The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology

The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology

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Description

Almost all evolutionary biologists, indeed all biologists, use particular features to study life. Evolutionary biologists use these characteristics or features in a particular way to unravel a tangled evolutionary history, to document the rate of evolutionary change, or as evidence of biodiverisity. "Characters" are the "data" of evolutionary biology and they can be employed differently in research, providing both opportunities and limitations. "The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology" is about characters, their use, how different sorts of characters are limited, and the appropriate methods for character analysis. Leading evolutionary biologists from around the world are contributors to this authoritative review of the "character concept."Because characters and the conception of characters are central to all studies of evolution, and because evolution is the central organizing principle of biology, this book will appeal to a wide cross-section of biologists. It focuses upon "characters" - fundamental data for evolutionary biology. It covers the myriad ways in which characters are defined, described, and distinguished.
It reviews the genetic, functional, and developmental architecture of characters. It discusses the mechanisms by which new characters arise in evolution.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 624 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.52 x 22.86mm | 793.78g
  • Academic Press Inc
  • San Diego, United States
  • English
  • 0127300562
  • 9780127300566

Review quote

"...a book worth paying attention to. ...This is a useful book that has fulfilled Wagner's goal of summarizing information on this topic and stimulating discussion. Read it as soon as you can or risk being left behind as an area that is fundamental to all we do as systematists takes off." Norm MacLeod, The Natural History Museum, UK, in THE PALAEONTOLOGICAL ASSOCATION NEWSLETTER (2001)
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Table of contents

Foreword by Richard Lewontin Characters, Units and Natural Kinds: An Introduction I. Historical Roots of the Character Concept II. New Approaches to the Character Concept III. Operationalizing the Detection of Characters IV. The Mechanistic Architecture of Characters V. The Evolutionary Origin of Characters
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