Contents

Full contents vii

Preface xi

1 Paleontology as a science 1

2 Fossils in time and space 22

3 Taphonomy and the quality of the fossil record 57

4 Paleoecology and paleoclimates 79

5 Macroevolution and the tree of life 116

6 Fossil form and function 137

7 Mass extinctions and biodiversity loss 162

8 The origin of life 183

9 Protists 204

10 Origin of the metazoans 234

11 The basal metazoans: sponges and corals 260

12 Spiralians 1: lophophorates 297

13 Spiralians 2: mollusks 326

14 Ecdysozoa: arthropods 361

15 Deuterostomes: echinoderms and hemichordates 389

16 Fishes and basal tetrapods 427

17 Dinosaurs and mammals 453

18 Fossil plants 479

19 Trace fossils 509

20 Diversification of life 533

Glossary 554

Appendix 1: Stratigraphic chart 573

Appendix 2: Paleogeographic maps 575

Index 576

A companion resources website for this book is available at http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/paleobiology

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