Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History
Xiaoming Wang and Richard H. Tedford have spent the past 20 years studying the evolutionary history of the family Canidae. Both are well known for having established the modern framework for the evolutionary relationship of canids. Combining their research with Mauricio Antón's impeccable reconstructions of both extinct and extant species, Wang and Tedford present a remarkably detailed and nuanced portrait of the origin and evolution of canids over the past 40 million years.
The authors cull their history from the most recent scientific research conducted on the vast collections of the American Museum of Natural History and other leading institutions. The fossil record of the Canidae, particularly those from their birth place in North America, are the strongest of their kind among known groups of carnivorans. Such a wonderfully detailed evolutionary history provides access to a natural history that is not possible with many other groups of carnivorans.
With their rich fossil record, diverse adaptations to various environments, and different predatory specializations, canids are an ideal model organism for the mapping of predator behavior and morphological specializations. They also offer an excellent contrast to felids, which remain entrenched in extreme predatory specializations. The innovative illustrated approach in this book is the perfect accompaniment to an extremely important branch of animal and fossil study. It transforms the science of paleontology into a thrilling visual experience and provides an unprecedented reference for anyone fascinated by dogs.
An easy-to-read text, accompanied by Anton's marvelous illustrations... Recommended.
A definitive, readable treatment of the evolution of the canine clan.
Sets a new standard.... With Anton's imagery, Wang and Tedford's Dogs is nothing short of wonderful.
A must-read for dog junkies.
Nothing short of wonderful.
Richard A. Kissel
PrefaceAcknowledgments1. Dogs: Methods of Study and the Place of Dogs in Nature2. The Origin of Canids and Other Doglike Carnivorous Mammals3. Diversity: Who Is Who in the Dog Family4. Anatomy and Function: How the Parts Work5. Hunting and Social Activity6. Changing Environments and Canid Evolution7. Going Places: Braving New Worlds8. Domestic DogsAppendix: Canid Species and ClassificationGlossaryFurther ReadingIndex
Read chapter 4, >Anatomy and Function: How the Parts Work.
Honorable Mention2008 PROSE Award in Earth Sciences, Association of American Publishers