Description : The evolutionary history of life includes two primary components: phylogeny and timescale. Phylogeny refers to the branching order (relationships) of species or other taxa within a group and is crucial for understanding the inheritance of traits and for erecting classifications. However, a timescale is equally important because it provides a way to compare phylogeny directly with the evolution of other organisms and with planetary history such as geology, climate, extraterrestrialimpacts, and other features.The Timetree of Life is the first reference book to synthesize the wealth of information relating to the temporal component of phylogenetic trees. In the past, biologists have relied exclusively upon the fossil record to infer an evolutionary timescale. However, recent revolutionary advances in molecular biology have made it possible to not only estimate the relationships of many groups of organisms, but also to estimate their times of divergence with molecular clocks. The routineestimation and utilization of these so-called 'time-trees' could add exciting new dimensions to biology including enhanced opportunities to integrate large molecular data sets with fossil and biogeographic evidence (and thereby foster greater communication between molecular and traditional systematists). Theycould help estimate not only ancestral character states but also evolutionary rates in numerous categories of organismal phenotype; establish more reliable associations between causal historical processes and biological outcomes; develop a universally standardized scheme for biological classifications; and generally promote novel avenues of thought in many arenas of comparative evolutionary biology.This authoritative reference work brings together, for the first time, experts on all major groups of organisms to assemble a timetree of life. The result is a comprehensive resource on evolutionary history which will be an indispensable reference for scientists, educators, and students in the life sciences, earth sciences, and molecular biology. For each major group of organism, a representative is illustrated and a timetree of families and higher taxonomic groups is shown. Basic aspects ofthe evolutionary history of the group, the fossil record, and competing hypotheses of relationships are discussed. Details of the divergence times are presented for each node in the timetree, and primary literature references are included. The book is complemented by an online database(www.timetree.net) which allows researchers to both deposit and retrieve data.
Description : Living Dinosaurs offers a snapshot of our current understanding of the origin and evolution of birds. After slumbering for more than a century, avian palaeontology has been awakened by startling new discoveries on almost every continent. Controversies about whether dinosaurs had real feathers or whether birds were related to dinosaurs have been swept away and replaced by new and more difficult questions: How old is the avian lineage? How did birds learn to fly? Which birds survived the great extinction that ended the Mesozoic Era and how did the avian genome evolve? Answers to these questions may help us understand how the different kinds of living birds are related to one another and how they evolved into their current niches. More importantly, they may help us understand what we need to do to help them survive the dramatic impacts of human activity on the planet.
Description : The first and so far only Plant Geography of Chile was written about 100 years ago, since when many things have changed: plants have been renamed and reclassified; taxonomy and systematics have experienced deep changes as have biology, geography, and biogeography. The time is therefore ripe for a new look at Chile’s plants and their distribution. Focusing on three key issues – botany/systematics, geography and biogeographical analysis – this book presents a thoroughly updated synthesis both of Chilean plant geography and of the different approaches to studying it. Because of its range – from the neotropics to the temperate sub-Antarctic – Chile’s flora provides a critical insight into evolutionary patterns, particularly in relation to the distribution along the latitudinal profiles and the global geographical relationships of the country’s genera. The consequences of these relations for the evolution of the Chilean Flora are discussed. This book will provide a valuable resource for both graduate students and researchers in botany, plant taxonomy and systematics, biogeography, evolutionary biology and plant conservation.
Description : Through nine successful editions, and for over 45 years, Biogeography: An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach has provided a thorough and comprehensive exploration of the varied scientific disciplines and research that are essential to understanding the subject. The text, noted for its clear and engaging style of writing, has been praised for its solid background in historical biogeography and basic biology, that is enhanced and illuminated by discussions of current research. This new edition incorporates the exciting changes of the recent years and presents a thoughtful exploration of the research and controversies that have transformed our understanding of the biogeography of the world. New themes and topics in this tenth edition include: Next generation genetic technologies and their use in historical biogeography, phylogeography and population genomics Biogeographical databases and biodiversity information systems, which are becoming increasingly important for biogeographical research An introduction to functional biogeography and its applications to community assembly, diversity gradients and the analysis of ecosystem functioning Updated case studies focusing on island biogeography, using the latest phylogenetic studies Biogeography: An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach reveals how the patterns of life that we see today have been created by the two great Engines of the Planet: the Geological Engine, plate tectonics, which alters the conditions of life on the planet, and the Biological Engine, evolution, which responds to these changes by creating new forms and patterns of life.
