Prehistoric Mammals of Australia and New Guinea: One Hundred Million Years of Evolution

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From kangaroos and koalas to the giant Diprotodon and bizarre "thingodontans," prehistoric mammals evolved within the changing and sometimes harsh environments of Australia. As part of Gondwana, Australia was the first landmass to be isolated from the supercontinent Pangaea. In Prehistoric Mammals of Australia and New Guinea, four respected paleontologists present a history of the development of modern mammals from the unique evolutionary environment of Australia and New Guinea. The authors describe both what is known about prehistoric Australian mammals and what can be reconstructed from the fossil evidence about their appearance and behaviors.

This accessible reference work offers facts about how each mammal got its name and provides a description of how the fossil mammal resembles its modern descendants. Over 200 four-color illustrations enhance the text, which describes the age, diet, and habitat of these extinct mammals. The authors also detail how each mammal evolved and is now classified. Diagrams showing skeletal features and tooth structure and a glossary of technical terms are also included.

 

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Contents

Acknowledgments
7
A brief history of fossil mammal discoveries
23
wide legs and lay eggs
41
the ancient diggers
66
pouched in reverse and diverse
87
hangers and gliders trained in the trees
122
hoppers snippers and rippers
146
winged and worldly wanderers
181
nimble gnawers from the north
199
Glossary of scientific terms
219
Index
240
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Page 229 - Proceedings of the Committee of Science and Correspondence of the Zoological Society of London, 2 parts, 8.
Page 227 - MD, with a biographical Sketch of the author. Compiled and edited by Charles Murchison. 2 Vols.

About the author (2002)

John A. Long is the curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Western Australian Museum and the author of The Rise of Fishes, also available from Johns Hopkins. Michael Archer is the director of the Australian Museum in Sydney and a professor of biological science at the University of New South Wales. Timothy Flannery is the director of the South Australian Museum in Adelaide and an acclaimed author. Suzanne Hand is the senior project scientist in the School of Biological Science at the University of New South Wales.

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