Benton (geology, U. of Bristol, England) traces the history of the vertebrates for amateurs as well as professionals, and explains how paleobiological information is obtained by research scientists. Readers can get the large picture by following the chronological narrative with brief diversions into controversial or novel topics, or can read a specific chapter by itself. The second edition is substantially revised with the new information and interpretations that have emerged since 1990. It also includes a new chapter on how to study fossil vertebrates, including an illustrated guide to digging up and preparing dinosaur bones; and places more emphasis on cladograms, which include fully their diagnostic characters. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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The evolution of early amniotes
Classification of the vertebrates
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Africa amniotes animals Archaeopteryx archosaurs basal Benton birds body bones bony braincase broad canine Carboniferous carnivores characters cheek teeth chordates clade cladogram crocodilians cynodonts dentary Devonian dinosaurs dorsal view Early Cretaceous Early Jurassic elongate Eocene Europe evolution extinction Family faunas fishes forms fossil fossil record fused genera gill girdle groups head shield herbivores hindlimbs humerus ichthyosaurs incisors Infraorder jaw joint Late Cretaceous Late Jurassic Late Permian Late Triassic lateral view limbs living lizards lower jaw major mammalian mammals marsupials maxilla Miocene modern modified molars Morganucodon muscles North America oldest Oligocene orbit Order outgroups Palaeocene palate pectoral pelvic Permian placental plates Pleistocene plesiosaurs premaxilla prey primitive pterosaurs quadrate radiation reduced region relationships relatives reptiles rodents sharks skeleton skull Figure skull in lateral snout South species specimens spines squamosal Suborder synapomorphies tail temporal fenestra tetrapods theropod tooth upper ventral views vertebrates