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Functional Morphology in Vertebrate Paleontology - Jeffrey J. Thomason

Functional Morphology in Vertebrate Paleontology

By: Jeffrey J. Thomason (Editor)

Paperback Published: 30th March 1998
ISBN: 9780521629218
Number Of Pages: 296

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A crucial task for paleontologists and paleobiologists is the reconstruction of the appearance, movements, and behavior of extinct vertebrates from studies of their bones or other, more rarely preserved parts. A related issue is the boundary between the scientific evidence for reconstruction and the need to resort to imagination. In this book, sixteen paleontologists and biologists discuss these questions, review the current status of functional studies of extinct vertebrates in the context of similar work on living animals, and present a broad philosophical view of the subject's development within the framework of phylogenetic analysis. The authors describe and debate methods for making realistic inferences of function in fossil vertebrates, and present examples where we may be confident that our reconstructions are both detailed and accurate.

'... as a discussion of the major developments in the past decade or so, particularly in the move towards more testing and robustness of interpretation, this is an invaluable text.' New Scientist '... for graduate study and serious research, this is an important collection of bench-mark papers ... A rich seam to be mined for a long period of study.' Arthur Cruikshank, Open University Geological Society Journal

On the inference of function from structure
The extant phylogenetic bracket and the importance of reconstructing soft tissues in fossils
Fossils, function and phylogeny
Masticatory function in nonmammalian cynodonts and early mammals
Correlations between craniodental morphology and feeding behavior in ungulates: reciprocal illumination between living and fossil taxa
Functional predictions from theoretical models of the skull and jaws in reptiles and mammals
Carnassial functioning in nimravid and felid sabretooths: theoretical basis and robustness of inferences
The artificial determination of wear patterns on tooth models as a means to infer mandibular movement during feeding in mammals
Determination of stresses in mammalian dental enamel and their relevance to the interpretation of feeding behaviors in extinct taxa
The structural consequences of skull flattening in crocodilians
Graphical analysis of dermal skull roof patterns
The forelimb of Torosaurus, and an analysis of the posture and gait of ceratopsian dinosaurs
Functional evolution of the hindlimb and tail from basal theropods to birds
Functional interpretation of spinal anatomy in living and fossil amniotes
To what extent may the mechanical environment of a bone be inferred from its internal architecture?
Form vs function: the evolution of a dialectic
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521629218
ISBN-10: 0521629217
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 30th March 1998
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 18.42  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.64

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