Why and How - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080257853, 9781483189611

Why and How

1st Edition

Some Problems and Methods in Historical Biology

Authors: George Gaylord Simpson
Editors: Mario Bunge
eBook ISBN: 9781483189611
Imprint: Pergamon
Published Date: 1st January 1980
Page Count: 272
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Why and How: Some Problems and Methods in Historical Biology discusses an overall approach to the study of fossils combined with paleontology. This book is divided into six chapters. Chapter 1 consists of a few examples of studies of the fossil record, focusing on its adequacy, and ways of looking at and representing some of its aspects. The most basic aspects of study of the fossil record such as the examination, description, and illustration of the morphology of fossils are described in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 focuses on paleoecology and faunal analysis, while Chapter 4 emphasizes some of the aspects of phylogenetic principles and eclectic taxonomic theory. The essential apparatus for zoological studies that include biometrical statistics both in concepts and in measures are deliberated in Chapter 5. The last chapter deliberates the geographic distribution of organisms. This publication is a good source for paleontologists and biologists interested in historical biology.

Table of Contents


1. The Fossil Record

Bias, Adequacy, and Sampling of the Fossil Record

Continuity and Discontinuity in the Fossil Record

History of a Fauna

Periodicity in Vertebrate Evolution

2. Morphology, Homology, and Function

A Problem of Black on Black


A Way to Look Inside Fossils

A Way to Tell Crocodiles Apart

Ratio Diagrams

The Concept and Definition of Homology

An Exercise in Homology

An Exercise in Functional Inference and Model-making

How a Strange and Ancient Animal Got About

3. Paleoecology and Faunal Analysis

Ecological Analysis of an Ancient Local Fauna

Faunal Analysis, Facies, and an Evolutionary Principle

The Long View

4. Systematics and Taxonomy

Patterns of Cladistic Evolution

Remarks on Vertebrate Phylogeny

Higher Categories in Phylogeny and Taxonomy

Supraspecific Variation and Higher Categories

The Reality of Higher Categories

The Concept of Species

Types, Name-bearers, and Hypodigms in Taxonomy

Taxonomic Linguistics

5. Some Bits of Biometry

An Application of Statistical Thinking and Methods

Range as a Zoological Character

Standardization of Normal Frequency Distributions

6. Biogeography

Approach to a Sampling Problem

A History of an Intercontinental Faunal Resemblance

Measurement of Faunal Resemblance

Migration Routes

An Example of Sweepstakes Dispersal

Probability and Time

Species Density of Recent North American Mammals

Historical Analysis of a Continental Mammalian Fauna



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About the Author

George Gaylord Simpson

About the Editor

Mario Bunge

Ratings and Reviews