return to the sea the life and evolutionary times of marine mammals

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Return To The Sea

Author : Annalisa Berta
ISBN : 9780520270572
Genre : Science
File Size : 41. 33 MB
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"Over the past 55 million years, mammals have returned to the sea many times and in many places. Annalisa Berta leads readers through this parade of transitions, highlighting how marine mammals have met the evolutionary challenge of living an aquatic life in a variety of ways. Return to the Sea weaves ecology, anatomy, and evolution into an ideal entry point for anyone interested in knowing more about one of the most fascinating phenomena in macroevolution."--Nicholas D. Pyenson, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution "Berta is to be congratulated. She drew on her vast knowledge of marine mammals and their evolution to write an excellent, readable introduction to the group, including the latest discoveries."--J.G.M. Thewissen, Northeast Ohio Medical University "This wide-ranging and up-to-date survey of marine mammal biology and evolution is a fine introduction to the subject for undergraduates and anyone interested in mammals of the sea."--Daryl P. Domning, Howard University

Return To The Sea

Author : Prof. Annalisa Berta
ISBN : 9780520951440
Genre : Science
File Size : 38. 65 MB
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Return to the Sea portrays the life and evolutionary times of marine mammals—from giant whales and sea cows that originated 55 million years ago to the deep diving elephant seals and clam-eating walruses of modern times. This fascinating account of the origin of various marine mammal lineages, some extinct, others extant but threatened, is for the non-specialist. Set against a backdrop of geologic time, changing climates, and changing geography, evolution is the unifying principle that helps us to understand the present day diversity of marine mammals and their responses to environmental challenges. Annalisa Berta explains current controversies and explores patterns of change taking place today, such as shifting food webs and predator-prey relationships, habitat degradation, global warming, and the effects of humans on marine mammal communities.

Marine Mammals

Author : Annalisa Berta
ISBN : 9780123972576
Genre : Science
File Size : 31. 73 MB
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Marine Mammals: Evolutionary Biology, Third Edition is a succinct, yet comprehensive text devoted to the systematics, evolution, morphology, ecology, physiology, and behavior of marine mammals. Earlier editions of this valuable work are considered required reading for all marine biologists concerned with marine mammals, and this text continues that tradition of excellence with updated citations and an expansion of nearly every chapter that includes full color photographs and distribution maps. Comprehensive, up-to-date coverage of the biology of all marine mammals Provides a phylogenetic framework that integrates phylogeny with behavior and ecology Features chapter summaries, further readings, an appendix, glossary and an extensive bibliography Exciting new color photographs and additional distribution maps

Squirrels Of The World

Author : Richard W. Thorington, Jr.
ISBN : 9781421408682
Genre : Science
File Size : 28. 43 MB
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Squirrels of the World, written by scientists with more than 100 years of collective experience studying these popular mammals, is the first comprehensive examination of all 285 species of squirrels worldwide. The authors reveal virtually every detail of the family Sciuridae, which includes ground squirrels, tree squirrels, flying squirrels, prairie dogs, and chipmunks. Each species—from the familiar gray squirrel of American backyards to the exotic and endangered woolly flying squirrel of Pakistan—is described in a detailed account that includes distinguishing characteristics, ecology, natural history, conservation status, and current threats to its existence. Squirrels of the World includes • stunning color photographs that document rare and unusual squirrels as well as common varieties• evolution, morphology, ecology, and conservation status• colorful range maps marking species distribution• images of the skull of each genus of squirrel• extensive references -- Selma Glasscock

