World Literature

The Diversity of Amphibians and Reptiles: An Introduction by John L. Cloudsley-Thompson

By John L. Cloudsley-Thompson

An advent to the evolution and edition of amphibians and reptiles, bridging the gulf among the plethora of 'popular' books and the extra complex texts directed in the direction of the desires of expert study staff, therefore making it obtainable to complicated scholars around the globe. easy rules are defined in non-technical phrases, and the adaptive responses to common choice that have engendered the range of varieties that exist within the fossil checklist and are present in the realm this day are lined. The publication additionally contains the extinct types similar to dinosaurs, ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. within the concluding bankruptcy, relationships with mankind and the upkeep of range are discussed.

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Extra info for The Diversity of Amphibians and Reptiles: An Introduction

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In addition, palaeontologists are often unsure of the events that led to the deaths of the animals that became fossilized (Charig 1979). Scientists, like everyone else, tend to believe their own hypotheses and to disregard those of other people with whom they disagree, although, in fact, both may be partially correct. There have been five mass extinctions in the fossil record, the largest of these at the end of the Permian, the smallest at the close of the Mesozoic era - the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary, as it is called.

Changes also took place in the feet and the number of phalanges was reduced to the mammalian formula of 2: 3: 3: 3: 3 for the five digits (Sues 1986). Therapsid evolution was characterized by the following locomotory trends: (1) retention of a quadrupedal pose in all evolutionary lines; (2) adaptation of the limbs for locomotion, with the body raised above the ground; (3) expansion of the ilium and scapula; (4) retention of the five digits (Colbert 1986). g. retention of a quadrupedal stance and five digits), others showed considerable refinement, forecasting true mammalian locomotion which their far-off descendants were to inherit.

1984), is indisputable. There was a great decline in the diversity of dinosaurs at the K-T boundary extending over the last 5my of the Cretaceous period. The final 300000 years witnessed an acceleration of this decline so that, in the end, there were only about 12 species in 8 genera left to become extinct (Charig 1989). Clearly, conditions were becoming unfavourable for the large terrestrial reptiles. It is usually difficult and often almost impossible to prove that something does not exist. Most zoologists are properly sceptical about the possibilities of discovering any more new species of large animals.

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