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Forerunners of Mammals: Radiation Histology Biology (Life of the Past) Hardcover – November 18, 2011


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Forerunners of Mammals: Radiation  Histology  Biology (Life of the Past) + Gaining Ground, Second Edition: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods (Life of the Past)
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Product Details

  • Series: Life of the Past
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (November 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253356970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253356970
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #878,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Forerunners of Mammals will take interested readers beyond the classic jaw-to-ear appreciation of therapsids, towards a deeper appreciation of the ancestry of mammals." —Journal of Mammalian Evolution



The evolutionary lineage that eventually led to mammals split off from the rest of the tetrapods soon after vertebrates dragged themselves out of the water. This book uses a combination of in-depth literature reviews and original research to trace the rise of mammals from these earliest origins. Specifically, the authors use detailed analyses of the microstructure of fossilized bones to follow the transition from reptilian synapsids to the familiar warm-blooded creatures of today. The book relates fine osteological anatomy to the distribution, ecology, physiology, and behavior of mammalian ancestors. Forerunners of Mammals is full of meticulous detail... However, it also contains a number of excellently rendered illustrations of some of the animals covered in the book, and the final chapter is a discussion of the evolution of endothermy that anyone with a background in biology might find of interest. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. --ChoiceJ. L. Hunt, University of Arkansas--Monticello, July 2012



"Forerunners of Mammals is full of meticulous detail... [I]t also contains a number of excellently rendered illustrations of some of the animals covered in the book, and the final chapter is a discussion of the evolution of endothermy that anyone with a background in biology might find of interest.... Recommended." —Choice



"This volume represents a state-of-the-art contribution to our understanding of the paleobiology
of how mammals arose, and what factors contributed to their evolutionary radiation and eventual
success. It is highly recommended for anyone interested in these topics, and will be accessible to
readers with minimal background in bone histology and synapsid paleontology." —Quarterly Review of Biology



"[T]he authors of Forerunners of Mammals have assembled a tremendous amount of information in both paleontology and paleohistology, and the book deserves very serious consideration and appreciation." —Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology



"Ever since Nick Hotton's book from the 1980s we have needed an update on the biology of therapsids, and it has been Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan and her students and associates who through their bone histological work have made the greatest progress in this field." —Martin Sander, Steinmann Institute, University of Bonn

About the Author

Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan is a paleobiologist and global expert on fossil bone microstructure. She is Professor and Fellow of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is former director of the National History Collections, Iziko Museums of Cape Town. She is author of The Microstructure of Dinosaur Bone: Deciphering Biology through Fine Scale Analysis and Famous Dinosaurs of Africa.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Scott McKenzie on December 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book about histology, bone microstructure. There is one chapter on the diversity and evolution of the early mammal -like reptiles. There are some great color pictures of the animals but make no mistake, most of this book is on histology. I am very interested in early mammal relations and the histology does have clear implications for their life styles. This is like a book on the life of Lincoln with almost all of the volume dealing with his bone microstructure. The title should have reflected the true content!

There is room for a book that does speak to the title of this book, Perhaps someone will write it.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Dr. John W. Rippon VINE VOICE on January 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The old adage "you can't tell a book by it's cover" is certainly applicable to "Forerunners of the Mammals". A correlative added could be " don't put too much stock in a publishers pronoucements about a new book". This book has some significant information within it and a few chapters are well written (chapter 1,2 & 11) but for the most part this is a compilation of bone histology studies and is meant for the "special" specialist. This reminds me of a book I once read on the minute details of the egg shells of turtles, lizards, snakes, birds, dinosaurs and mammals. Lots of information but a little can go an awefully long way particularly for the non-specialist. I'm sure a book on therapsid bone histology is warrented but title it as such. Yes, some summary information may help in understanding survival, radiation and persistance of a species in one or several climates and geographic locations but pages and pages dulls the mind. I agree with the first reviewer that an update and in depth book on the therapsids is sorely needed. This one simply wets the appetite.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Larry Cosgrove on November 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have an endearing interest in how reptiles gave rise to mammals (and of that matter, dinosaurs and birds), you will love "Forerunners Of Mammals". Easily the best footnoted and scientific book on mammal ancestry (centered largely on the more familiar pelycosaurs, cynodonts, and early mammals), this writing largely skips the "cute furball picture" route and takes the reader to the science behind evolution. If reading about fossilized bone structure, jaw diversion and cladistics bores you, do not buy this book! However, if you are looking for a great example of paleobiology for your classroom or library, Chinsamy-Turan's compliation of selections from authors versed in the field of diapsid/therapsid relationship cannot be beat.

This is involved scholarship, and frankly I wish that we see more of its kind in dealing with other evolutionary topics. Worth the price, and deserving of a five-star rating.
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