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When the Invasion of Land Failed
Author: George R. McGhee

ISBN: 9780231160568
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 7 September 2013
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.1
Description:


The invasion of land by ocean-dwelling plants and animals was one of the most revolutionary events in the evolution of life on Earth, yet the animal invasion almost failed--twice--because of the twin mass extinctions of the Late Devonian Epoch. Some 359 to 375 million years ago, these catastrophic events dealt our ancestors a blow that almost drove them back into the sea. If those extinctions had been just a bit more severe, spiders and insects--instead of vertebrates--might have become the ecologically dominant forms of animal life on land.

This book examines the profound evolutionary consequences of the Late Devonian extinctions and the various theories proposed to explain their occurrence. Only one group of four-limbed vertebrates exists on Earth, while other tetrapod-like fishes are extinct. This gap is why the idea of "fish with feet" seems so peculiar to us, yet such animals were once a vital part of our world, and if the Devonian extinctions had not happened, members of these species, like the famousAcanthostega and Ichthyostega, might have continued to live in our rivers and...

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