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Vertebrate Life

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For courses in Vertebrate Zoology, Vertebrate Biology Function, as well as specialty courses in Paleontology and Herpetology. Widely praised for its comprehensive coverage and exceptionally clear writing style, this best-selling exploration of vertebrate life is the only accurate and up-to-date treatment of vertebrates that employs a phylogenetic perspective and focuses on how vertebrates work, integrating ecology, behavior, anatomy, and physiology in an evolutionary context. *NEW - New Chapter 24 on conservation. Draws together information about the basic biology of vertebrates and shows students how it is essential for biological and regulatory decisions that affect the survival of species. *NEW - A reorganization of chapters. Moves students quickly into chapters that deal with groups of living vertebrates. *NEW - Simplified cladograms. Shows the evolutionary relationships of living forms without excessive detail. Makes cladograms easier for students to use and shows students the most current understanding of the evolutionary relationships of living and extinct vertebrates. *NEW - Companion Website. Containing up-to-date links for each chapter, it gives students the opportunity to use the Web to further explore those topics tat are of particular interest to them. *Discussions of anatomy, physiology, and behavior - Places in an evolutionary context which shows students how animals work and how they got to be the way they are. *Information about conservation and endangered species status, related to the basic biology of the groups. Stresses the importance of good biological information for management and legislation. *Extensive and up-to-date citations of the original literature. allowing students to investigate subjects more in-depth. *Information presented in a phylogenetic (evolutionary) context. *Ecology, behavior, physiology, and morphology are integrated presenting a view of animals as functioning systems. *Cladistic classification. Reflects the widespread adoption of phylogenetic systematics (cladistics) as the bases for determining the evolutionary relationships of organisms. *Emphasis on conservation. Includes the application of basic biological information about organisms in programs of captive husbandry and management of threatened and endangered species. Provides students with examples of successes and failure in these areas. Includes speculative proposals for further applications.
Product Details

Table of Contents

(NOTE: Each chapter ends with Summary, Additional Readings, and Web Explorations.)I. VERTEBRATE DIVERSITY, FUNCTION AND EVOLUTION. 1. The Diversity, Classification, and Evolution of Vertebrates. The Vertebrate Story. Classification of Vertebrates. Traditional and Cladistic Classifications. Earth History and Vertebrate Evolution. 2. Vertebrate Relationships and Basic Structure. Vertebrates in Relation to Other Animals. Definition of a Vertebrate. Basic Vertebrate Structure. 3. Early Vertebrates: Jawless Vertebrates and the Origin of Jawed Vertebrates. Reconstructing the Biology of the Earliest Vertebrates. Extant Jawless Fishes. The Radiation of Paleozoic Jawless Vertebrates-"Ostracoderms." The Transition from Jawless to Jawed Vertebrates. Extinct Paleozoic Jawed Fishes.AQUATIC VERTEBRATES: CARTILAGINOUS AND BONY FISHES. 4. Living in Water. The Aquatic Environment. Water and the Sensory World of Fishes. The Internal Environment of Vertebrates. Exchange of Water and Ions. Responses to Temperature. 5. Radiation of the Chondrichthyes. Chrondrichthyes-The Cartilaginous Fishes. Evolutionary Specializations of Chrondrichthyes. The Paleozoic Chrondrichthyan Radiation. The Early Mesozoic Elasmobranch Radiation. The Extant Radiation-Sharks, Skates, and Rays. Holocephali-The Bizarre Chrondrichthyans. 6. Dominating Life in Water: The Major Radiation of Fishes. The Appearance of Bony Fishes. Extant Sarcopterygii-Lobe-Finned Fishes. Extant Actinopterygii-Ray-Finned Fishes. Actinopterygian Reproduction and Conservation. The Adaptable Fish-Telecost Communities in Contrasting Environments. 7. Geography and Ecology of the Paleozoic. Earth History, Changing Environments, and Vertebrate Evolution. Continental Geography of the Paleozoic. Paleozoic Climates. Paleozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems. Early Paleozoic Extinctions.III. TERRESTRIAL ENDOTHERMS: AMPHIBIANS, TURTLES, LEPIDOSAURS, AND ARCHOSAURS. 8. Origin and Radiation of Tetrapods and Modifications for Life on Land. Modifications for Life on Land. Tetrapod Origins. Radiation and Diversity of Nonamniote Paleozoic Tetrapods. Amniotes. 9. Salamanders, Anurans, and Caecilians. Amphibians. Diversity of Life Histories of Amphibians. Amphibian Metamorphosis. Exchange of Water and Gases. Poison Glands and Other Defense Mechanisms. Why are Amphibians Vanishing?10. Turtles. Everyone Recognizes a Turtle. But What Is a Turtle? Phylogenetic Relationships of Turtles. Turtle Structure and Functions. Ecology and Behavior of Turtles. Conservation of Turtles.11. The Lepidosaurs: Tuatara, Lizards, and Snakes. The Lepidosaurs. Radiation of Sphenodontids and the Biology of Tuatara. Radiation of Squamates. Ecology and Behavior of Squamates. Thermoregulation. Temperature and Ecology of Squamates.12. Ectothermy: A Low-Cost Approach to Life. Vertebrates and Their Environments. Heat-Ectotherms in Deserts. Cold-Ectotherms in Subzero Conditions. The Role of Ectothermal Tetrapods in Terrestrial Ecosystems.13. Geography and Ecology of the Mesozoic. Mesozoic Continental Geography. Mesozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems.14. Mesozoic Diapsids: Dinosaurs, Crocodilians, and Others. Mesozoic Fauna. Phylogenetic Relationships among Diapsids. The Archosauromorpha. Archosauria. Dinosaurs. The Ornithischian Dinosaurs. The Saurischian Dinosaurs. Dinosaur Soft Parts and Temperature Regulation. Marine Diapsids-Placodonts, Plesiosaurs, and Ichthyosaurs. Terrestrial Vertebrates of the Late Mesozoic. Late Cretaceous Extinctions.IV. ENDOTHERMS: BIRDS AND MAMMALS. 15. The Evolution of Birds and the Origin of Flight. The Evolution of Endothermy. Activity and Metabolism. Birds as Feathered Dinosaurs. Archaeopteryx and the Origin of Flight. Early Birds. Birds as Flying Machines. Body Form and Flight. Feeding, Digestion, and Excretion. The Hindlimbs and Locomotion.16. The Ecology and Behavior of Birds. Birds as Model Organisms. The Sensory Systems. Social Behavior and Reproduction. Imprinting and Learning. Migration and Navigation.17. The Synapsida and the Evolution of Mammals. The Origin of Synapsids. Diversity of Nonmammalian Synapsids. Evolutionary Trends in Synapsids. The First Mammals.18. Geography and Ecology of the Cenozoic. Cenozoic Continental Geography. Cenozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems. Cenozoic Climates. Cenozoic Extinctions.19. Mammalian Characteristics and Diversity. Features Shared by All Mammals. Major Lineages of Mammals. Cenozoic Mammal Evolution.20. Mammalian Specializations. Mammalian Reproduction. Some Extreme Eutherian Reproductive Specializations. Are Eutherians Reproductively Superior to Marsupials? Specializations for Feeding. Specializations for Locomotion. Specializations of the Sensory Systems.21. Endothermy: A High-Energy Approach to Life. Endothermal Thermoregulation. Energy Budgets of Vertebrates. Endotherms in the Arctic. Migration to Avoid Difficult Conditions. Torpor as a Response to Low Temperatures and Limited Food. Endotherms in Deserts.22. Body Size, Ecology, and Sociality of Mammals. Social Behavior. Population Structure and the Distribution of Resources. Advantages of Sociality. Body Size, Diet, and the Structure of Social Systems. Primate Societies.23. Primate Evolution and the Emergence of Humans. Primate Origins and Diversification. Origin and Evolution of the Hominoidea. Origin and Evolution of Humans. Evolution of Human Characteristics-Bipedality, Larger Brains, and Language.24. The Impact of Humans on Other Species of Vertebrates. Humans and the Pleistocene Extinctions. Humans and Recent Extinctions. Organismal Biology and Conservation. The Paradoxes of Conservation.Glossary. Credits. Subject Index. Author Index.

