By Philippe Janvier
This ebook provides present wisdom of the early vertebrates--mainly fish, yet together with a few terrestrial creatures--which lived approximately 250 to 470 million years in the past. The paintings specializes in anatomical and phylogenetic questions, yet contains info on fossil discovery and guidance, in addition to the research of the features from which their relationships might be reconstructed. the writer addresses either new and previous difficulties within the evolution of yes anatomical info and bargains in short with the animals' lifestyle, extinction, and previous distribution. The publication is the 1st in its box to take advantage of a cladistic process. for every significant vertebrate workforce, the reader will discover a diagram of relationships, or cladogram, with a range of characters at each one node, and a succinct phylogenetic category.
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Extra info for Early vertebrates
A good example of these new vertebrate faunas dominated by placoderms and osteichthyans is the locality of Lethen Bar, near Nairn in Scotland, which has been famous since L. Agassiz's (1844-5) early works on the fishes of the Old Red Sandstone. Lethen Bar, an outcrop of marls and sandstones in a quarry, is placed in the Middle Old Red Sandstone, at the Eifelian-Givetian boundary (380 Ma). Geologically, it belongs to the Orcadian basin, which has long been believed to have been occupied in Devonian times by a large lake covering most of northern Britain.
54D, F. 9E. Palaeovertebrata Fig. 16A, B. Plenum Publishing Corp. 16. Royal Ontario Museum Fig. 6B. 90F2. (Redrawn by permission of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and S. M. Andrews, R. S. Miles, and D. M. Pearson, from Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences, 65, 1952, 59-77; 67, 1968. 3C. The Royal Society of Victoria Fig. 58A. 9B. 79B. Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft Fig. 75C. Société Royale Zoologique de Belgique Fig. 8A1-A3. 5B. Springer Verlag Fig. 96C.
It is, however, probable that all comparable environments at comparable latitudes in Frasnian times contained equally rich fish faunas, of which we now find only scattered scales and teeth. Let us now jump a few million years and reach the Famennian age, at the end of the Devonian (365 Ma). 10. In contrast, there is a variety of lobe-tinned fishes, or sarcopterygians, belonging to five major taxa: the coelacanths (1. ) still have found vast tidal fiats and lagoons filled with red sand and clay, but the hilly background would be covered with bushes and small trees (mostly ferns, lycopods, and horsetails, in fact).