9781405190091

Evolution of Island Mammals : Adaptation and Extinction of Placental Mammals on Islands

by ; ; ;
  • ISBN13:

    9781405190091

  • ISBN10:

    1405190094

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-08-30
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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Summary

Evolution on islands differs in a number of important ways from evolution on mainland areas. Over millions of years of isolation, exceptional and sometimes bizarre mammals evolved on islands, such as pig-sized elephants and hippos, giant rats and gorilla-sized lemurs that would have been formidable to their mainland ancestors.This timely and innovative book is the first to offer a much-needed synthesis of recent advances in the exciting field of the evolution and extinction of fossil insular placental mammals. It provides a comprehensive overview of current knowledge on fossil island mammals worldwide, ranging from the Oligocene to the onset of the Holocene.The book addresses evolutionary processes and key aspects of insular mammal biology, exemplified by a variety of fossil species. The authors discuss the human factor in past extinction events and loss of insular biodiversity.This accessible and richly illustrated textbook is written for graduate level students and professional researchers in evolutionary biology, palaeontology, biogeography, zoology, and ecology.

Author Biography

Alexandra van der Geer is an independent researcher, presently guest researcher at Naturalis, the National Museum of Natural History of the Netherlands and at the Department of Geology and Geoenvironment at the University of Athens, Greece. She publishes on various subjects, including insularity, primatology and the relation between humans and animals. Among her previous books are Animals in Stone and Hoe dieren op eilanden evolueren.

George Lyras is curator of the Museum of Geology and Palaeontology of the University of Athens, Greece. His research focuses primarily on the evolution of carnivores and of insular mammals. He currently specialises in evolutionary processes of the mammalian skull under strong selective forces.

John de Vos is curator of the Dubois Collection and the Collection of Pleistocene mammal fossils from the Netherlands and the North Sea at Naturalis, the National Museum of Natural History of the Netherlands. His expertise and field of research include the taxonomic, systematic, geographic and stratigraphic research of the Pleistocene mammals of Southeast Asia in relation to fossil humans and fossil island faunas.

Michael Dermitzakis is emeritus professor in the Department of Geology and Geoenvironment at the University of Athens, Greece, and former vice-rector of the same university. He is a recognized expert in the field of island biogeography of the Aegean Archipelago and the advocate of international research on the palaeo-ecology of Greek islands.

Table of Contents

Preface
Beyond the Mainland
Introduction
History of Island Studies
Factors that Influence Island Faunas
Types of Islands
Dispersals to Islands
The Candidate Species
Composition of Island Faunas
The Islands and Their Faunas
Cyprus
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
Crete
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
Gargano
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
Sicily
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
Malta
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
Sardinia and Corsica
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
The Balearic Islands
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
Madagascar
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
Java
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
Flores
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
Sulawesi
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
The Philippines
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
Japan
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
The Southern and Central Ryukyu Islands
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
The Californian Channel Islands
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
The West Indies
Geology and Palaeogeography
Historical Palaeontology
Biozones and Faunal Units
Species and Processes
Elephants, Mammoths, Stegodons and Mastodons
Distribution and Range
Dispersals
Taxonomic Confusions
Common Morphological Traits
Other Common Trends
Rabbits, Hares and Pikas
Distribution and Range
Common Morphological Traits
Other Common Trends
Dispersal of Lagomorphs
Rats, Dormice, Hamsters, Caviomorphs and other Rodents
Distribution and Range
Common Morphological Traits
Remark on Taphonomy
Insectivores and Bats
Distribution and Range
Common Morphological Traits
Cervids and Bovids
Distribution and Range
Common Morphological Traits
Taxonomic Confusions
Hippopotamuses and Pigs
Distribution and Range
Common Morphological Traits
Taxonomic Confusions
Carnivores
Distribution and Range
Common Morphological Traits
Taxonomic Confusions
Patterns and Trends
Dwarfism and Gigantism
Increased Size Variation
Shorter Limbs and Stiff Joints
Increased Grinding Force
Neurological Changes
Changes in Metabolism
Evolutionary Processes in Island Environments
Types of Speciation on Islands
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors
Extinction of Insular Endemics
Natural Disasters
Disappearance of the Island
Competition by New Species
Effects of Exotic Predators
Transmission of Diseases
Habitat Loss
Hunting to Extinction
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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