The Rise of Marine Mammals
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The Rise of Marine Mammals : 50 Million Years of Evolution

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Description

Marine mammals have long captured the attention of humans. Ancient peoples etched seals and dolphins on the walls of Paleolithic caves; today, engineers develop microprocessors to track these denizens of the deep. This groundbreaking book from highly respected marine mammal paleontologist Annalisa Berta delves into the story of the extraordinary adaptations that gave the world these amazing animals. The Rise of Marine Mammals reveals remarkable fossil record discoveries that shed light on the origins, relationships, and diversification of marine mammals.

Focusing on evolution and paleobiology, Berta provides an overview of marine mammal species diversity, enhanced with gorgeous life restorations by Carl Buell, Robert Boessenecker, William Stout, and Ray Troll and extensive line drawings by graphics editor James L. Sumich. The book also considers ongoing conservation challenges, demonstrating how the fossil record of adaptation in response to past environmental shifts may illuminate the way that marine mammals respond to global climate change. This invaluable evolutionary framework is essential for helping us understand how best to protect and conserve today's polar bears, whales, dolphins, seals, and fellow warm-blooded ocean dwellers.

The Rise of Marine Mammals also describes exciting breakthroughs that rely on new techniques of study, including 3-D imaging, and molecular, finite element, and morphometric analyses, which have enhanced scientists' understanding of everything from the anatomy of fetal whales to the genes behind limb loss in cetaceans. Mammalogists, paleontologists, and marine scientists will find Berta's insights absorbing, while developmental and molecular biologists, geneticists, and ecologists exploring integrative research approaches will benefit from her fresh perspective.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 216 pages
  • 216 x 279 x 19mm | 998g
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • English
  • 68 Illustrations, color; 27 Illustrations, color; 79 Line drawings, black and white
  • 1421423251
  • 9781421423258
  • 1,101,270

Table of contents

PrefaceAcknowledgments1. Setting the Stage2. The Oldest Marine Mammals3. Later- Diverging Whales4. Aquatic Carnivorans5. Crown Sirenians and Their Desmostylian Relatives6. Aquatic Sloths and Recent Occupants of the Sea, Sea Otters and Polar Bears7. Diversity Changes through TimeClassification of Fossil Marine MammalsGlossaryReferencesIndex
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Review quote

Mammalogists, paleontologists, and marine scientists will find Berta's insights absorbing, while developmental and molecular biologists, geneticists, and ecologists exploring integrative research approaches will benefit from her fresh perspective. * Birdbooker Report * The Rise of Marine Mammals is an impressive introduction to its subject and an important contribution to zoological literature. * TLS * Overall, this is a thorough review of the evolution of marine mammals, ideal for students of vertebrate paleontology who wish to study the taxonomy of these groups and for professionals who may use it as an up-to-date reference work. The volume is an excellent addition to paleontology collections. * Choice * This is a beautifully illustrated, comprehensive introduction to the fossil record of some of the most interesting evolutionary transformations within mammals... The Rise of Marine Mammals is a fact-filled, well-illustrated volume that will be much appreciated by anyone who is looking to learn about where, when, and how these fascinating animals arose. -- Mark D. Uhen, George Mason University * Quarterly Review of Biology * The Rise of Marine Mammals covers the breadth of marine mammal evolution while highlighting the key details. It discusses what we can learn from the fossils within a context that makes the reader feel as if he or she is part of making these discoveries... This visually stunning, yet informative, book should serve to inspire its readers-not only to give them a sense of awe and wonder at the marvelous diversity of marine mammals in eons gone by, but also to push them to preserve and steward the remarkable creatures that live in our seas today. -- Ryan M. Bebej, Calvin College * Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith *
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About Annalisa Berta

Annalisa Berta is emerita professor of biology at San Diego State University. She is the author of Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises: A Natural History and Species Guide. James L. Sumich is emeritus professor of biology at Grossmont College. He is the coauthor of Introduction to the Biology of Marine Life. Together, he and Berta are coauthors of Marine Mammals: Evolutionary Biology.
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