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Recent Advances in the Origin and Early Radiation of Vertebrates

The first discoveries of Early Paleozoic fishes took place in Scotland and in the Baltic area (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) at the beginning of the 19th century. The first early vertebrate remains recorded from Scotland were of Carboniferous age and are now referred to the sarcopterygian Rhizodus and Megalichthys. Later, discoveries of additional Scottish and Baltic Devonian localities made these regions (and also European workers) the main source of information on early vertebrates for a long time. This situation reached its most important development with the contributions of Erik STENSIÖ and other Swedish (e.g., Gustav WÄNGSJÖ, Erik JARVIK) and Danish colleagues (e.g., Eigil NIELSEN), who organized important collecting expeditions (e.g., Podolia, Spitsbergen and Greenland). New material from these localities and others (such as the Devonian localities of eastern Canada) allowed STENSIÖ and his followers (the so-called Swedish School) to produce some fascinating morphological work and to build up some hypotheses about the origin of early tetrapods that still today are a source of discussion. New scientific findings have the potential to produce considerable changes in previous interpretations. Vertebrates are not an exception. Based on information gathered over almost two centuries it has long been believed that the origin of vertebrates occurred “sometime” during the earliest Paleozoic, “somewhere” in the northern Hemisphere. However, discoveries of early vertebrates in the Southern Hemisphere, in Australia and in Bolivia, led to a new understanding of the early history of the group. These new discoveries have been remarkable in stimulating new collecting. Recent progress has included the discovery of the “earliest” forms in the Lower Cambrian of southern China and by new and controversial interpretations of the conodonts…


Product details

  • Hardcover: 703 pages
  • Publisher: Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil (2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 389937052X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3899370522
  • ASIN: B001FS6BO0
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #945,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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