New discoveries of ancient vertebrates, filling in gaps in the fossil record, are quickly eroding the traditionally recognized differences between the principal groups of vertebrates—for example, between dinosaurs and birds—and radically changing our understanding of the evolutionary history of the major group of animals to which our species belongs. This book describes this changing scientific landscape and contributes to the revolution in our knowledge of the developmental mechanisms that underlie evolutionary transformation.
One of the most fascinating problems in biology is how a single cell, the fertilised egg, gives rise to a new individual. The fertilised egg divides many times to form an embryo. This volume in the Frontiers in Molecular Biology series discusses the methods by which cells in distinct regions of an embryo become different, a process known as patterning. Patterning is fundamental to establishing the spatial organisation of the developing embryo. It ensures that all the parts of the body are generated and that they form in exactly the right places. The ultimate in patterning is the formation of precise arrangements of specialised cells and tissues within each organ. Understanding the process of patterning during the embryonic development of vertebrates is a particular challenge for developmental biologists because vertebrates have an intricate and complex anatomy and histology. The first two chapters of Patterning in Vertebrate Development are introductory, explaining to the reader the general principles of vertebrate patterning and early embryology. The subsequent chapters address patterning in both nervous system and specific parts of the body. Each chapter provides a detailed review of current research in a specific area of interest. These include topics such as neural specification, antero-posterior patterning of the neural tube, and molecular basis of vertebrate limb development. Throughout the volume, examples are drawn from a number of species, and particular emphasis is placed on recent discoveries about the molecular basis of patterning in vertebrates. The book concludes with a chapter which revisits many of the regions of the embryo previously discussed from an evolutionary perspective.
In the years since the publication of Susumu Ohno's 1970 landmark book Evolution by gene duplication tremendous advances have been made in molecular biology and especially in genomics. Studies of genome structure and function prerequisite to testing hypotheses of genome evolution were all but impossible until recent methodological advances. This book evaluates newly generated empirical evidence as it pertains to theories of genomic evolutionary patterns and processes. Tests of hypotheses using analyses of complete genomes, interpreted in a phylogenetic context, provide evidence regarding the relative importance of gene duplication. The alternative explanation is that the evolution of regulatory elements that control the expression of and interactions among genes has been a more important force in shaping evolutionary innovation. This collection of papers will be of interest to all academic and industry researchers working in the fields of molecular biology, biotechnology, genomics and genome centers.
This new text provides an integrated view of the forces that influence the patterns and rates of vertebrate evolution from the level of living populations and species to those that resulted in the origin of the major vertebrate groups. The evolutionary roles of behavior, development, continental drift, and mass extinctions are compared with the importance of variation and natural selection that were emphasized by Darwin. It is extensively illustrated, showing major transitions between fish and amphibians, dinosaurs and birds, and land mammals to whales. No book since Simpson's Major Features of Evolution has attempted such a broad study of the patterns and forces of evolutionary change. Undergraduate students taking a general or advanced course on evolution, and graduate students and professionals in evolutionary biology and paleontology will find the book of great interest.
How did flying birds evolve from running dinosaurs, terrestrial trotting tetrapods evolve from swimming fish, and whales return to swim in the sea? These are some of the great transformations in the 500-million-year history of vertebrate life. And with the aid of new techniques and approaches across a range of fields—work spanning multiple levels of biological organization from DNA sequences to organs and the physiology and ecology of whole organisms—we are now beginning to unravel the confounding evolutionary mysteries contained in the structure, genes, and fossil record of every living species. This book gathers a diverse team of renowned scientists to capture the excitement of these new discoveries in a collection that is both accessible to students and an important contribution to the future of its field. Marshaling a range of disciplines—from paleobiology to phylogenetics, developmental biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology—the contributors attack particular transformations in the head and neck, trunk, appendages such as fins and limbs, and the whole body, as well as offer synthetic perspectives. Illustrated throughout, Great Transformations in Vertebrate Evolution not only reveals the true origins of whales with legs, fish with elbows, wrists, and necks, and feathered dinosaurs, but also the relevance to our lives today of these extraordinary narratives of change.
The invasion of the land by plants (terrestrialization) was one of the most significant evolutionary events in the history of life on Earth, and correlates in time with periods of major palaeoenvironmental perturbations. The development of a vegetation cover on the previously barren land surfaces impacted on the global biogeochemical cycles and the geological processes of erosion and sediment transport. The terrestrialization of plants preceded the rise of major new groups of animals, such as insects and tetrapods, the latter numbering some 24 000 living species, including ourselves. Early land-plant evolution also correlates with the most spectacular decline of atmospheric CO2 concentration of Phanerozoic times and with the onset of a protracted period of glacial conditions on Earth. This book includes a selection of papers covering different aspects of the terrestrialization, from palaeobotany to vertebrate palaeontology and geochemistry, promoting a multidisciplinary approach to the understanding of the co-evolution of life and its environments during Early to Mid-Palaeozoic times.
