Fossils and Evolution
By (author) T. S. Kemp
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Fossils and Evolution by T. S. Kemp
Book DescriptionThe book is about the ideas, methodology and scope of contemporary palaeobiology, rather than a comprehensive, detailed survey of the factual basis of the subject. It addresses the issue of how on the one hand evolutionary theory is necessary for interpretation of the fossil record, and yet on the other the fossils themselves can contribute to evolutionary theory. This is shown not to be the circular argument between pattern and process sometimes alleged, but a matter of understanding carefully the interrelationship between palaeontological and neontological evidence. The book is organised into two sections. Part 1 consists of four chapters outlining the principles, namely: the nature of the pattern/process relationship, taxonomic methods and the analysis of pattern, evolutionary theory and the analysis of process and the nature of incompleteness of the fossil record and what to do about it. Armed with these principles and methods, Part 2 is devoted to the five central areas of contemporary research in evolutionary palaeobiology. These are: fossils and phylogenetic inference; the mechanism of speciation; taxonomic turnover on the geological time-scale; mass-extinctions; the origin of new higher taxa. In each case the nature of the questions and the relevant kinds of evidence, including such new sources as molecular sequence data and stable isotope ratios where appropriate, are reviewed. The extent to which palaeobiology has, and has not yet, contributed to providing the sought after answers is made clear.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780198504245
(234mm x 157mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 14-Jan-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author T. S. Kemp
Origin of Higher Taxa, Paperback (November 2015)
This book discusses whether the origin of radically new kinds of organisms - new higher taxa - are the result of normal Darwinian evolution proceeding, or whether unusual genetic processes and/or special environmental circumstances are necessary.
Origin and Evolution of Mammals, Paperback (November 2004)» View all books by T. S. Kemp
Mammals are the dominant large animals, occurring in virtually every environment. This book presents an account of the remarkable 320 million year long fossil record that documents their origin, their long spell as no more than small, nocturnal creatures, and their explosive radiation since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
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