"...the editors are to be congratulated on a job well done... the volume offers most welcome insights..."
"Careful editing and the focus on integrated, comparative analysis of a single group keep this book from sharing the journal-issue fate of most technical symposium volumes."
"This book represents the first, broadly integrated look at the anatomical and physiological changes correlated with the origin of amniotes as evaluated against the cladistic relationships of the pertinent taxa."
--TRENDS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION
"...includes a very thorough review of the relevant evidence of relationships between fossil forms, but extends well beyond that. This thorough and profound integration of palaeontological and zoological approaches to the subject is one of the strengths of this symposium. Another is the breadth of coverage that results. This is going to be the standard reference on its subject for many years."
--BIOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY
"...this book goes beyond skeletal anatomy and phylogeny to explore many other facets of the transition from amphibious to truly terrestrial existence. ...the contributors have made a concerted attempt to generate testable hypotheses, and the editors have done an admirable job of tying this diverse range of topics into a coherent work. This volume will make a significant contribution to the construction of a research program for the future."
"The editorship of Stuart Sumida and Karen Martin deserves great praise for a job well done. There is a wide number of areas covered, and most vertebrate palaobiologists will find something to enjoy or contest. This volume could well be of great use to physiologists in placing their field in a more holistic, certainly historical perspective. The origin of amniotes really is one of the most fundamental areas of vertebrate evolutionary studies and this book is a welcome addition."
--GEOLOGICAL MAGAZINE (1999)
From the Back Cover
The first terrestrial vertebrates evolved a group of membranes to surround and protect developing embryos. The amnion is one such membrane, containing the amniotic fluid of developing reptiles, birds, and mammals. Amniote Origins, an integration of modern systematic methods with studies of functional and physiological processes, illustrates how studies of paleobiology can be illuminated by studies of neontology. Inspired by the prospect of integrating fields that have long been isolated from one another, Amniote Origins provides a thorough and interdisciplinary synthesis of one of the classic transitions of evolutionary history-the transition from aquatic to terrestrial life. This dramatic transition included the evolution of nonpermeable skin, different, less toxic forms of nitrogenous waste, and more efficient forms of locomotion and feeding. This book is a detailed treatment of these and other changes that occurred as these vertebrates comleted this transition. For all these reasons, comparative antomists and physiologists, functional morphologists, zoologists, and paleontologists alike will find this unique volume very useful.