This volume describes features of autonomy and integrates them into the recent discussion of factors in evolution. In recent years ideas about major transitions in evolution are undergoing a revolutionary change. They include questions about the origin of evolutionary innovation, their genetic and epigenetic background, the role of the phenotype and of changes in ontogenetic pathways. In the present book, it is argued that it is likewise necessary to question the properties of these innovations and what was qualitatively generated during the macroevolutionary transitions. The author states that a recurring central aspect of macroevolutionary innovations is an increase in individual organismal autonomy whereby it is emancipated from the environment with changes in its capacity for flexibility, self-regulation and self-control of behavior. The first chapters define the concept of autonomy and examine its history and its epistemological context. Later chapters demonstrate how changes in autonomy took place during the major evolutionary transitions and investigate the generation of organs and physiological systems. They synthesize material from various disciplines including zoology, comparative physiology, morphology, molecular biology, neurobiology and ethology. It is argued that the concept is also relevant for understanding the relation of the biological evolution of man to his cultural abilities. Finally the relation of autonomy to adaptation, niche construction, phenotypic plasticity and other factors and patterns in evolution is discussed. The text has a clear perspective from the context of systems biology, arguing that the generation of biological autonomy must be interpreted within an integrative systems approach.
A multi-author volume Major Events in Early Vertebrate Evolution examines the origin and early evolution of the backboned animals (vertebrates)-the group which comprises all fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including ourselves. This volume draws together evidence from fossils, genes, and developmental biology (the study of how embryos grow and develop) to answer questions such as: *When did the first backboned animals appear? *How are the different groups of backboned animals related to each other? *How did bones and teeth evolve? The authors are all experts of international standing in their respective fields, and present some of their own recent findings in conjunction with reviews of the latest work in this fast-moving and fascinating area of biology.
The first comprehensive synthesis on development and evolution: it applies to all aspects of development, at all levels of organization and in all organisms, taking advantage of modern findings on behavior, genetics, endocrinology, molecular biology, evolutionary theory and phylogenetics to show the connections between developmental mechanisms and evolutionary change. This book solves key problems that have impeded a definitive synthesis in the past. It uses new concepts and specific examples to show how to relate environmentally sensitive development to the genetic theory of adaptive evolution and to explain major patterns of change. In this book development includes not only embryology and the ontogeny of morphology, sometimes portrayed inadequately as governed by "regulatory genes," but also behavioral development and physiological adaptation, where plasticity is mediated by genetically complex mechanisms like hormones and learning. The book shows how the universal qualities of phenotypes--modular organization and plasticity--facilitate both integration and change. Here you will learn why it is wrong to describe organisms as genetically programmed; why environmental induction is likely to be more important in evolution than random mutation; and why it is crucial to consider both selection and developmental mechanism in explanations of adaptive evolution. This book satisfies the need for a truly general book on development, plasticity and evolution that applies to living organisms in all of their life stages and environments. Using an immense compendium of examples on many kinds of organisms, from viruses and bacteria to higher plants and animals, it shows how the phenotype is reorganized during evolution to produce novelties, and how alternative phenotypes occupy a pivotal role as a phase of evolution that fosters diversification and speeds change. The arguments of this book call for a new view of the major themes of evolutionary biology, as shown in chapters on gradualism, homology, environmental induction, speciation, radiation, macroevolution, punctuation, and the maintenance of sex. No other treatment of development and evolution since Darwin's offers such a comprehensive and critical discussion of the relevant issues. Developmental Plasticity and Evolution is designed for biologists interested in the development and evolution of behavior, life-history patterns, ecology, physiology, morphology and speciation. It will also appeal to evolutionary paleontologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and teachers of general biology.
Skew theory investigates the genetic and ecological factors causal to the partitioning of reproduction in animal groups and may yield fundamental insights into the evolution of animal sociality. This book brings together new theory and empirical work, mostly in vertebrates, to test assumptions and predictions of skew models.
How life began remains perhaps the most fascinating unresolved scientific problem facing us today. This book provides a broad academic overview (and therefore a useful summary) of our current understanding of the origin and early evolution of life. Drawing on evidence from biology, chemistry and geology, it emphasises limitations in our understanding and takes a critical attitude towards pseudo-scientific approaches.
