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Fossil Horses : Systematics, Paleobiology, and Evolution of the Family Equidae - Bruce J. MacFadden

Fossil Horses

Systematics, Paleobiology, and Evolution of the Family Equidae

Paperback

Published: 31st October 1994
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The family Equidae have an extensive fossil record spanning the past 58 million years, and the evolution of the horse has frequently been used as a classic example of long-term evolution. In recent years, however, there have been many important discoveries of fossil horses, and these, in conjunction with such new methods as cladistics, and techniques such as precise geochronology, have allowed us to achieve a much greater understanding of the evolution and biology of this important group. This book synthesizes the large body of data and research relevant to an understanding of fossil horses from several disciplines including biology, geology and paleontology. Using horses as the central theme, the author weaves together in the text such topics as modern geochronology, paleobiogeography, climate change, evolution and extinction, functional morphology, and population biology during the Cenozoic period. This book will be exciting reading for researchers and graduate students in vertebrate paleontology, evolution, and zoology.

' ... a scholarly account of horse evolution, bringing fossil horses back to life with his vivid analysis of the evidence and setting it all in the context of current ideas in palaeobiology ... will surely stand as a worthy successor to the late George Gaylord Simpson's famous book Horses, ...' Times Higher Education Supplement 'A timely and readable text, a good advertisement for the biological fruits that the palaeontological tree can bear.' Nature 'Fossil Horses is excellent, giving a clear description of the known and complicated facts, plus a deep and satisfying discussion of the philosophical issues - orthogenesis, punctuated equilibrium, the role of variance (splitting of habitats) in the creation of new species, and so on. If evolution interests you or if you are a biologist with a penchant for horses, then this is the one to buy.' New Scientist

Preface
Introduction: why study fossil horses?
A renaissance in paleontology
Orthogenesis and scientific thought: old notions die hard
Collections, museums, and exceptional discoveries
Systematics and phylogeny: Ungulata, Perissodactyla, and Equidae
Isotopes, magnetic reversals, fossils, and geological time
Ancient geography, changing climates, dispersal, and vicariance
Evolutionary processes: Variation, speciation, and extinction
Rates of morphological and taxonomic evolution
Trends, laws, direction, and progress in evolution
What's the use? functional morphology of feeding and locomotion
Population dynamics, behavioral ecology, and 'paleoethology'
Fifty-eight million years of community evolution
Epilogue: summary and perspective
Appendix
References
Subject index
Taxonomic index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521477086
ISBN-10: 0521477085
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 31st October 1994
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 25.27 x 17.83  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.64