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Evolutionary Innovations

Evolutionary innovations—the bony skeleton of vertebrates, avian flight, or the insect pollination system of angiosperms, for example—have in recent years become the focus of much fertile new research in evolutionary biology. Innovations may hold the keys to understanding why whole new groups of organisms evolve or, conversely, why groups of organisms become extinct. This volume brings together contributors from the fields of morphology, genetics, embryology, physiology, and paleontology to present research on evolutionary innovations and to suggest directions for further work.

The topics covered include the plurality of evolutionary innovations, patterns and processes at different hierarchical levels, evolutionary genetics of adaptations, heterochrony and other mechanisms of radical evolutionary change in early development, developmental mechanisms at the origin of morphological novelty, the evolution of morphological variation patterns, functional design and its punctuated products, plausibility and testability in assessing the consequences of evolutionary innovations, paradigms and pitfalls of studying physiological evolution, polyphyletic constructional breakthroughs in fossil and extant species, ecology of evolutionary innovations in the fossil record.

314 pages | 7 halftones, 103 line drawings | 6.00 x 9.00 | © 1990

Biological Sciences: Evolutionary Biology, Paleobiology, Geology, and Paleontology, Physiology, Biomechanics, and Morphology

Earth Sciences: Paleontology

Table of Contents

Introduction - The Plurality of Evolutionary Innovations
Matthew H. Nitecki
Nature of Evolutionary Innovations
The Origin of Evolutionary Novelties: Pattern and Process at Different Hierarchical Levels
Joel Cracraft
Genetics and Development
The Evolutionary Genetics of Adaptations
Brian Charlesworth
Heterochrony and Other Mechanisms of Radical Evolutionary Change in Early Development
Rudolf Raff, Brian Parr, Annette Parks, and Gregory Wray
Developmental Mechanisms at the Origin of Morphological Novelty: A Side-Effect Hypothesis
Gerd B. Müller
Morphology and Physiology
The Evolution of Morphological Variation Patterns
James M. Cheverud
Key Evolutionary Innovations, Differential Diversity, and Symecomorphosis
Karel F. Liem
Plausibility and Testability: Assessing the Consequences of Evolutionary Innovation
Jeffrey S. Jensen
Studying Physiological Evolution: Paradigms and Pitfalls
Warren W. Burggren and William E. Bemis
The Sand-Dollar Syndrome
Adolf Seilacher
The Ecology of Evolutionary Innovation: The Fossil Record
David Jablonski and David J. Bottjer

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