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Gaining Ground: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods

Clack, Jennifer A.

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ISBN 10: 0253340543 / ISBN 13: 9780253340542
Published by Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2002
Condition: Fine copy in fine dust jacket Hardcover
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Tall 8vo, 369 pp., Life of the Past series. Bookseller Inventory # 052387

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Gaining Ground: The Origin and Evolution of ...

Publisher: Indiana University Press, Bloomington

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: hardcover

Illustrator: Profusely illustrated

Book Condition:Fine copy in fine dust jacket

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st edition.

About this title


Around 370 million years ago, a distant relative of a modern lungfish began the most exciting adventure the world had ever seen: it emerged from the water and laid claim to the land. Over the next 70 million years, this tentative beachhead became a worldwide colonization by an ever-increasing variety of four-limbed life. These first ""tetrapods"" are the ancestors of all vertebrate life on land. Gaining Ground tells the rich and complex story of their emergence and evolution. Beginning with their closest relatives, the lobefin fishes such as lungfishes and coelacanths, Jennifer A. Clack defines the characteristics of tetrapods, describing their anatomy and explaining how they are related to other vertebrates.

Clack looks at the Devonian environment in which tetrapods evolved, describes the known species, and explores the order and timing of anatomical changes that occurred during the fish-to-tetrapod transition. She reports that older ideas about the transition are being overturned by recent discoveries and new ideas about evolutionary change. Following the story through the Carboniferous period, she shows how the evolution of terrestrial characters occurred several times, convergently, among different groups.

About the Author:

JENNIFER A. CLACK is Reader in Vertebrate Palaeontology and Senior Assistant Curator, University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge, and author of numerous papers on Devonian and Carboniferous life. A shorter version of Gaining Ground was published in Japanese in 2000.

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