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Next of kin : great fossils at the American Museum of Natural History

Author: Lowell Dingus
Publisher: New York : Rizzoli, 1996.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This book, liberally illustrated with beautiful new color and archival photography, and artwork and graphics produced especially for the renovated exhibits, is an in-depth look at the evolution of vertebrate animals in the collection. In an incisive, behind-the-scenes text, paleontologist Lowell Dingus discusses the earliest specimens: fish, amphibians, and primitive reptiles that represent evolutionary starting
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Dingus, Lowell.
Next of kin.
New York : Rizzoli, 1996
(OCoLC)671572245
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Lowell Dingus
ISBN: 0847819299 9780847819294 0847819922 9780847819928
OCLC Number: 33666874
Notes: Includes index.
Description: 160 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 31 cm.
Contents: 1. The Bait in the Big Tank: The Barosaurus Mount in Roosevelt Memorial Hall --
2. The Opening Act: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Orientation Center --
3. Building the Vertebrate Body: The Hall of Vertebrate Origins --
4. Are All Dinosaurs Really Extinct? The Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs --
5. The Exit of Large Dinosaurs: The Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs --
6. Our Roots Are as Old as the Dinosaurs: The Lila Acheson Wallace Wing of Mammals and Their Extinct Relatives --
7. What's the Point?
Responsibility: Lowell Dingus.
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Abstract:

This book, liberally illustrated with beautiful new color and archival photography, and artwork and graphics produced especially for the renovated exhibits, is an in-depth look at the evolution of vertebrate animals in the collection. In an incisive, behind-the-scenes text, paleontologist Lowell Dingus discusses the earliest specimens: fish, amphibians, and primitive reptiles that represent evolutionary starting points for major groups; the popular saurischian dinosaurs, including the seventeen-ton Apatosauris (once called Brontosaurus) skeleton; and ornithischian dinosaurs such as the horned Triceratops. He concludes with the mammal hills, where animals as diverse as the fin-backed Dimetrodon, mastodons, and, after primates, our closest "next of kin" - bats - are shown to be related by one hole in the skull behind the eye socket.

This modification illustrates the contemporary approach to evolution that readers will learn about called cladistics, which establishes animal relationships based on unique shared anatomical changes that were inherited over the course of time. The Museum galleries are organized to reflect how this approach has been used to reconstruct the family tree of vertebrate evolution: walking along the main pathway through the fossil halls is like walking along the trunk of the vertebrate evolutionary tree.

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