An Evolutionary Study of Some Archaeologically Significant Avian Taxa in the Quaternary of the Western Palaearctic
This work sets out to examine four taxa of birds from the Quaternary of Europe that exhibit interesting morphological anomalies - cranes (Grus), grouse/ptarmigans (Lagopus), ravens (Corvus corax) and starlings (Sturnus) - to address whether these were the result of inter- or intraspecific processes. Modern skeletal material of these taxa from a wide geographical area was examined so as to make a more realistic assessment of the fossils than had previously been achieved. Similarly, fossils were studied from a wider geographical and temporal range than before. The study of the four chosen taxa was carried out with an acknowledgement of a variety of theoretical issues in biology, which affect the interpretation of such fossils. The study has shown that it is necessary to examine as much modern and fossil material as is available before fossils can be interpreted realistically. This generally leads to a more conservative assessment of morphologically anomalous fossils because variation occurs both above and below the level of species. This in turn has lead to a greater emphasis on ecomorphology than on taxonomy.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Scope and Aims of Book
26 other sections not shown
bones Bp Bd SC Britain carpometacarpus common crane coracoid corax hispanus corax varius corone corvids Corvus corax Corvus corax populations deposits Devensian distal breadth Bd Europe European Corvus corax excavation Fage fauna Figure fossil record frugilegus Greatest length grus and Grus Grus antigone Grus grus Grus grus grus Harrison Holocene humerus identified interglacial Lagopus fossils Lagopus lagopus Lagopus mutus Lagopus sp Late Glacial Linear Middle Pleistocene migratory modern Lagopus morphological Mourer-Chauvire Museum Ossom's Eyrie Oxygen Isotope Stage Pin Hole Cave plotted against distal plotted against proximal plotted against shaft plotted with modern Poland Prox proximal breadth Bp raven relatively roseus sarus crane Scandinavia scapula Scattergram Scattergram of European scoticus shaft breadth SC Skeletal element Measurements speciation Species Concept specimens starlings Sturnus sp Sturnus vulgaris subspecies Table tarsometatarsus taxa tibiotarsus Tornewton Cave Turdus Twisting necessary ulna unicolor variation Westbury-Sub-Mendip Western Palaearctic