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The rise of fishes : 500 millions years of evolution

Author: John A Long
Publisher: Baltimore, Md : John Hopkins University Press, 1996, ©1995.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats

This work traces the evolutionary history of fishes over the course of 500 million years, from armoured fishes and monster sharks to fishes with arms that breathe air. It describes the discovery of  Read more...


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Genre/Form: Matériel didactique
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John A Long
ISBN: 0801849926 9780801849923
OCLC Number: 300020021
Description: 223 p. : illustrations (nombreuses en coul.), cartes ; 29 cm
Contents: Part 1 Enigmatic fossils - heads or tails?: the origins of fishes; tunicates (urochordates); lancelets (cephalochordates); the conodonts - enigmatic fossils; the mitrates - strange allies of the vertebrates?; bone - its early beginnings; gills. Part 2 Jawless wonders - the first fishes: the agnatha; the oldest fishes - ordovician agnathans; the heterostraci - a great radiation; anaspida - forerunners of lampreys; thelodonti - the scales tell the tales; the gelaspida - mysterious oriental agnathans; pituriaspida - a newly discovered class of vertebrates; osteostracans - the pinnacle of jawless achievement; the end of the jawless empire; links to the first jawed fishes; basic structure of primitive agnathans; fish teeth. Part 3 Sharks and their kin - killers from way back: class chondrichthyes; the origin of sharks; the late palaeozoic chondrichthyan radiation; humble beginnings of modern chondrichthyan faunas; holocephalans - an early radiation; the rays shine through; basic structure of primitive chondrichthyans. Part 4 Extinct spiny fins - the acanthodii: the origins and affinities of acanthodians; the climatiiformes - armoured and adorned acanthodians; the ischnacanthiformes - the predators; acanthodiformes - filter-feeders and survivors; basic structure of an acanthodian. Part 5 Armoured fishes and fishes with arms: class placodermi; placoderm origins and relationships; the stensioellida and the pseudo-petalichthyida - early enigmatics; the rhenanida and the acanthothoraci - elaborately armoured ones; the ptyctodontida - crushing teeth and spiky clasper; the petalichthyida and their odd relatives; the flat and fearsome phyllolepida; the arthrodira - the great placoderm success story; the antiarchi - always at arms length; basic structure of placoderm; gogo fishes and the acid preparation technique; reproduction and the origins of vertebrate sex. Part 6 True bony fishes and their origins: class osteichthyes; lophosteiforms - enigmatic ancestors of bony fishes; the oldest true osteichthyans; basic structure of an osteichthyan. Part 7 Ray-finned fishes - a winning formula: the actino-pterygii; Devonian ray-finned fishes; the rise of the primitive ray-fins; neopterygii - the dawning of success; teleosteans - their early beginnings; basic structure of a primitive ray-finned fish; fishes and dinosaurs - life in a mesozoic ecosystem. Part 8 Lungfishes - fishes that breathe: the dipnoi; lungfish origins; dipnoan diversity - the denticle shedders; dentine-covered palates - the early crushers; refined feeding mechanisms; basic structure of primitive dipnoan; the origin of lungs. Part 9 Big teeth - strong fins: class osteichthyes, subclass crossopterygii; primitive crossopterygians; the coelacanths (actinistia); the extinct porolepiformes; the dagger-toothed fishes (onychodontiformes); giant killers of the carboniferous - rhizodontiforms; fishes leading to land animals - osteolepiformes. (Part contents).
Responsibility: John A. Long.


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"Scholarly, but very readable." -- D. Moskowitz, Northeastern Naturalist "[Long] enlivens his account with tales from his extensive field work... Exceptionally lucid and comprehensively illustrated." Read more...

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