of Asian terrains.