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  • ISBN: 9780121552107
  • ISBN10: 0121552101

Ancient Marine Reptiles

by Jack M. Callaway

  • List Price: $138.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Academic Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/1996
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Description
Millions of years ago, during the Age of Dinosaurs, the oceans of the World teamed with reptile versions of whales, dolphins, and seals. All these bizarre non-mammalian marine vertebrates became extinct, many at the close of the Cretaceous period, just as dinosaurs disappeared. These vanished lineages include plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs, as well as the less familiar mosasaurs and thalattosaurs. Beautifully illustrated, this book includes chapters by leading paleontologists. Each chapter reviews and summarizes many recent discoveries. This is especially interesting because these extinct vertebrates have many features duplicated by today's marine mammals. This book illustrates an astonishing process leading to a return to the same oceans that spawned the distant tetrapod ancestors of these fascinating and specialized reptiles.

Vertebrate evolution has led to the convergent appearance of many groups of originally terrestrial animals that now live in the sea. Among these groups are familiar mammals like whales, dolphins, and seals. There are also reptilian lineages (like plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs, thalattosaurs, and others) that have become sea creatures. Most of these marine reptiles, often wrongly called "dinosaurs", are extinct. This edited book is devoted to these extinct groups of marine reptiles that are characterized by many features duplicated by today's marine mammals.These reptilian analogs represent useful models of the myriad adaptations that permit tetrapods to live in the ocean.
-- First book in more than 80 years devoted exclusively to fossil marine reptiles
-- Documents the most current research on extinct marine reptiles
-- Prepared by the world'smost prominent experts in the field
-- Beautifully illustrated

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