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somthing sort of fishy



I'm very pleased to announce publication of the latest book in Indiana
University Press' paleontology series, _Gaining Ground: The Origin and
Evolution of Tetrapods_, by Jennifer A. Clack.  Jenny looks at the
fish-"amphibian" "transition" (all those quotation marks are so cladists
won't beat me over the head with a copy of Hennig) from the standpoint
of comparative anatomy, molecular biology, and of course the fossil
record.  She then follows the early evolution of tetrapods through the
origin of amniotes.  Not content merely to describe the sequence of
anatomical changes that led to the colonization of the land by
vertebrates, Jenny puts these events into a paleoecological context by
describing continental biotas of the middle and late Paleozoic, and she
also considers their functional significance in the lives of the
critters.

The book has oodles of photographs and drawings of specimens, as well
as some lovely life restorations of the beasts involved.

IMHO, this book can be dispersed as a handy antidote to claims that the
fossil record provides no evidence for major evolutionary transitions.

Coming hot on the heels of David Schwimmer's _King of the Crocodylians:
the Paleobiology of Deinosuchus_, Jenny's book continues a very good
year for my little book series.  Stay tuned for the third book this
year, which should see print any day now.  I'll have moa to say about it
later.

Jim Farlow