Embryos in Deep Time
The Rock Record of Biological Development
Publication Year: 2012
Can fossil embryos demonstrate evolutionary changes in reproductive modes? How have changes in ocean chemistry in the past affected the development of marine organisms? What can the microstructure of fossil bone and teeth reveal about maturation time, longevity and changes in growth phases? This book addresses these and other issues and documents with numerous examples and illustrations how fossils provide evidence not only of adult anatomy but also of the life history of individuals at different growth stages. The central topic of Biology today—the transformations occurring during the life of an organism and the mechanisms behind them—is addressed in an integrative manner for extinct animals.
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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I would like to thank the University of Zürich and its Faculty of Science, as well as the Institute of Paleontology, for providing I thank current and past members of my lab and close colleagues also thank several colleagues in Zürich and abroad for discussion Nif_feler, and Séverine Urdy. I thank the contributors to the issue ...
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The diversity of life is usually presented in evolutionary trees: A branching pattern culminates in figures of animals and plants. isms, including ourselves, share. But there is a limitation in this kind of representation. The organisms portrayed are static enti-ties, usually adults with the recognizable features of their spe-...
1. Fossils, Ontogeny, and Phylogeny
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...monkeys were left alone in front of typewriters, they would type Encyclopaedia Britannica. I had an abridged version of the Encyclo-paedia in Spanish, fifteen thick volumes, so I had an idea of the extent of text involved. I read the statement for the first time in statement.1 But it made sense to me: unlikely, and yet, given infi-...
2. Evo-Devo, Plasticity, and Modules
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...tal genetics and evolution has been baptized “evo-devo.” Few if edge to understand the origin of biodiversity. For this reason, area. The central focus of evo-devo is contested. Some see it as ability. Many see it as explaining evolutionary novelties or inno-vations in the sense of truly new, large steps of morphological ...
3. Fossilized Vertebrate Ontogenies
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...in embryos and in other juvenile stages, it is not surprising that most fossils are of adults or subadults, which are also larger than other life stages and thus more likely to be found. But fossils ing dinosaurs. Some fossils are interpreted as hatchlings or neo-pretations, it is best to refer to them as “near birth” or “perinatal” ...
4. Bones and Teeth under the Microscope
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...ment for most paleontologists, besides the hammer, is the micro-sity work for the oil industry, examining the very small pollen of fossil plants or extinct foraminifera, the latter members of correlation between geologic sections. For paleontologists, the of fossils, in particular the bone, which has become an important ...
5. Proportions, Growth, and Taxonomy
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At the time when little anatomical research of microscopic struc-fully formed, very small individuals — or homunculi — a the-ory known as preformism (figure 23). Analogous “animalcules” were assumed for other species. This idea seems ridiculous to us now, but at the time there were no microscopes and evolutionary ...
6. Growth and Diversification Patterns
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...the subject of intense research in the sector of the paleontologi-species in a group changes in geologic time, traditionally have been associated with external, environmental factors. Two alter-native external factors are usually advocated in explaining evo-the Red Queen scenario biotic interactions are the main drivers ...
7. Fossils and Developmental Genetics
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...the result of a developmental process. Fossils of adult individu-it is important to consider the position of the fossil in the evolu-tionary tree of life, to ensure that the analyses are based on cor-bracketing. It was introduced specifically to infer soft anatomical properties and behavioral reconstructions in fossils, but it can ...
8. “Missing Links” and the Evolution of Development
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Many people are accustomed to thinking of the evolution of life in terms of a ladderlike progression, with a dif_ferent animal on each rung. In the case of vertebrate evolution, they may envisage a fish on the bottom rung, a salamander on the next, then a liz-eval myth, it seemed natural to suppose that “lower” animals ...
9. Mammalian and Human Development
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...sent only a fraction of the number of species that ever existed since the separation of the evolutionary line leading to them, at lian lineages split. The estimate based on fossils is that about 100 ancestor of all living mammals in the Jurassic.1 Although 5,300 ical diversity — locomotion in humans, kangaroos, whales, and ...
10. On Trilobites, Shells, and Bugs
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So far I have mostly considered the evolution of vertebrate ani-other than vertebrates, and surely the same is true for extinct ies in this area and the great potential the study of these ani-tebrates, a full treatment of the subject would be necessary, and rior exoskeleton, one that covers the soft parts. This is the case ...
Epilogue: Is There a Moral to Developmental Paleontology?
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The history of life is a history of change, and much of that is drawn from this? Of course not. There is no moral intrinsic to a scientific fact or hypothesis. Not so long ago our understanding idea of the selfish gene. More recently biological anthropologists Or forgetting the vastness of time — since we humans are noth-...
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Page Count: 265
Publication Year: 2012