Vertebrate Life
Vertebrate Life
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  • Widely praised for its comprehensive coverage and exceptionally clear writing style, this best-selling book explores how the anatomy, physiology, ecology, and behavior of animals interact to produce organisms that function effectively in their environments and how lineages of organisms change through evolutionary time. The Eighth Edition features dozens of new figures and photos, updated information from molecular data and evolutionary development, and expanded discussions on global climate change, extinction, and conservation. The Diversity, Classification, and Evolution of Vertebrates, Vertebrate Relationships and Basic Structure, Early Vertebrates: Jawless Vertebrates and the Origin of Jawed Vertebrates, Living in Water, Radiation of the Chondrichthyes, Dominating Life in Water: The Major Radiation of Fishes, Geography and Ecology of the Paleozoic, Living on Land, Origin and Radiation of Tetrapods, Salamanders, Anurans, and Caecilians, Synapsids and Sauropods: Two Approaches to Terrestrial Life, Turtles, The Lepidosaurs: Tuatara, Lizards, and Snakes, Ectothermy: A Low-Cost Approach to Life, Geography and Ecology of the Mesozoic, Mesozoic Diapsids: Dinosaurs, Crocodilians, and Birds, Avian Specializations, The Synapsida the the Evolution of Mammals, Geography and Ecology of the Cenozoic, Mammalian Characteristics and Diversity, Mammalian Specializations, Endothermy: A High-Energy Approach to Life, Body Size, Ecology, and Sociality of Mammals, Primate Evolution and the Emergence of Humans, The Impact of Humans on Other Species of Vertebrates. Intended for those interested in learning the basics of vertebrate life.

  • F. Harvey Pough began his biological career at the age of fourteen when he and his sister studied the growth and movements of a population of eastern painted turtles in Rhode Island. His research now focuses on organismal biology, blending physiology, morphology, behavior, and ecology in an evolutionary perspective. Undergraduate students regularly participate in his research, and are coauthors of many of his publications. He especially enjoys teaching undergraduates and has taught courses in vertebrate zoology, functional ecology, herpetology, environmental physiology, and the organismal biology of humans. Currently he is teaching a year-long introductory biology course. He has published more than a hundred papers reporting the results of field and laboratory studies of turtles, snakes, lizards, frogs, and tuatara that have taken him to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Caribbean as well as most parts of the United States. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Past-President of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

    Christine M. Janis is a Professor of Biology at Brown University where she teaches comparative anatomy and vertebrate evolution. A British citizen, she obtained her bachelor’s degree at Cambridge University and then crossed the pond to get her Ph.D. at Harvard University. She is a vertebrate paleontologist with a particular interest in mammalian evolution and faunal responses to climatic change. She first became interested in vertebrate evolution after seeing the movie Fantasia at the impressionable age of seven. That critical year was also the year that she began riding lessons, and she has owned at least one horse since the age of 12. Many years later she is now an expert on ungulate (hoofed mammal) evolution, and is currently the president of the Society for the Study of Mammalian Evolution. She attributes her life history to the fact that she has failed to outgrow either the dinosaur phase or the horse phase.

    John B. Heiser was born and raised in Indiana and completed his undergraduate degree in biology at Purdue University. He earned his Ph.D. in ichthyology from Cornell University for studies of the behavior, evolution and ecology of coral reef fishes, research which he continues today with molecular colleagues. For fifteen years he was Director of the Shoals Marine Laboratory operated by Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire on the Isles of Shoals in the Gulf of Maine. While at the Isles of Shoals his research interests focused on opposite ends of the vertebrate spectrum–hagfish and baleen whales. J.B. enjoys teaching vertebrate morphology, evolution, and ecology both in the campus classroom and in the field and is recipient of the Clark Distinguished Teaching Award from Cornell University. His hobbies are natural history, travel and nature photography, and videography, especially underwater using scuba. He has pursued his natural history interests on every continent and all the world’s major ocean regions. Because of his experience he is a popular ecotourism leader, having led Cornell Adult University groups to the Caribbean, Sea of Cortez, French Polynesia, Central America, the Amazon, Borneo, Antarctica, and Spitsbergen in the High Arctic.

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