Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology

Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology

Donald R. Prothero

Language: English

Pages: 672

ISBN: 0231158939

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

One of the leading textbooks in its field, Bringing Fossils to Life applies paleobiological principles to the fossil record while detailing the evolutionary history of major plant and animal phyla. It incorporates current research from biology, ecology, and population genetics, bridging the gap between purely theoretical paleobiological textbooks and those that describe only invertebrate paleobiology and that emphasize cataloguing live organisms instead of dead objects. For this third edition Donald R. Prothero has revised the art and research throughout, expanding the coverage of invertebrates and adding a discussion of new methodologies and a chapter on the origin and early evolution of life.





















shallow-marine world as well (fig. 9.9; Stehli, 1968; Stehli et al., 1969; Stehli and Wells, 1971), and even the deep-sea benthos (Rex et al., 1993). Hillebrand (2004) surveyed over 600 published studies and found that the LDG occurs in marine, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems, and is much more pronounced in groups that have lots of species, in groups with larger body sizes, and especially in marine and terrestrial ecosystems (less so in freshwater systems). The steepness of the gradient

Cifelli, 1993). During most of the Cenozoic, this continent was isolated from the rest of the world. It had no direct land connection to North America until the Pliocene and had lost its Gondwana connection to Antarctica sometime in the Oligocene. Consequently, it has a highly endemic fauna of land mammals and large predatory birds, most of which are only distantly related to animals in other continents. Some time in the Cretaceous it began to lose its faunal connection to the Gondwana

Sciences 21:205–225. Ekdale, A. A. 1988. Pitfalls of paleobathymetric intepretations based on trace fossil assemblages. Palaios 3:464–472. Ekdale, A. A., R. G. Bromley, and S. G. Pemberton, eds. 1984. Ichnology: The Use of Trace Fossils in Sedimentology and Stratigraphy. SEPM Short Course Notes 15. Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, Okla. Frey, R. W., ed. 1975. The Study of Trace Fossils. Springer-Verlag, New York. Frey, R. W., and S. G. Pemberton. 1985. Biogenic structures in outcrops

68:1807–1834. Shear, W. A., P. M. Bonamo, J. D. Grierson, W. D. Rolfe, E. L. Smith, and R. A. Norton. 1984. Early land animals in North America: evidence from Devonian age arthropods from Gilboa, New York. Science 224:492–494. Sheehan, P. M. 1977. Species diversity in the Phanerozoic: a reflection of labor by systematists? Paleobiology 3:325–328. Sheehan, P. M. 1982. Brachiopod macroevolution at the Ordovician-Silurian boundary. Proceedings of the Third North American Paleontological

suggests that a staggering number of shells could have been fossilized. In fact, that tiny area of seafloor near Japan could produce more fossilizable shells than is actually known from the entire fossil record! Clearly, most organisms do not become fossils. The study of taphonomy has become very popular in the last 40 years for one simple reason: to understand and interpret the preserved fossil record, you must first determine how taphonomic processes have biased your sample. From the moment an

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