About the Author

F. Harvey Pough began his biological career at the age of fourteen when he conducted his first research project on the ecology of turtles in Rhode Island. His research now focuses on organismal biology, blending physiology, morphology, behavior, and ecology in an evolutionary context. He especially enjoys teaching undergraduates and has taught courses in vertebrate zoology, functional ecology, herpetology, and the ecology, environmental physiology, and the biology of humans. After 23 years at Cornell University, he moved to Arizona State University West as Chair of the Department of Life Sciences to focus on the challenges of teaching undergraduates at a university that emphasizes community involvement. When not slaving over a hot computer revising Vertebrate Life, he enjoys walking in the desert with his Labrador retriever, Martha. Christine M. Janis is a Professor of Biology at Brown University where she teaches comparative anatomy and vertebrate evolution. She obtained her bachelor's degree at Cambridge University and then crossed the pond to get her Ph.D. at Harvard University. She is a vertebrate paleontologist with a particular interest in mammalian evolution (especially hoofed mammals) and faunal responses to climatic change. She first became interested in vertebrate evolution after seeing the movie Fantasia at the impressionable age of seven. That critical year was also the year that she began riding lessons, and she has owned at least one horse since the age of 12. She is still an active rider, although no longer as aggressive a competitor (she used to do combined training events). She attributes her lifestyle to the fact that she has failed to outgrow either the dinosaur phase or the horse phase. John B. Heiser was born and raised in Indiana and completed his undergraduate degree in biology at Purdue University. He earned his Ph.D. in ichthyology from Cornell University for studies of the behavior, evolution and ecology of coral reef fishes, research which he continues today. For fifteen years he was Director of the Shoals Marine Laboratory operated by Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire on the Isles of Shoals in the Gulf of Maine. While at the Isles of Shoals his research interests focused on opposite ends of the vertebrate spectrum-hagfish and baleen whales. J.B. enjoys teaching vertebrate morphology, evolution, and ecology both in the campus classroom and in the field and is recipient of the Clark Distinguished Teaching Award from Cornell University. His hobbies are natural history, travel and nature photography and videography, especially underwater scuba. He has pursued his natural history interests on every continent and all the world's major ocean regions. Because of his experience he is a popular ecotourism leader having led Cornell Adult University groups to the Caribbean, Sea of Cortez, French Polynesia, Central America, the Amazon, Bornea, Antarctica, and Spitsbergen in the High Arctic.

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