The ecology and biology of mammal-like reptiles

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Author: T.S. Kemp
Date: May 15, 1987
From: Science(Vol. 236)
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Document Type: Book review
Length: 656 words

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The Ecology and Biology of Mammal-like Reptiles.

A conference held in 1981 has finallycome to fruition with the publication of this exciting collection of 21 essays covering all manner of aspects of the fossil synapsid, or mammal-like, reptiles. Paleontologists and students of the physiology, ecology, and behavior of living vertebrates have combined to produce discussions of such topics as the phylogenetic relationships, paleoecology, biogeography, temperature physiology, and anatomy of these animals.

The mammal-like reptiles are a hghlydiverse and very long-lived group, appearing in the Pennsylvanian and surviving until around the end of the Triassic, a span of some 120 million years. They have never achieved the fame of the dinosaurs, being on the whole less bizarre, which is a pity because they have one supreme advantage over the dinosaurs for the evolutionary biologist. The earliest forms are about the most primitive reptiles known, whereas the latest members of the group are almost indistinguisable from mammals. And the group as a whole spans the enormous...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A4966400