This book presents a synthesis of the modern approaches to the study of ontogeny and the interpretation of the fossil evidence for human origins. Recent years have seen significant developments in the understanding of the regulation of embryonic pattern formation and skeletal adaptation, and in techniques for the visualizations and analysis of ontogenetic transformations, offering the prospect of understanding the mechanisms underpinning phylogenetic transformation in the skeleton. Advances in developmental biology, molecular genetics, biomechanics, microscopy, imaging and morphometrics are brought to bear on the subject.

Key Features

@introbul:Key Features @bul:* Reviews important hot subject areas * Juxtaposes contributions by developmental biologists and those by evolutionary morphologists * Makes some bold insights; synthesizes development and evolution


Researchers and advanced students in physical anthropology, evolutionary biology, and palaeontology.

Table of Contents

Molecular Control of Vertebrate Limb Development, Evolution, and Congenital Malformations: M.J. Cohn and P.E. Bright, Introduction. Specification and Initiation of Limbs. Limb Identity: Forelimbs or Hindlimbs? Outgrowth and Patterning: Generating Bones from Buds. Hox Genes in Limb Development. Evolution of Tetrapod Limbs. Congenital Limb Anomalies: Linking Malformations to Molecules. Conclusions. Acknowledgments. References. Biomechanical Influences on Skeletal Growth and Development: T. Skerry, Introduction. Functions of the Skeleton. Historical Perspectives of Mechanical Influences on Bone. Quantitative Studies on Effects of Loading on Bone. Responses of Bone Cells to Loading. Conclusions. Acknowledgments. References. The Evolution of Mammalian Morphology: A Developmental Perspective: C.O. Lovejoy, M.J. Cohn and T.D. White, Introduction. Early Patterning of the Limb Skeleton. Functional Integration Within the Limb Bud. Some Implications for the Interpretation of Mammalian Skeletal Evolution. Conclusions. Acknowledgments. References. Development and Patterning of the Cranium: P. Thorogood and T. Schilling. Ontogeny, Homology, and Phylogeny in the Problem of the Browridge: D.E. Lieberman. The Problem: How Do We Retrieve Reliable Information on Phylogeny from the Skull? Homology. Integrating Homology and Development. How Do We Study Processes of Hominid Cranial Development? Example: The Browridge. Conclusion. Acknowledgments. Appendix. References.


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© 2000
Academic Press
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"This book is an important step in the process of improving the efficacy of methods for the reconstruction of higher primate evolution. The authors are to be congratulated on their efforts." @source:—-Bernard Wood in JOURNAL OF ANATOMY (2001) @qu:"...for those in the earlier stages of their paleoanthropological careers mastery of all the material covered here is going to be essential." @source:—-David Pilbean, Harvard University, in JOURNAL OF HUMAN EVOLUTION (2001)