Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids takes us on a journey through 65 million years, from the aftermath of the extinction of the dinosaurs to the glacial climax of the Pleistocene epoch; from the rain forests of the Paleocene and the Eocene, with their lemur-like primates, to the harsh landscape of the Pleistocene Steppes, home to the woolly mammoth. It is also a journey through space, following the migrations of mammal species that evolved on other continents and eventually met to compete or coexist in Cenozoic Europe. Finally, it is a journey through the complexity of mammalian evolution, a review of the changes and adaptations that have allowed mammals to flourish and become the dominant land vertebrates on Earth. With the benefit of recent advances in geological and geophysical techniques, Jordi Agustí and Mauricio Antón are able to trace the processes of mammalian evolution as never before; events that hitherto appeared synchronous or at least closely related can now be distinguished on a scale of hundreds or even dozens of thousands of years, revealing the dramatic importance of climactic changes both major and minor. Evolutionary developments are rendered in magnificent illustrations of the many extraordinary species that once inhabited Europe, detailing their osteology, functional anatomy, and inferred patterns of locomotion and behavior. Based on the latest research and field work, Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids transforms our understanding of how mammals evolved and changed the face of the planet.
What is the place of Europe in the origin of humankind? While our earliest human ancestors may have come out of Africa, many of our more recent ancestors and those of other primates left their fossil remains in Europe and the Near East. Hominoid primates including Dryopithecus in Spain and Hungary, Oreopithecus in Italy, and Ouranopithecus in Greece flourished in the Miocene, approximately 10-7 million years ago. This volume examines these and other hominoid fossils found in Eurasia and discusses what we can learn using biostratigraphic and ecological frameworks. In addition, new methods of analyzing and visualizing fossil hominoids are explored, including CT-based and computer-assisted virtual reconstruction of fossils to allow three-dimensional images of external and internal morphology of even fragmentary or distorted fossils. This volume will be invaluable for practicing palaeoanthropologists and palaeontologists regardless of specialty.
Numerous experts including ecologists, geneticists, paleontologists and climatologists, investigate the response of terrestrial organisms to changes in their environment. The volume comprises an introductory and a final chapter by the editors as well as another 35 contributions. These are divided into six sections: 1. past environmental changes - the late-Quaternary; 2. spatial responses to past changes; 3. mechanisms enabling spatial responses; 4. evolutionary responses to past changes; 5. mechanisms enabling evolutionary responses; 6. predicted future environmental changes and simulated responses. The overwhelming and unanimous conclusion of all contributors is that forecasted global environmental changes pose a severe threat to the integrity of ecosystems worldwide and to the survival of at least some species.
China's stunning diversity of natural habitats--from parched deserts to lush tropical forests--is home to more than 10 percent of the world's mammal species. A Guide to the Mammals of China is the most comprehensive guide to all 556 species of mammals found in China. It is the only single-volume reference of its kind to fully describe the physical characteristics, geographic distribution, natural history, and conservation status of every species. An up-to-date distribution map accompanies each species account, and color plates illustrate a majority of species. Written by a team of leading specialists, including Professor Wang Sung who provides a history of Chinese mammalogy, A Guide to the Mammals of China is the ideal reference for researchers and a delight for anyone interested in China's rich mammal fauna. The definitive, comprehensive, up-to-date guide to all of China's 556 mammal species High-quality color plates accompany the detailed text Each species account comes with a distribution map Organized taxonomically for easy reference Includes an extensive bibliography
Because carnivores are at the top of the food chain, their status is an important indicator of the health of the world ecosystem. They are intensely interesting to zoologists and uniquely intriguing to the general public. Devoted primarily to terrestrial carnivores, this volume focuses on such themes as carnivore reintroduction programs and the ethics of studying carnivores, drawing examples from a variety of species. The need to evaluate new conceptual ideas and empirical data inspired this volume of Carnivore Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution, a complement to the original book. In the eight years since publication of the first volume, conservation has emerged as a thematic imperative. The study of carnivores has become even more important in raising and resolving crucial biological problems. Differential rates of mortality in the giant panda and other endangered carnivores are now known to influence dispersal and life history patterns basic to these species' survival. Reintroduction efforts of the black-footed ferret and the red wolf are establishing essential guidelines for preservation and management of endangered species. Studies of the African lion and the dwarf mongoose illustrate the power of new genetic techniques of DNA fingerprinting for understanding the evolution of social behavior.
On a cold winter morning in January of 1851, a small group of people approached the monumental façade of an ancient rock-cut burial cave located north of the Old City of Jerusalem. The team, consisting of two Europeans and a number of local workers, was led by Louis-Félicien Caignart de Saulcy—descendant of a noble Flemish family who later was to become a distinguished member of the French parliament. As an amateur archaeologist and a devout Catholic, de Saulcy was attracted to the Holy Land and Jerusalem in particular and was obsessed by his desire to uncover some tangible evidence for the city’s glorious past. However, unlike numerous other European pilgrims, researchers and adventurers before him, de Saulcy was determined to expose the evidence by physically excavating ancient sites. His first object of investigation constitutes one of the most attractive and mysterious monumental burial caves within the vicinity of the Old City, from then onward to be referred to as the “Tomb of the Kings” (Kubur al-Muluk). By conducting an archaeological investigation, de Saulcy tried to prove that this complex represented no less than the monumental sepulcher of the biblical Davidic Dynasty. His brief exploration of the burial complex in 1851 led to the discovery of several ancient artifacts, including sizeable marble fragments of one or several sarcophagi. It would take him another 13 years to raise the funds for a more comprehensive investigation of the site. On November 17, 1863, de Saulcy returned to Jerusalem with a larger team to initiate what would later be referred to as the first archaeological excavation to be conducted in the city.—(from the “Preface”) In 2006, some two dozen contemporary archaeologists and historians met at Brown University, in Providence RI, to present papers and illustrations marking the 150th anniversary of modern archaeological exploration of the Holy City. The papers from that conference are published here, presented in 5 major sections: (1) The History of Research, (2) From Early Humans to the Iron Age, (3) The Roman Period, (4) The Byzantine Period, and (5) The Early Islamic and Medieval Periods. The volume is heavily illustrated with materials from historical archives as well as from contemporary excavations. It provides a helpful and informative introduction to the history of the various national and religious organizations that have sponsored excavations in the Holy Land and Jerusalem in particular, as well as a summary of the current status of excavations in Jerusalem.