Evolutionary Paleobiology of Behavior and Coevolution
- A.J. Boucot, Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
This book is the culmination of many years of research by a scientist renowned for his work in this field. It contains a compilation of the data dealing with the known stratigraphic ranges of varied behaviors, chiefly animal with a few plant and fungal, and coevolved relations. A significant part of the data consists of ``frozen behavior'', i.e. those in which an organism has been preserved while actually ``doing'' something, as contrasted with the interpretations of behavior of an organism deduced from functional morphology, important as the latter may be.
The conclusions drawn from this compilation suggest that both behaviors and coevolved relations appear infrequently, following which there is relative fixity of the relation, i.e., two rates of evolution, very rapid and essentially zero. This conclusion complies well with the author's prior conclusion that community evolution followed the same rate pattern. In fact, communities are regarded here, as in large part, expressions of both behavior and coevolved relations, rather than as random aggregates controlled almost wholly by varied, unrelated physical parameters tracked by organisms, i.e., the concept that communities have no biologic reality, being merely statistical abstractions.
The book is illustrated throughout with more than 400 photographs and drawings. It will be of interest to ethologists, evolutionists, parasitologists, paleontologists, and palaeobiologists at research and post-graduate levels.
- Published: May 1990
- Imprint: ELSEVIER
- ISBN: 978-0-444-88034-5
....a fascinating review of evidence on behavior and ecological interactions from the fossil record. ....the volume is packed with interesting and well-organized examples of behavioral and ecological properties of fossil organisms,
Michael A. Bell, State University of New York, USA, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, January 1991
Extensive lists of references, authors, genera and species, and of subject matter conclude this well produced compendium. I recommend it to all life science departments as an overview of paleobiology and paleoethology emphasizing the evolutionary time dimension of many aspects studied by biologists and documenting the enormous potential of paleontological data in many other respects. The book will catch the attention of biology students through its wealth of highly instructive illustrations, text, and numerous literature references.
J. Haffer, Ethology
The text is informal, chatty and extremely easy to read as it unfolds a remarkable tale of eveidence for palaeo-sex, violence and peaceable living. The span of information is truly impressive.
Geological Magazine, 1993