Description : The purpose of this book is to present a new mechanistic theory of mutation-driven evolution based on recent advances in genomics and evolutionary developmental biology. The theory asserts, perhaps somewhat controversially, that the driving force behind evolution is mutation, with natural selection being of only secondary importance. The word 'mutation' is used to describe any kind of change in DNA such as nucleotide substitution, gene duplication/deletion, chromosomal change, and genome duplication. A brief history of the principal evolutionary theories (Darwinism, mutationism, neo-Darwinism, and neo-mutationism) that preceded the theory of mutation-driven evolution is also presented in the context of the last 150 years of research. However, the core of the book is concerned with recent studies of genomics and the molecular basis of phenotypic evolution, and their relevance to mutation-driven evolution. In contrast to neo-Darwinism, mutation-driven evolution is capable of explaining real examples of evolution such as the evolution of olfactory receptors, sex-determination in animals, and the general scheme of hybrid sterility. In this sense the theory proposed is more realistic than its predecessors, and gives a more logical explanation of various evolutionary events. Mutation-Driven Evolution is suitable for graduate level students as well as professional researchers (both empiricists and theoreticians) in the fields of molecular evolution and population genetics. It assumes that the readers are acquainted with basic knowledge of genetics and molecular biology.
Description : Compared to insects, fossil spiders have received only scant attention in the literature. Previously, the only works available were numerous scientific papers, many published in foreign languages. Most of these are basic descriptive taxonomic works, with very few considering broader biological concepts. Despite a significant increase in the discovery and description of fossil spiders within the last quarter Century this void remained unfilled. Thus, this short monograph aims to achieve several objectives. Firstly, to provide general and up to date background information on the overall importance and diversity of fossils spiders, including an indication of those groups for which the taxonomy is spurious and in need of reassessment. Secondly, to discuss the techniques available for working with fossil spiders and some of the problems encountered by palaeoarachnologists, including bias and limitations of the spider fossil record. Thirdly, the overall evolutionary history of spiders is summarized in the form of an evolutionary tree, which is subsequently used to address key issues of broad interest, such as origins, diversifications and extinctions, including the effects of mass extinctions and predator-prey co-radiations. Finally, the contribution that fossil data can make to understanding the past and present biogeography of the order is considered. This book should be of interest to both amateur and professional arachnologists and palaeontologists and will also serve as a general palaeontological reference work for neonologists studying extant spiders.
Description : The Time Tree is a collection of poems by a poet born into poverty and tempered in the crucible of war, who devoted himself to rigorous study to become one of the leading intellectuals and poets of Vietnam.
Description : In the non-fictional essay Whose Time Is It Anyway?, a Christian man gives you his introspective view of the past, present, and future, and how time plays an immense role in how history is written. Author Chet Morelli encourages you to think about and ask yourself many questions as he shares his research on our human ancestors and the resulting inquiries he has discovered in the process. Such questions include, what happens when we die? and has the human race been on Earth for millions of years or just a few thousand? He not only looks into the past but also the present as he explores whether our fast-paced society may have caused our government leaders to make the wrong choices. He also takes an in-depth look into the mind of today's man. Morelli touches on the future as he contemplates the possibility of World War III and what role the three largest religions may play in deciding the important historical events of the coming years. Whose Time Is it Anyway? will help you reflect on our human experience and how time relates to the questions where have we been?, where are we now?, and where are we going? Only time will tell
Description : In this era of eroding commitment to government sponsored welfare programs, voluntarism and private charity have become the popular, optimistic solutions to poverty and hunger. The resurgence of charity has to be a good thing, doesn't it? No, says sociologist Janet Poppendieck, not when stopgap charitable efforts replace consistent public policy, and poverty continues to grow.In Sweet Charity?, Poppendieck travels the country to work in soup kitchens and "gleaning" centers, reporting from the frontlines of America's hunger relief programs to assess the effectiveness of these homegrown efforts. We hear from the "clients" who receive meals too small to feed their families; from the enthusiastic volunteers; and from the directors, who wonder if their "successful" programs are in some way perpetuating the problem they are struggling to solve. Hailed as the most significant book on hunger to appear in decades, Sweet Charity? shows how the drive to end poverty has taken a wrong turn with thousands of well-meaning volunteers on board.