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Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and…

Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History

by Xiaoming Wang

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Beware! This is not "a breezy and highly engaging romp through the rich history of the Canidae." It is a difficult discussion of the millions of years of evolution that first produced a primitive canid from early carnivores. From this first canid, came a highly diverse number of species, most now extinct. It is richly illustrated and gives detailed descriptions and probably behaviors of each species. Although the book will appeal primarily to those interested in the evolution of the dog, it is interesting. What I found fascinating is that the original Canidae evolved in North America, later crossed the Bering Strait into Asia and Europe, populating the planet up to China, and later, after evolving into yet more species, made their way back to the New World. ( )
  echaika | Mar 10, 2010 |
As complete as the current state of knowledge on the subject. My only quibble: I wish there were drawings comparing the larger species with humans! ( )
  JNSelko | Nov 20, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0231135289, Hardcover)

Xiaoming Wang and Richard H. Tedford have spent the past 20 years studying the evolutionary history of the family Canidae. Both are well known for having established the modern framework for the evolutionary relationship of canids. Combining their research with Mauricio Antón's impeccable reconstructions of both extinct and extant species, Wang and Tedford present a remarkably detailed and nuanced portrait of the origin and evolution of canids over the past 40 million years.

The authors cull their history from the most recent scientific research conducted on the vast collections of the American Museum of Natural History and other leading institutions. The fossil record of the Canidae, particularly those from their birth place in North America, are the strongest of their kind among known groups of carnivorans. Such a wonderfully detailed evolutionary history provides access to a natural history that is not possible with many other groups of carnivorans.

With their rich fossil record, diverse adaptations to various environments, and different predatory specializations, canids are an ideal model organism for the mapping of predator behavior and morphological specializations. They also offer an excellent contrast to felids, which remain entrenched in extreme predatory specializations. The innovative illustrated approach in this book is the perfect accompaniment to an extremely important branch of animal and fossil study. It transforms the science of paleontology into a thrilling visual experience and provides an unprecedented reference for anyone fascinated by dogs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:38 -0400)

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