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Vertebrate Life [Paperback]

F. Harvey Pough , Christine M. Janis , John B. Heiser
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 Sep 2008

For courses in Vertebrate Zoology, Vertebrate Biology Function, and Paleontology


Widely praised for its comprehensive coverage and exceptionally clear writing style, this best-selling text explores how the anatomy, physiology, ecology, and behavior of animals interact to produce organisms that function effectively in their environments and how lineages of organisms change through evolutionary time. The Eighth Edition features dozens of new figures and photos, updated information from molecular data and evolutionary development, and expanded discussions on global climate change, extinction, and conservation.

Product details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 8 edition (26 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321600797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321600790
  • Product Dimensions: 25.3 x 20.1 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

The eagerly anticipated revision of Herpetology by Pough, Andrews, Cadle, Crump, Savitzky, and Wells is available in a third edition. Herpetology presents a comprehensive picture of amphibians and reptiles and their important roles in modern ecosystems. The new edition features full-color photos and species maps, a new chapter on biogeography, and expanded treatment of conservation.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author


F. Harvey Pough began his biological career at the age of fourteen when he and his sister studied the growth and movements of a population of eastern painted turtles in Rhode Island. His research now focuses on organismal biology, blending physiology, morphology, behavior, and ecology in an evolutionary perspective. Undergraduate students regularly participate in his research, and are coauthors of many of his publications. He especially enjoys teaching undergraduates and has taught courses in vertebrate zoology, functional ecology, herpetology, environmental physiology, and the organismal biology of humans. Currently he is teaching a year-long introductory biology course. He has published more than a hundred papers reporting the results of field and laboratory studies of turtles, snakes, lizards, frogs, and tuatara that have taken him to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Caribbean as well as most parts of the United States. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Past-President of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.


Christine M. Janis is a Professor of Biology at Brown University where she teaches comparative anatomy and vertebrate evolution. A British citizen, she obtained her bachelor’s degree at Cambridge University and then crossed the pond to get her Ph.D. at Harvard University. She is a vertebrate paleontologist with a particular interest in mammalian evolution and faunal responses to climatic change. She first became interested in vertebrate evolution after seeing the movie Fantasia at the impressionable age of seven. That critical year was also the year that she began riding lessons, and she has owned at least one horse since the age of 12. Many years later she is now an expert on ungulate (hoofed mammal) evolution, and is currently the president of the Society for the Study of Mammalian Evolution. She attributes her life history to the fact that she has failed to outgrow either the dinosaur phase or the horse phase.


John B. Heiser was born and raised in Indiana and completed his undergraduate degree in biology at Purdue University. He earned his Ph.D. in ichthyology from Cornell University for studies of the behavior, evolution and ecology of coral reef fishes, research which he continues today with molecular colleagues. For fifteen years he was Director of the Shoals Marine Laboratory operated by Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire on the Isles of Shoals in the Gulf of Maine. While at the Isles of Shoals his research interests focused on opposite ends of the vertebrate spectrum–hagfish and baleen whales. J.B. enjoys teaching vertebrate morphology, evolution, and ecology both in the campus classroom and in the field and is recipient of the Clark Distinguished Teaching Award from Cornell University. His hobbies are natural history, travel and nature photography, and videography, especially underwater using scuba. He has pursued his natural history interests on every continent and all the world’s major ocean regions. Because of his experience he is a popular ecotourism leader, having led Cornell Adult University groups to the Caribbean, Sea of Cortez, French Polynesia, Central America, the Amazon, Borneo, Antarctica, and Spitsbergen in the High Arctic.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay textbook 18 Jan 2011
By Sarah
Bought this to go with my Vertebrates module at university (I'm studying zoology) and it has been useful as the lecturers used it as the main source for their slides. However I found it quite difficult to read, the pages are extremly thin and disgrams have no color (which i think does make a difference!). I haven't used it as much as I thought I would but saying that I will no doubt come to it again in the future. The major downfall for me was the price, if it cost say 15 less I would have been a lot happier, but I have bought more informative textbooks twice the size for less. One other book I would recommend if you also study Ecology is Ecology from Individuals to Ecosytems (Michael Begon, Colin R Townsend and John L Harper), I have found it extremly helpful for my Ecology module. :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, a little difficult going. 12 Jan 2011
By Ellie
A brilliant book for anyone studying a related course. The only negative thing i'd say is that some sections are a little bit tough-going for those not so familiar with all the terms, but don't by any means judge the book content on this: I'm not a real scientist yet!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide for zoologists. 2 Mar 2005
By A Customer
Perhaps the previous reviewer didn't do zoology, as this book is an absolute must for that subject - one word 'awesome'.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BOOK 12 Nov 2010
By A. Non
This book is very booky.
It has pictures of Tigers. I like Tigers. Tigers work well in this book because they are vertebrates. It also has pictures of other vertebrates. This is good in a vertebrates textbook.
It also tells you some Latin and Greek words. Me no speak these things so I can learn.
It also has a glossary. This is a common feature of many books.
The book is green.
I like this book.
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