For most biologists, Vertebrate Life perhaps came to their attention when it first appeared in 1979. Over the succeeding four decades, several of the original authors continued each version’s improvements and literature coverage. Written in an engaging style and well received by a broad array of biological researchers and educators, the book is now reissued for the ninth time. Its bold treatment and modern classification of 67,000 extant species of vertebrates, as well as coverage of fossils and their evolutionary relationships, make this text deserving of considerable accolades. For this 10th edition, the authors have reached out to numerous colleagues who suggested sources of data and photographs – over 400 full-color figures enliven the book, evenly distributed among its 26 chapters. This edition of Vertebrate Life has very few discernible errors and no stylistic issues that would detract from its first-rate prose.

Pough and Janis begin their tour with anatomical...

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