Several years ago, we realized that the most prominent ideas that had been ex pressed about the origin and early evolution of the Metazoa seemed to have been developed chiefly by zoologists using evidence from modern species without reference to the fossil record. Paleontologists had, in fact, put forth their own ideas but the zoological and the paleontological evidence were about the problem, seldom considered together, especially by zoologists. We believed that the paleon tological documentation of the first Metazoa was too scattered, too obscure to Western readers, and much of it too recent to have been readily available to our colleagues in zoology. Whether or not that was entirely true, we thought that a single volume reviewing the fossil record of the earliest Metazoa would be useful to many in both paleontology and zoology, especially since so much new informa tion has been developed in the last few years. Some of this information has been summarized in general articles recently, but an overview of most of the field does not exist. We therefore organized this book in five parts so that the evidence could be placed in perspective and summarized and inferences made from it. Part I intro duces the previous hypotheses that have been proposed for the origin and early radiation of Metazoa. Part II consists of two summary chapters that set the sedi mentological, geochemical, and biological background to the known radiations of Metazoa.
Recently, new genes and their proteins that revealed striking new insights into the early evolution of multicellular animals have been identified and characterized from members of the lowest metazoan phylum, the porifera (sponges). The unexpected result was that the sequences obtained from sponge displayed high similarity to those found in higher metazoa; in consequence, it was concluded that during the transition from protozoa to metazoa the major structural and regulatory proteins evolved only once. The data gathered are now powerful arguments to establish monophyly of metazoa; in addition, new insights on the evolutionary diversification of metazoa were obtained.
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.
Owing its inspiration and title to On the Origin of Species, James W. Valentine's ambitious book synthesizes and applies the vast treasury of theory and research collected in the century and a half since Darwin's time. By investigating the origins of life's diversity, Valentine unlocks the mystery of the origin of phyla. One of the twentieth century's most distinguished paleobiologists, Valentine here integrates data from molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology, embryology, comparative morphology, and paleontology into an analysis of interest to scholars from any of these fields. He begins by examining the sorts of evidence that can be gleaned from fossils, molecules, and morphology, then reviews and compares the basic morphology and development of animal phyla, emphasizing the important design elements found in the bodyplans of both living and extinct phyla. Finally, Valentine undertakes the monumental task of developing models to explain the origin and early diversification of animal phyla, as well as their later evolutionary patterns. Truly a magnum opus, On the Origin of Phyla will take its place as one of the classic scientific texts of the twentieth century, affecting the work of paleontologists, morphologists, and developmental, molecular, and evolutionary biologists for decades to come. "A magisterial compendium . . . . Valentine offers a judicious evaluation of an astonishing array of evidence."—Richard Fortey, New Scientist "Truly a magnum opus, On the Origin of Phyla has already taken its place as one of the classic scientific texts of the twentieth century, affecting the work of paleontologists, morphologists, and developmental, molecular, and evolutionary biologists for decades to come."—Ethology, Ecology & Evolution "Valentine is one of the Renaissance minds of our time. . . . Darwin wisely called his best-known work On the Origin of the Species; the origin of the phyla is an even stickier problem, and Valentine deserves credit for tackling it at such breadth . . . . A magnificient book."—Stefan Bengtson, Nature
Chronicles the evolution of insects and explains how evolutionary innovations have enabled them to disperse widely, occupy narrow niches, and survive global catastrophes.
One of the most important questions we can ask about life is "Does ecology matter?" Most biologists and paleontologists are trained to answer "yes," but the exact mechanisms by which ecology matters in the context of patterns that play out over millions of years have never been entirely clear. This book examines these mechanisms and looks at how ancient environments affected evolution, focusing on long-term macroevolutionary changes as seen in the fossil record. Evolutionary paleoecology is not a new discipline. Beginning with Darwin, researchers have attempted to understand how the environment has affected evolutionary history. But as we learn more about these patterns, the search for a new synthetic view of the evolutionary process that integrates species evolution, ecology, and mass extinctions becomes ever more pressing. The present volume is a benchmark sampler of active research in this ever more active field.
Animal Evolution is a complete analysis of the evolutionary interrelationships and myriad diversity of the animal kingdom. This new edition brings the subject fully up to date, especially in light of the latest advances in molecular techniques. It also includes new chapters as the result of new systematic understanding.
