Development, Growth and Evolution, Volume 20: Implications for the Study of the Hominid Skeleton (Linnean Society Symposium)

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9780125249652: Development, Growth and Evolution, Volume 20: Implications for the Study of the Hominid Skeleton (Linnean Society Symposium)

This book presents a synthesis of the modern approaches to the study of ontogeny and the interpretation of the fossil evidence for human origins. Recent years have seen significant developments in the understanding of the regulation of embryonic pattern formation and skeletal adaptation, and in techniques for the visualizations and analysis of ontogenetic transformations, offering the prospect of understanding the mechanisms underpinning phylogenetic transformation in the skeleton. Advances in developmental biology, molecular genetics, biomechanics, microscopy, imaging and morphometrics are brought to bear on the subject.

Key Features
* Reviews important hot subject areas
* Juxtaposes contributions by developmental biologists and those by evolutionary morphologists
* Makes some bold insights; synthesizes development and evolution

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From the Back Cover:

This book arises out of a joint meeting of the Centre for Ecology and Evolution and the Linnean Society of London held at the meeting rooms of the Linnean Society in April 1998. The meeting brought together developmental biologists and hominid palaentologists to discuss how advances in understanding of developmental mechanisms might impact on the interpretation of hominid skeletal remains. This volume attempts to provide accessible accounts of these advances in developmental biology for the non-expert, together with contributions from hominid palaentologists, which aim to bring this developmental perspective to bear on interpretation of the skeletal record of human evolution. This combined approach is, as yet, in its infancy but it is likely that it will impact significantly on palaeoanthropology and palaentology in general. This text is therefore, likely to be of interest to students of hominid skeletal evolution, skeletal biology and evolutionary developmental biology, and its content should simulate studies in which skeletal morphology is interpreted in an integrative context, taking account of both ontogeny and phylogeny.

About the Author:

Paul O'Higgins began studying medicine at the University of Leeds in 1976. He earned a BSc in Anatomy and developed an interest in primate and human evolution. He returned to complete medical studies, qualifying in 1982. For the next 6 years he pursued his Ph.D. while practicing medicine and lecturing in Anatomy at the University of Leeds. He received his Ph.D. in 1989 and in 1990 was named Senior Lecturer in Anatomy at the University of Western Australia. In 1994 he returned to London where he became a Reader in Anatomy at University College. His focus there is in geometric modelling and comparison of growth in relation to evolution and sexual dimorphism.

Martin Cohn obtained a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991. From 1991 through 1993, he carried out research on digit reduction in extant and extinct mammals at Kent State University, earning his Master's Degree. In 1993, he began work on a Ph.D. at University College London where he focused on the molecular mechanisms controlling the initiation of limb development and the positioning of limbs along the head-to-tail axis of vertebrate embryos. He moved to the University of Reading in 1997 as a postdoctoral fellow in evolutionary developmental biology. Since 1998 he has been the BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellow at the University of Reading. His current focus is the origin of fin and limb development, and molecular basis limb loss, in vertebrate evolution.

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