By Gerald Mayr
Wisdom of the evolutionary historical past of birds has a lot more suitable in fresh many years. Fossils from severe time classes are being defined at exceptional charges and glossy phylogenetic analyses have supplied a framework for the interrelationships of the extant teams. This e-book offers an summary of the avian fossil list and its paleobiological importance, and it's the purely up to date textbook that covers either Mesozoic and extra modern-type Cenozoic birds in a few element. The reader is brought to key gains of basal avians and the morphological ameliorations that experience happened within the evolution in the direction of glossy birds. An account of the Cenozoic fossil checklist sheds gentle at the biogeographic historical past of the extant avian teams and discusses fossils within the context of present phylogenetic hypotheses. This evaluate of the evolutionary heritage of birds not just addresses scholars and validated researchers, however it can also be an invaluable resource of knowledge for an individual else with an curiosity within the evolution of birds and a reasonable history in biology and geology.
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Extra resources for Avian Evolution: The Fossil Record of Birds and its Paleobiological Significance
11 Scanning electron microscope images of melanosome layers preserved in birds from the early Eocene German fossil site Messel. Photographs by Jakob Vinther. on their spatial arrangement (McNamara et al. 2013), the melanosome hypothesis is consistent with the size of the structures and their differential preservation in fossil feathers with color patterns (Vinther et al. 2008; Vinther 2015). , by charring under high temperatures and pressure; McNamara et al. 2013) have to be carried out to verify the accuracy of melanosome-based color reconstructions of extinct animals.
Some authors assumed that all represent growth series of a single species, but others emphasized morphological differences that justify the recognition of more than one species, or even of different “genera” (Elzanowski 2002; Mayr et al. 2007; Wellnhofer 2009). The thrush-sized Eichstätt specimen is only half the size of the largest Archaeopteryx fossil, the Solnhofen specimen. Equivalent intraspecific size variations are known from other Mesozoic birds and non-avian theropods (see Chapter 4), but several further differences between the Archaeopteryx specimens are unlikely to be due to allometric changes in a single species.
2014). Birds are diurnal animals with high visual capabilities, and their integument is more likely to evolve display structures than the fur of mammals, in which the olfactory sense dominates and many species are nocturnal. Sexual selection or signaling may therefore have played a role in the evolution of some unusual integumentary structures of Mesozoic theropods, such as the elongated “ribbon-like” feathers of scansoriopterygids (Zhang et al. 2008a; Xu et al. 2009c). However, as yet no selective advantage has been identified that would lead to a pennaceous feather with its complex interlocking system of barbs and barbules just for display or signaling reasons.
Avian Evolution: The Fossil Record of Birds and its Paleobiological Significance by Gerald Mayr