The Dissection of Vertebrates, Second Edition, provides students with a manual that combines pedalogical effective text with high-quality, accurate, and attractive visual references. Using a systemic approach within a systematic framework for each vertebrate, this book covers several animals commonly used in providing an anatomical transition sequence. Seven animals are covered: lamprey, shark, perch, mudpuppy, frog, pigeon, and cat. This updated version include a revised systemic section of the introductory chapter; corrections to several parts of the existing text and images; new comparative skull sections included as part of the existing vertebrates; and a companion site with image bank. This text is designed for 2nd or 3rd year university level comparative vertebrate anatomy courses. Such courses are usually two-semester courses, and may either be a required course or an elective. It is typically a required course for Biology and Zoology majors, as well as for some Forensics and Criminology programs, and offered as an elective for many other non-zoology science majors. * Winner of the NYSM Jury award for the Rock Dove Air Sacs, Lateral and Ventral Views illustration * Expertly rendered award-winning illustrations accompany the detailed, clear dissection direction * Organized by individual organism to facilitate classroom presentation * Offers coverage of a wide range of vertebrates * Full-color, strong pedagogical aids in a convenient lay-flat presentation * Expanded and updated features on phylogenic coverage, mudpuppy musculature and comparative mammalian skulls
Non-mammalian synapsids were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates from the Late Carboniferous to the Middle Triassic and play a key role in understanding the origin and evolution of mammals. Despite these facts and the outstanding fossil record of the group, early synapsids remain obscure. This book showcases the full breadth of contemporary research on non-mammalian synapsids, ranging from taxonomy and phylogenetics to functional morphology, biogeography, paleoecology, and patterns of diversity. It also underscores the importance and potential of studying non-mammalian synapsid paleobiology in its own right, not just in the context of mammalian evolution.
The marriage of evolutionary biology with developmental biology has resulted in the formation of a new field, evolutionary developmental biology, or “evo-devo. This volume reviews current research findings and thought in the broad field of evo-devo, looking at the developmental genetic mechanisms that cause variation and how alterations of these mechanisms can generate novel structural changes in a variety of plant and animal life. Reviews current research findings and thought on evolutionary developmental biology, providing researchers an overview and synthesis of the latest research findings and contemporary thought in the area Includes chapters discussing the evolutionary development of a wide variety of organisms and allows researchers to compare and contrast how genes are expressed in a variety of organisms—from fly to frog, to humans Emphasizes the role of regulatory DNA in evolutionary development to give researchers perspective on how the regions of the genome that control gene expression and the protein factors that bind them are ultimately responsible for the diversity of life that has evolved
The Amphibian Visual System: A Multidisciplinary Approach is a compendium of articles across a broad range of disciplines within experimental biology focusing on the study of the amphibian visual system. The book presents a survey of the evolutionary history and major taxonomic and ecological adaptations of amphibians; anatomic, physiological, developmental, and behavioral data relating to the amphibian visual system; description of important standards for laboratory amphibians; and the crucial problem of species identification in neurobiological research. Zoologists, experimental biologists, neurologists, and anatomists will find the text very interesting.
Dieser Band nimmt sie mit auf eine spannende Reise in Bildern und Texten. Spektakuläre, großformatige Fotos auf Doppelseiten mit einem Erklärungstext machen die Leser neugierig auf das, was die Evolution im Bereich des Fliegens hervorgebracht hat: von der pflanzlichen Luftflotte (Pollenkörner, Flugsamen,...) über fliegende Schlangen und Fische, unter Wasser fliegende Pinguine bis zum Menschen, der sich in die Lüfte erhebt. Das Buch kann in beliebiger Reihenfolge, Doppelseite für Doppelseite, gelesen werden. Querverweise sorgen für bequemes Umspringen auf andere Doppelseiten. Die Textpassagen sind zumeist - abgesehen von der fundierten Einleitung - unabhängig von einander und besprechen besondere Highlights im evolutionären Prozess. Ergänzt wird die Doppelseite mit Literaturhinweisen und Verweisen auf instruktive Internet-Seiten.
A presentation of all aspects of neural crest cell origins (embryological and evolutionary) development and evolution; neural crest cell behavior (migration) and anomalies (neurocristopathies and birth defects) that arise from defective neural crest development. The treatment of development will include discussions of cellular, molecular and genetic aspects of the differentiation and morphogenesis of neural crest cells and structures derived from neural crest cells. The origins of the neural crest in embryology will be discussed using the recent information on the molecular basis of the specification of the neural crest. Also presented are the advances in our understanding of the evolution of jaws from studies on lampreys and of the neural crest from studies on ascidians and amphioxus.
Role of Darwin's ideas and the degree and direction of their influence, Bowler shows how these interactions constituted an interdisciplinary program with a focus on reconstructing the past rather than on mechanisms of evolutionary change. Bowler also examines the socially laden metaphors used by early biologists to describe the history of life, and argues that such usage influenced the development of modern evolutionism by exploiting Darwinian principles outside the.