Download Dinosaurs - A Concise Natural History by David E. Fastovsky, David B. Weishampel, John Sibbick PDF

By David E. Fastovsky, David B. Weishampel, John Sibbick

Definitely the right textbook for non-science majors, this vigorous and interesting creation encourages scholars to invite questions, check info severely and imagine like a scientist. development at the luck of the former variations, Dinosaurs has been reorganised and greatly rewritten in accordance with teacher and pupil suggestions. It maintains to make technological know-how available and correct via its transparent factors and vast illustrations. up to date to mirror fresh fossil discoveries and to incorporate new taxa, the textual content courses scholars in the course of the dinosaur teams, emphasising clinical suggestions instead of offering unending evidence. it truly is grounded within the universal language of contemporary evolutionary biology - phylogenetic systematics - in order that scholars learn dinosaurs as expert paleontologists do. the most important rising subject of feathered dinosaurs, and the numerous implications of feathers, were built-in in the course of the booklet, highlighted through the inclusion of lovely new images during this superbly illustrated textual content, now in complete color all through.

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Extra info for Dinosaurs - A Concise Natural History

Example text

Observable features of anatomy are termed characters. Unique bones or unusual morphologies would all be characters. On the other hand, “observable features” would not include what something does – or how it does it. So, for example, “bites hard” is not a character, but perhaps “big jaw muscles” would be. Characters acquire their meaning not as a single feature on a particular organism but when their distribution among a selected group of organisms is considered. For example, modern birds are generally linked on the basis of having feathers.

Biostratigraphy Biostratigraphy is a method of relative dating that utilizes the presence of fossil organisms. It is based upon the idea that a particular time interval can be characterized by a distinctive assemblage, or group, of organisms. For example, if one knows that dinosaurs lived from 228 to 65 Ma, then any rock containing a dinosaur fragment must fall within that age range. 3. Bone between two dated horizons. As we know the ages of the two horizons, the age of the bone can be interpolated between them (see the text).

3. That new group is called “Hominoidea,” as it happens, and is diagnosed by lots of characters, among which are a series of specializations in the arms and trunk associated with walking bipedally and swinging through trees. 44 Who’s related to whom – and how do we know? demonstrating its power to reveal the underlying evolutionary relationships of even inanimate objects. Used as a tool to reconstruct evolution, then, a cladogram is actually a hypothesis of relationship; that is, a hypothesis about how closely (or distantly) organisms are related, and about what the sequence of the appearance of different diagnostic characters must have been.

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