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By Philippe Janvier

This booklet provides present wisdom of the early vertebrates--mainly fish, yet together with a few terrestrial creatures--which lived approximately 250 to 470 million years in the past. The paintings specializes in anatomical and phylogenetic questions, yet comprises info on fossil discovery and training, in addition to the research of the features from which their relationships should be reconstructed. the writer addresses either new and previous difficulties within the evolution of yes anatomical info and offers in brief with the animals' lifestyle, extinction, and previous distribution. The booklet is the 1st in its box to exploit a cladistic method. for every significant vertebrate staff, the reader will discover a diagram of relationships, or cladogram, with a variety of characters at every one node, and a succinct phylogenetic class.

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23). The reconstructions of these animals (essentially fishes) are of course subject to future modifications, but most of those shown here are now fairly well known and should not change radically. I am conscious that such reconstructions are naive and rooted in a nineteenth-century tradition, which in turn derives from biblical views of the creation, as pointed out by Rudwick (1992), but at least they show the state of knowledge, or of the collective scientific imagination, at a given time. The risk is that this practice may ossify our way of looking at the past, but the great propensity of present-day students to contradict the opinions of their peers should lead to these views being fundamentally modified in the future.

12C. 7B. 11C. 10B. 24E, F (redrawn with the permission from Nature, 361, 442-4, Fig. 2A. 96D (redrawn with the permission from Nature, 347, 66-9, Fig. 104 (redrawn with the permission from Nature, 365, 346-50, Fig. 14B (redrawn with the permission from Nature, 238, 469-70, Fig. ). Macmillan Publishing and Co. 25A. B. 14C. Meckler Publishing Corporation Fig. 10D-F. Metropolitan Museum of Art Fig. 5A. Moray District Council. Museums Division Fig. 1B. Mosklas, Vilnius Fig. 26A, B, D-F. 102. 103C.

7). The composition of this fauna, which also occurs widely in southern China, differs markedly from those of Europe in the same period. Among jawless vertebrates, heterostracans and osteostracans are lacking, but instead there is a variety of species of galeaspids, a group that is unknown outside China and Vietnam (Fig. 6). Among placoderms arthrodires are comparatively rare, but there are many different types of antiarchs, a group of placoderms that does not occur elsewhere until much later. In contrast, sarcopterygians are represented by primitive lungfishes and Porolepis-like forms, and the acanthodians are not much different from the European forms.

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