Cenozoic Mammals and Their Evolutionary Context explores 65 million years of evolutionary history within the class of Mammalia, investigating the reasons behind the success of this group of animals. Their physiology, life history traits and adaptability led them to become one of the major components of the world's terrestrial ecosystems. The authors describe how biogeographic, climatic and environmental events played a crucial role in shaping terrestrial mammalian faunas, highlighting some of the major evolutionary radiations and adaptations that led mammals to colonize all environments, including the marine realm and the air.
This book is a high level scientific description of mammalian morphological adaptations, such asosteology and morphofunction, which made them successful in various environments and through 65 million years of changing climates. The book proposes a scientific review of the major advances in our understanding of how present mammalian diversity and biogeography have been shaped in the previous two decades.
- Reviews all major adaptive radiations such as swimming, flying-gliding, arboreal and fossorial behaviors and diets
- Describes how mammals can be used to reconstruct past climates and past terrestrial environments through original quantitative and qualitative methods
- Investigates the roots of today's mammalian diversity and biogeography
- Focuses on the last 25 million years, which saw a dramatic change to modern groups still existing today
1. Introduction 2. Major Steps in Evolutionary History 3. Local Events with Global Impacts 4. Evolutionary History and Specific Morphological Adaptations 5. Reconstructing Climates and Palaeoenvironments 6. Remarkable Fossil Faunas, Windows in History 7. Concluding Remarks
Loïc costeur is a Curator for Vertebrate Palaeontology for the natural museum of Basel in Switzerland. He obtained is PhD in Vertebrate Paleoecology at the University of Lyon 1 in France in 2005.
Olivier Maridet is a teaching research master at Jurassica Museum since 2015, he's also an assiociate curator since 2014 in the same museum. He obtained his PhD in 2003 at Lyon 1 University in France.
Since 2012 Gildas Merceron has been a researcher at CNRS. He obtained his PhD in paleonthology in 2003. In 2008 he worked at the natural museum in Wien in Austria.