How Vertebrates Left the Water (Hardcover)

By Michel Laurin

University of California Press, 9780520266476, 216pp.

Publication Date: November 2, 2010

List Price: 85.00*
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More than three hundred million years ago—a relatively recent date in the two billion years since life first appeared—vertebrate animals first ventured onto land. This usefully illustrated book describes how some finned vertebrates acquired limbs, giving rise to more than 25,000 extant tetrapod species. Michel Laurin uses paleontological, geological, physiological, and comparative anatomical data to describe this monumental event. He summarizes key concepts of modern paleontological research, including biological nomenclature, paleontological and molecular dating, and the methods used to infer phylogeny and character evolution. Along with a discussion of the evolutionary pressures that may have led vertebrates onto dry land, the book also shows how extant vertebrates yield clues about the conquest of land and how scientists uncover evolutionary history.

About the Author

Michel Laurin is a vertebrate paleontologist and a CNRS research scientist working in the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.

Praise For How Vertebrates Left the Water

“Summarizes key concepts of modern paleontological research.”

— The Guardian

“I recommend the book to students especially, although the book certainly would be a welcome addition into any natural historian’s library.”

— Systematic Biology

“The text is detailed, well referenced, and. . . readable.”

— Choice

“It is a fantastic summary of the fossil record of our vertebrate ancestors and brethren as well as a general introduction to the science of paleontology.”

— Systematic Biology

“How Vertebrates Left the Water provides a generally well-written and -illustrated synthesis of an interesting evolutionary topic.”

— Harvey B. Lillywhite

“Well-written and -illustrated synthesis of an interesting evolutionary topic, crafted from the perspective of a talented and qualified paleontologist.”

— Bioscience