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Re: Mammal - Like - Reptiles ... info needed.
> Dave, in a message dated 98-02-23 01:03:40 EST, wrote:
> << I would definitely recommend John McLoughlin's book _Synapsida_, which is
> regretably out-of-print, but should be at a local library.>>
> There is of course _The Ecology and Biology of the Mammal-like Reptiles_
> edited by Nicholas Hotton III and published by Smithsonian Institution Press,
> but it is hard to get and very expensive (and even now just a tad dated.).
Together with the Smithsonian Institution book, which focuses rather
on therapsid paleobiology, I'd recommend T. Kemp's 'Mammal-like
Reptiles and the Origin of Mammals', published by Academic Press in
1982, which offers a more systematic approach to the various synapsid
('pelycosaurian' and therapsid) families (in a pre-cladistic,
'classical Romer-like' way). Unfortunately, this book dates back 1982
and is a bit out-dated (although synapsid palaeontology hasn't
undergone as dramatic changes as dinosaur paleaontology in the last
decades), and more embarassing, is even more expensive than the
Hotton book. But it still is an excellent starting point for an
in-depth study of the synapsids.
A few popular books have given therapsids some more attention than
usually. In the first place, there is Czerkas' and Czerkas'
"Dinosaurs: a global view" (published by Dragon World?), which has
the unique feature that it starts it story way back in the
Pennsylvanian, and gives quite some information about the Permian and
Triassic paleofaunas. Moreover, it is home to some of the most
marvelous paleoart the world has seen; the Permian and Triassic
landscapes, with their synapsid (and other) inhabitants, drawn and
painted by Mark Hallett, John Sibbick and (especially) Douglas
Henderson are stunning.
Some years ago, the respected British paleontologist Michael Benton
has written a series of popular books ('The Reign of the Reptiles',
'The Rise of the Mammals' and 'On the Trail of the Dinosaurs'),
published by Salamander and/or Kingfisher books. The first two of
these devote some chapters to synapsids and offer some nice
reconstructions and photographs of synapsid fossils (although
And finally, check the textbooks as Carroll's "Vertebrate
Paleontology and Evolution" Freeman 1988(?) and the old Romer's
"Vertebrate Paleontology" (available in most university libraries).
Good luck in the search, it is worth doing it...