Description : This book examines both the origin of body plans in particular and the evolution of animal development in general.
Description : Describing and understanding the evolution of the diversity of bodyplans is a major goal of evolutionary biology. Taking a modern, integrated approach to this question, a group of leading researchers describe how modern techniques and disciplines have been combined, resulting in a dramatic renaissance in the study of animal evolution.
Description : Among the major events in evolutionary history, few rival in importance the appearance of animals. The Rise of Animals—a significant reference providing a comprehensive synthesis of the early radiation of the animal kingdom—fully captures this moment in geologic time. Five of the world's leading paleontologists take us on a journey to the most important fossil sites that serve as unique windows to the earliest animal life—including the Ediacara Hills of Australia, the Russian taiga and tundra, the deserts of southwest Africa, and the rugged coasts of Newfoundland. Each of these places holds a rich fossil record that reveals how the animal form came into existence and why some groups succeeded while others failed. The authors describe the diversification of the Kingdom Animalia into the familiar body plans of today: from simple animals such as sponges to complex groups like mollusks, arthropods, echinoderms, and chordates that appear explosively in the Cambrian. This exquisitely illustrated book reveals the early moments of an evolutionary process that eventually resulted in our own species. An essential resource for paleontologists, biologists, geologists, and teachers, The Rise of Animals is the best single reference on one of earth’s most significant events.
Description : Covering all the main animal groups, from jellyfish to mammals, this book unravels the story of animal evolution.
Description : This volume focuses on the broad pattern of increasing biodiversity through time, and recurrent events of minor and major ecosphere reorganization. Intense scrutiny is devoted to the pattern of physical (including isotopic), sedimentary and biotic circumstances through the time intervals during which life crises occurred. These events affected terrestrial, lacustrine and estuarine ecosystems, locally and globally, but have affected continental shelf ecosystems and even deep ocean ecosystems. The pattern of these events is the backdrop against which modelling the pattern of future environmental change needs to be evaluated.
Description : Rudolf Raff is recognized as a pioneer in evolutionary developmental biology. In their 1983 book, Embryos, Genes, and Evolution, Raff and co-author Thomas Kaufman proposed a synthesis of developmental and evolutionary biology. In The Shape of Life, Raff analyzes the rise of this new experimental discipline and lays out new research questions, hypotheses, and approaches to guide its development. Raff uses the evolution of animal body plans to exemplify the interplay between developmental mechanisms and evolutionary patterns. Animal body plans emerged half a billion years ago. Evolution within these body plans during this span of time has resulted in the tremendous diversity of living animal forms. Raff argues for an integrated approach to the study of the intertwined roles of development and evolution involving phylogenetic, comparative, and functional biology. This new synthesis will interest not only scientists working in these areas, but also paleontologists, zoologists, morphologists, molecular biologists, and geneticists.
Description : Muscles and Meridians is a unique book that breaks new conceptual ground in the realm of human movement. Exploring the connection between evolutionary biology and Chinese meridians, the volume offers a novel and effective system of diagnosis and treatment of common musculoskeletal disorders. Describes a new model of human movement - the Contractile Field model Offers a rare and serious attempt to look at whole person movement patterns – akin to ‘Anatomy Trains’ but with a stronger link to vertebrate evolution and development Suggests that much of our endemic back and leg pain is due to a loss of ease in postures that are ‘archetypal’ to mankind Offers a profound new understanding of the world’s oldest medical map, the Chinese meridian map
Description : This volume handles in various perspectives the concept of function and the nature of functional explanations, topics much discussed since two major and conflicting accounts have been raised by Larry Wright and Robert Cummins’ papers in the 1970s. Here, both Wright’s ‘etiological theory of functions’ and Cummins’ ‘systemic’ conception of functions are refined and elaborated in the light of current scientific practice, with papers showing how the ‘etiological’ theory faces several objections and may in reply be revisited, while its counterpart became ever more sophisticated, as researchers discovered fresh applications for it. Relying on a firm knowledge of the original positions and debates, this volume presents cutting-edge research evincing the complexities that today pertain in function theory in various sciences. Alongside original papers from authors central to the controversy, work by emerging researchers taking novel perspectives will add to the potential avenues to be followed in the future. Not only does the book adopt no a priori assumptions about the scope of functional explanations, it also incorporates material from several very different scientific domains, e.g. neurosciences, ecology, or technology. In general, functions are implemented in mechanisms; and functional explanations in biology have often an essential relation with natural selection. These two basic claims set the stage for this book’s coverage of investigations concerning both ‘functional’ explanations, and the ‘metaphysics’ of functions. It casts new light on these claims, by testing them through their confrontation with scientific developments in biology, psychology, and recent developments concerning the metaphysics of realization. Rather than debating a single theory of functions, this book presents the richness of philosophical issues raised by functional discourse throughout the various sciences.