Morphological Change in Quaternary Mammals of North America
by Robert Martin
Edition: 1st., 1993, Digitalized, 2005
The Quaternary period marks the transition from environments populated with fabled, extraordinary creatures such as saber-toothed cats,
giant ground sloths, dire wolves, cave bears, woolly rhinos, and mammoths to the more familiar landscapes of modern time. Anatomically
modern humans appeared during the late Quaternary. To evolutionary biologists the Quaternary record represents a vast laboratory, full of natural experiments, in which hypotheses of evolutionary tempo and mode may be examined. The benefits of working in this laboratory are manifold. Modern species are often represented, and their past distributions in some cases often provide important, independent climatic signals in their own right, and in other cases can be tested against independent climate data to ascertain the relative importance of physical perturbations in causing evolutionary events.
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