The Rise of Fishes: 500 Million Years of Evolution

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University of New South Wales Press Pty Limited, 2010 - Fishes - 287 pages

Fishes that walk, fishes that breathe air, fishes that look like -- and are -- monsters from the deep. These and many more strange creatures swim through "The Rise of Fishes," John A. Long's richly illustrated tour of the past 500 million years. Long has updated his classic work with illustrations of recent fossil discoveries and new interpretations based on genetic analyses. He reveals how fishes evolved from ancient, jawless animals, explains why fishes have survived on the Earth for so long, and describes how they have become the dominant aquatic life-form. Indeed, to take things a step further, we learn much about ourselves through this book, for all amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals are descendants of ancient fishes.

Clear, accessible, and engaging, "The Rise of Fishes" combines scientific expertise with entertaining stories about Long's own excursions, which span the oceans and continents. The book includes photographs of fossils from around the world as well as dramatic color illustrations depicting what those fishes may have actually looked like.

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User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

A very nice survey of the state of play of our understanding of the development of the fish, from being a "glorified swimming worm" to pioneering the body plan and skeleton that allowed for the colonization of land by tetrapod vertebrates. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

John A. Long is an Australian palaeontologist who is currently the Vice President of Research and Collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. He has authored some 26 books including "Feathered Dinosaurs".

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