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Avian evolution : the fossil record of birds and its paleobiological significance / Gerald Mayr, Senckenberg Research Institute Franfurt, Senckenberganlage, Germany

Catalog Data

Mayr, Gerald  Search this
Physical description:
xii, 293 pages, 16 pages of plates ; illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
An introduction to birds, the geological settings of their evolution, and the avian skeleton -- The origin of birds -- The Mesozoic flight way towards modern birds -- Mesozoic birds : interrelationships and character evolution -- The interrelationships and origin of crown group birds (Neornithes) -- Palaeognathous birds (ostriches, tinamous, and allies) -- Galloanseres : "fowl" and kin -- The "difficult-to-place groups" : biogeographic surprises and aerial specialists -- Shorebirds, cranes, and relatives -- Aequornithes : aquatic and semi-aquatic carnivores -- Cariamiforms and diurnal birds of prey -- The Cenozoic radiation of small arboreal birds -- Insular avifaunas now and then, on various scales
"Knowledge of the evolutionary history of birds has much improved in recent decades. Fossils from critical time periods are being described at unprecedented rates and modern phylogenetic analyses have provided a framework for the interrelationships of the extant groups. This book gives an overview of the avian fossil record and its paleobiological significance, and it is the only up-to-date textbook that covers both Mesozoic and more modern-type Cenozoic birds in some detail. The reader is introduced to key features of basal avians and the morphological transformations that have occurred in the evolution towards modern birds. An account of the Cenozoic fossil record sheds light on the biogeographic history of the extant avian groups and discusses fossils in the context of current phylogenetic hypotheses. This review of the evolutionary history of birds not only addresses students and established researchers, but it may also be a useful source of information for anyone else with an interest in the evolution of birds and a moderate background in biology and geology" -- From the publisher.
Birds, Fossil  Search this
Paleobiology  Search this
Birds--Evolution  Search this
Evolutionary paleobiology  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries