By Badi H. Baltagi
Our wisdom of extinct animals relies virtually fullyyt upon the research of fossils. This richly illustrated booklet outfits the skeletons of dinosaurs and different Mesozoic reptiles with flesh, and exhibits how those attention-grabbing animals developed and doubtless lived. specialist writer John L. Cloudsley-Thompson offers a fascinating synthesis of present perspectives on their ecology, body structure and behavior, and descriptions some of the hypotheses which have been proposed to give an explanation for their extinction. a variety of appealing drawings of the animals and their setting illustrate this interesting monograph.
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Extra resources for Ecology and Behaviour of Mesozoic Reptiles
These included some of the turtles (Testudines or Chelonia), the placodonts, nothosaurs, and plesiosaurs (‘near lizards’; Sauropterygia), sea croco- 24 Amphibious and Early Marine Mesozoic Reptiles diles (geosaurs and thalattosuchians: Archosauria) and the Ichthyosauria, which were the most dramatically adapted of them all. A total of seven subclasses or orders – either entirely or in a large portion – became aquatic and returned to the waters in which their distant rhipidistian ancestors originally evolved.
The factors that most influence the ways in which animals have evolved and specialised are, first, the environment in which they live and move and, second, what they feed on. Tetrapod reptiles evolved and first diversified on land. Some of them then returned to water and became adapted for swimming; others developed wings and took to the air like birds. (The theropod origin of the latter forms the subject matter of Sect. ) The majority of reptiles, however, remained on land. These will be discussed in Chapters 7–11.
27) and the thalattosaurs. Thalattosaurus from the Upper Triassic of California was somewhat smaller than Tylosaurus, but both had paddle-like limbs and elongated skulls. As with many aquatic animals, the neck and body were long and slim in Thalattosaurus, the tail elongated so that the animal would have swum in an eel-like fashion, using its feet mainly for steering and braking. They were also used on land when the animals came ashore to lay their eggs. Askeptosaurus (Fig. 28) had long jaws and many sharp teeth – good for catching fish (Sect.