Nature has published news about the history of life ever since its first issue in 1869, in which T. H. Huxley ("Darwin's bulldog") wrote about Triassic dinosaurs. In recent years, the field has enjoyed a tremendous flowering due to new investigative techniques drawn from cladistics (a revolutionary method for charting evolutionary relationships) and molecular biology. Shaking the Tree brings together nineteen review articles written for Nature over the past decade by many of the major figures in paleontology and evolution, from Stephen Jay Gould to Simon Conway Morris. Each article is brief, accessible, and opinionated, providing "shoot from the hip" accounts of the latest news and debates. Topics covered include major extinction events, homeotic genes and body plans, the origin and evolution of the primates, and reconstructions of phylogenetic trees for a wide variety of groups. The editor, Henry Gee, gives new commentary and updated references. Shaking the Tree is a one-stop resource for engaging overviews of the latest research in the history of life on Earth.
All living plants and animals, including man, are the modified descendants of one or a few simple living things. A hundred years ago Darwin and Wallace in their theory of natural selection, or the survival of the fittest, explained how evolution could have happened, in terms of processes known to take place today. In this book John Maynard Smith describes how their theory has been confirmed, but at the same time transformed, by recent research, and in particular by the discovery of the laws of inheritance.
How could a structure as complex as the vertebrate brain develop from the simplest multicellular animals? Natural selection offers an impeccable mechanism for the gradual transformation of species, but even Darwin sometimes expressed doubts about the origin of highly complex structures. Following an approach that has been termed "developmental evolutionary genetics," this book seeks to establish a correspondence between embryological processes and the phylogenetic history of an organism.
In his 1894 book, Materials for the Study of Variation, William Bateson coined the term Homoeosis with the following prose: The case of the modification of the antenna of an insect into a foot, of the eye of a Crustacean into an antenna, of a petal into a stamen, and the like, are examples of the same kind. It is desirable and indeed necessary that such Variations, which consist in the assumption by one member of a Meristic series, of the form or characters proper to other members of the series, should be recognized as constituting a distinct group of phenomena. ...I therefore propose...the term HOMOEOSIS...; for the essential phenomenon is not that there has merely been a change, but that something has been changed into the likeness of something else. The book was intended as a listing of the kinds of naturally occurring variation that could act as a substrate for the evolutionary process and Bateson took his examples from collections, both private and in museums, of materials displaying morphological oddities. Interestingly the person who also coined the term “Genetics” proffered little in the way of speculation on the possible genetic underpinnings of these oddities. It wasn’t until the early part of the next century that these changes in meristic series were shown to be heritable.
Major Events in the History of Life, present six chapters that summarize our understanding of crucial events that shaped the development of the earth's environment and the course of biological evolution over some four billion years of geological time. The subjects are covered by acknowledged leaders in their fields span an enormous sweep of biologic history, from the formation of planet Earth and the origin of living systems to our earliest records of human activity. Several chapters present new data and new syntheses, or summarized results of new types of analysis, material not usually available in current college textbooks.
Tackling one of the most difficult and delicate of the evolutionary questions, this challenging book summarizes the more recent results in phylogenetics and developmental biology that address the evolution of key innovations in metazoans. Divided into three sections, the first considers the phylogenetic issues involving this area of the tree of life and the elucidation of those relationships that continue to trouble taxonomists. The second section considers the developmental biology of metazoan evolution including the development of the nervous system, sensory organs, and physiological maturation. Part three focuses on the evolution of pattern and process in the Metazoa.
This 1985 book examines the origin of the present diversity of marine invertebrate animals. A brief review of the early stages in the history of life discusses the time-scale of the relevant geological periods alongside corresponding events in the evolutionary sequence. These views of the early history of life are then matched against the fossil record and conjectures drawn from the living fauna, enabling the author to attempt an overview of the early diversification of marine animal life. Transitions to the succeeding assemblages of shellbearing fossils in Palaeozoic rocks are discussed and a number of stratigraphic adjustments are suggested for the period in which evolutionary events had their greatest impact on oceans and marine rock strata. The need for an interdisciplinary approach to early evolution is emphasized.
Observers from the West, the book contends, have incorrectly projected rigid ethnocentric notions of love and marriage onto cultures around the world. Contributors look beyond each society's "official" institutions to explore expressions of love. They find, for instance, that arranged marriages and polygamy do not necessarily indicate a lack of romantic passion but rather that people in such cultures may expect to look elsewhere for love. Contributors also look at the other side of the equation: rejection and grief.
Describing and understanding the evolution of the diversity of bodyplans is a major goal of evolutionary biology. Taking a modern, integrated approach to this question, a group of leading researchers describe how modern techniques and disciplines have been combined, resulting in a dramatic renaissance in the study of animal evolution.

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