Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History

Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231135290
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 05/17/2010
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 652,971
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Xiaoming Wang is a curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and has been studying the evolutionary history of the family Canidae for the past twenty years. In collaboration with Richard H. Tedford, he has published three volumes on the fossil canids of North America.

Richard H. Tedford is curator emeritus in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History.

Mauricio Antón is a paleontological artist based at the National Museum of Natural Sciences, Madrid. Among his books are, with Jordi Agustí, Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids: 65 Million Years of Mammalian Evolution in Europe and, with Alan Turner, The Big Cats and Their Fossil Relatives: An Illustrated Guide to Their Evolution and Natural History and Evolving Eden: An Illustrated Guide to the Evolution of the African Large Mammal Fauna.

Table of Contents

1. Dogs: Methods of Study and the Place of Dogs in Nature
2. The Origin of Canids and Other Doglike Carnivorous Mammals
3. Diversity: Who Is Who in the Dog Family
4. Anatomy and Function: How the Parts Work
5. Hunting and Social Activity
6. Changing Environments and Canid Evolution
7. Going Places: Braving New Worlds
8. Domestic Dogs
Appendix: Canid Species and Classification
Further Reading

What People are Saying About This

Blaire Van Valkenburgh

A beautifully illustrated guide to the wonderful world of canids, past and present. Man's best friend finally gets his full history told.

Blaire Van Valkenburgh, University of California, Los Angeles

Lars Werdelin

Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History is an extremely valuable and interesting book with text and illustrations by the best in the business. The volume is an original contribution to the field, bringing together all known information about canid evolution into one readily accessible text.

Lars Werdelin, Swedish Museum of Natural History

John J. Flynn

A breezy and highly engaging romp through the rich history of the Canidae. Renowned paleontologists Xiaoming Wang and Richard Tedford team up with noted artist Mauricio Antón to create a compelling picture of this fascinating group of carnivores. Few books can match its seamless blend of scientific accuracy and artistic beauty to explain both the roots and branches of the dog 'Tree of Life.'

John J. Flynn, American Museum of Natural History

Annalisa Berta

Comprehensive and fascinating account of the anatomy, evolution, and diversification of members of the dog family. Mauricio Antón's skillful anatomical illustrations and life reconstructions enrich this well-written text by the world's leading canid paleontologists. The paleobiology of canids is set against a backdrop of 40 million years of environmental change. This perspective provides a unique and useful insight into how carnivore ecosystems have evolved—a framework for considering the consequences of long-term climate change and human contact on these top predators.

Annalisa Berta, San Diego State University

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