Feeding book cover


Form, Function and Evolution in Tetrapod Vertebrates

As the first four-legged vertebrates, called tetrapods, crept up along the shores of ancient primordial seas, feeding was among the most paramount of their concerns. Looking back into the mists of evolutionary time, fish-like ancestors can be seen transformed by natural selection and other evolutionary pressures into animals with feeding habitats as varied as an anteater and a whale. From frog to pheasant and salamander to snake, every lineage of tetrapods has evolved unique feeding anatomy and behavior.Similarities in widely divergent tetrapods vividly illustrate their shared common ancestry. At the same time, numerous differences between and among tetrapods document the power and majesty that comprises organismal evolutionary history.Feeding is a detailed survey of the varied ways that land vertebrates acquire food. The functional anatomy and the control of complex and dynamic structural components are recurrent themes of this volume. Luminaries in the discipline of feeding biology have joined forces to create a book certain to stimulate future studies of animal anatomy and behavior.

Advanced undergraduate and graduate students; professional vertebrate biologists; teachers of vertebrate biology/comparative anatomy; vertebrate morphologists; and evolutionary biologists.


Published: June 2000

Imprint: Academic Press

ISBN: 978-0-12-632590-4


  • "This volume represents an almost monumental attempt to provide a state-of-the-art review of tetrapod feeding mechanisms and is aimed at informing an audience composed of advanced undergraduates, post-graduates and research scientists."
    —Paul M. Barrett in IBIS (2002)

    "For those vertebrate palaeobiologists who have a major interest in the evolution of craniodental anatomy, this book is an utter godsend. ...This book provides a huge wealth of information on feeding in most groups of living vertebrates. It is a vitally important and immensely interesting addition to the literature in its own right, but as a tool for furthering palaeobiological research into feedings styles it is a key publication. ...Functional anatomists and biomechanicists such as myself will probably love this book; it is interesting, well-edited, well-written, full of crucially important information for palaeobiologists, and likely to become a success."
    —Ian Jenkins, University of Bristol, UK, in THE PALAEONTOLOGICAL ASSOCATION NEWSLETTER (2001)
    "...I have no doubt that it will become an important resource both for teaching and for future research in vertebrate biology. The book is well conceived and structured to be useful at many different levels - undergraduate, graduate, and as a reference work for researchers in the field. In addition, I believe that this book sets a new standard for work in the entire field of morphology."
    From the Pre-Publication Reviews:, —Elizabeth L. Brainerd, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    "This contribution by Kurt Schwenk is an outstanding one. Not since 1985 has there been a summary volume available. Much has happened in tetrapod feeding since then and Feeding: Form, Function and Evolution in Tetrapod Vertebrates will fill a vast void and be gratefully received by the communities of vertebrate morphology and comparative physiology."
    —G.E. Goslow, Jr., Professor of Biology and Medicine Vicechair, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island


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