Bringing Fossils To Life: An Introduction To Paleobiology by Donald R. Prothero PDF

By Donald R. Prothero

ISBN-10: 0073661708

ISBN-13: 9780073661704

This can be the 1st textual content to mix either paleontology and paleobiology. conventional textbooks deal with those individually, regardless of the hot pattern to mix them in educating. It bridges the space among basically theoretical paleobiology and merely descriptive invertebrate paleontology books. The textual content is focused at undergraduate geology and biology majors, with the emphasis on organisms, instead of useless items to be defined and catalogued. present principles from glossy biology, ecology, inhabitants genetics, and lots of different suggestions may be utilized to the learn of the fossil list.

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Additional resources for Bringing Fossils To Life: An Introduction To Paleobiology

Example text

Size can be strongly controlled by local ecological variables, such as temperature and nutrition. The best documented examples occur in human populations that experience great cultural change, and therefore changes in their nutrition. For example, Japanese populations at the beginning of the twentieth century were, on the average, composed of small individuals, largely due to their poor diets. But the postwar prosperity of Japan brought much improved diets, and the last two generations of Japanese have been noticeably bigger than their grandparents.

In other words, species are defined by branch points in a family tree; each branch and twig is a different species, and each branch can be considered only one species (Fig. 6). This concept has its own practical problems, especially in the cases of anagenetic lineages that undergo enormous transformations so that almost every paleontologist would concede that the end members must be called different species. At least it does not suffer from the criticism of arbitrarily subdividing continua, since the evolutionary species are defined by their own branching history and not by human decisions.

Natural selection picks and chooses among all the variants in a population and creates new species. Darwin introduced an evolutionary meaning to a pre-evolutionary concept of species. Species were dynamic, changing evolutionary units, not just fixed clusters of similar organisms delineated by God. These two different conceptions of species should complement each other, but in practice they can conflict. To some biologists, the evolutionary implication of species is the most important aspect, and the species definition must reflect this.

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Bringing Fossils To Life: An Introduction To Paleobiology by Donald R. Prothero


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