Wildlife of Gondwana: Dinosaurs and Other Vertebrates from the Ancient Supercontinent (Life of the Past)

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9780253336439: Wildlife of Gondwana: Dinosaurs and Other Vertebrates from the Ancient Supercontinent (Life of the Past)

"This is a treasure trove... Recommended for all libraries." —Choice

Before the six major continents were separated by vast seas, there existed the landmass of Gondwana (now Australia, South America, Antarctica, India, Africa, and New Zealand). This book presents the history of the vertebrate faunas of Gondwana, beginning with the origin of life, even before Gondwana coalesced, and moving through time as the continent shifted, along with its vertebrate life. Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of color photographs, drawings, and paintings, Wildlife of Gondwana is a major reference to life of the past. Originally published in Australia in 1993, this corrected and augmented edition contains new material on fossil discoveries in India.

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Review:

From the late Paleozoic era to the early Mesozoic era, 350 million to 140 million years before the present, the latter-day continents and subcontinents of Antarctica, India, Australia, Africa, and South America formed a single landmass, a southerly "supercontinent" that contemporary scientists call Gondwana. The physicist Alfred Wegener posited the existence of Gondwana as early as 1912, but only in the 1960s was his theory of continental drift widely accepted. Since that time, considerable evidence has been gathered about Gondwana's ancient flora and fauna, much of it from Australia, which the authors of this handsomely illustrated volume deem a kind of "Noah's ark" of species found almost nowhere else.

Some of those animal types, such as the allosaurid dinosaurs and the labyrinthodont amphibians, may have endured on Gondwana long after they went extinct on its northern-hemisphere counterpart; others, such as the placental mammals and certapsian dinosaurs, may have developed on Gondwana. First published in 1992, this book offers a useful introduction to plate tectonics and other tenets of modern geology, as well as a fine catalog of long-extinct creatures such as the sauropod, pterosaur, and iguanodont. The revised edition recounts recent discoveries from southern Africa, India, and Patagonia that augment the fossil record and correct earlier classification schemes. --Gregory McNamee

From the Back Cover:

"Today the six major continents are separated by vast seas, but it has not always been so. The relentless motion of the earth's crust sometimes joined and sometimes separated disparate landmasses; twice such a union created the landmass of Gondwana. This great southern supercontinent once was home to an unusual array of wildlife."--BOOK JACKET. "This book traces the history of the vertebrate faunas of Gondwana. It begins with the origin of life, before Gondwana coalesced, and follows the evolution of vertebrates from invertebrate stock, through the course of life from primitive fishes to advanced mammals and birds. It explains in detail how the vertebrate faunas of each of the Gondwana continents developed to the present day, and it investigates how the shifting continental plates and changing climates have shaped the path of vertebrate evolution."--BOOK JACKET.

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Patricia Vickers-Rich, Thomas H. Rich
Published by Indiana University Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 0253336430 ISBN 13: 9780253336439
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Book Description Indiana University Press, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Printing. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0253336430

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