New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Octavo, fine copy diagrams, fine copy in dustwrapper.
More than 99% of all life that has ever existed on this planet is extinct. Moreover, human acceleration of the extinction of species has created a crisis in biodiversity. How can the history of past life be retreived? How does this history bear on our understanding of the organization and evolution of present-day species? This book offers original research by leading authorities of evolutionary and systematic biology, who rank among the best of the dynamic investigators of botany, zoology, palentology, and geology. This work encompassed chapters concerning the recovery of information from living biota, taking into account the limitations of sampling and the steady rate of contemporary extinction of taxa. Complementary discussions include problems involving the analysis of data sets of variable completeness, for example, partially preserved fossils or patchy samples of extant taxa.
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