The Walking Whales

Author : J. G. M. "Hans" Thewissen
ISBN : 9780520959415
Genre : Science
File Size : 54. 2 MB
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Hans Thewissen, a leading researcher in the field of whale paleontology and anatomy, gives a sweeping first-person account of the discoveries that brought to light the early fossil record of whales. As evidenced in the record, whales evolved from herbivorous forest-dwelling ancestors that resembled tiny deer to carnivorous monsters stalking lakes and rivers and to serpentlike denizens of the coast. Thewissen reports on his discoveries in the wilds of India and Pakistan, weaving a narrative that reveals the day-to-day adventures of fossil collection, enriching it with local flavors from South Asian culture and society. The reader senses the excitement of the digs as well as the rigors faced by scientific researchers, for whom each new insight gives rise to even more questions, and for whom at times the logistics of just staying alive may trump all science. In his search for an understanding of how modern whales live their lives, Thewissen also journeys to Japan and Alaska to study whales and wild dolphins. He finds answers to his questions about fossils by studying the anatomy of otters and porpoises and examining whale embryos under the microscope. In the book's final chapter, Thewissen argues for approaching whale evolution with the most powerful tools we have and for combining all the fields of science in pursuit of knowledge.

Other Minds

Author : Peter Godfrey-Smith
ISBN : 9780374712808
Genre : Science
File Size : 20. 95 MB
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Although mammals and birds are widely regarded as the smartest creatures on earth, it has lately become clear that a very distant branch of the tree of life has also sprouted higher intelligence: the cephalopods, consisting of the squid, the cuttlefish, and above all the octopus. In captivity, octopuses have been known to identify individual human keepers, raid neighboring tanks for food, turn off lightbulbs by spouting jets of water, plug drains, and make daring escapes. How is it that a creature with such gifts evolved through an evolutionary lineage so radically distant from our own? What does it mean that evolution built minds not once but at least twice? The octopus is the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien. What can we learn from the encounter? In Other Minds, Peter Godfrey-Smith, a distinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver, tells a bold new story of how subjective experience crept into being—how nature became aware of itself. As Godfrey-Smith stresses, it is a story that largely occurs in the ocean, where animals first appeared. Tracking the mind’s fitful development, Godfrey-Smith shows how unruly clumps of seaborne cells began living together and became capable of sensing, acting, and signaling. As these primitive organisms became more entangled with others, they grew more complicated. The first nervous systems evolved, probably in ancient relatives of jellyfish; later on, the cephalopods, which began as inconspicuous mollusks, abandoned their shells and rose above the ocean floor, searching for prey and acquiring the greater intelligence needed to do so. Taking an independent route, mammals and birds later began their own evolutionary journeys. But what kind of intelligence do cephalopods possess? Drawing on the latest scientific research and his own scuba-diving adventures, Godfrey-Smith probes the many mysteries that surround the lineage. How did the octopus, a solitary creature with little social life, become so smart? What is it like to have eight tentacles that are so packed with neurons that they virtually “think for themselves”? What happens when some octopuses abandon their hermit-like ways and congregate, as they do in a unique location off the coast of Australia? By tracing the question of inner life back to its roots and comparing human beings with our most remarkable animal relatives, Godfrey-Smith casts crucial new light on the octopus mind—and on our own.

The Extreme Life Of The Sea

Author : Stephen R. Palumbi
ISBN : 9781400849932
Genre : Science
File Size : 44. 85 MB
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The ocean teems with life that thrives under difficult situations in unusual environments. The Extreme Life of the Sea takes readers to the absolute limits of the ocean world—the fastest and deepest, the hottest and oldest creatures of the oceans. It dives into the icy Arctic and boiling hydrothermal vents—and exposes the eternal darkness of the deepest undersea trenches—to show how marine life thrives against the odds. This thrilling book brings to life the sea's most extreme species, and tells their stories as characters in the drama of the oceans. Coauthored by Stephen Palumbi, one of today’s leading marine scientists, The Extreme Life of the Sea tells the unforgettable tales of some of the most marvelous life forms on Earth, and the challenges they overcome to survive. Modern science and a fluid narrative style give every reader a deep look at the lives of these species. The Extreme Life of the Sea shows you the world’s oldest living species. It describes how flying fish strain to escape their predators, how predatory deep-sea fish use red searchlights only they can see to find and attack food, and how, at the end of her life, a mother octopus dedicates herself to raising her batch of young. This wide-ranging and highly accessible book also shows how ocean adaptations can inspire innovative commercial products—such as fan blades modeled on the flippers of humpback whales—and how future extremes created by human changes to the oceans might push some of these amazing species over the edge. An enhanced edition is also available and includes eleven videos.

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