Chapter

Past Diversity in Time and Space, Paleoclimates, and Paleoecology

Annalisa Berta

in Return to the Sea

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780520270572
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951440 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520270572.003.0002
Past Diversity in Time and Space, Paleoclimates, and Paleoecology

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This chapter provides an introduction to fossils and a geologic time frame, which provides a context for interpreting marine mammal fossils and possible causes for their origin and diversification. The evolution of marine mammal communities through space and time are considered, as well as what may have led marine mammals back to the sea. The use of stable isotope technology is explored for ecologic studies that range from reconstructing paleotemperatures and climate change to documenting diet and foraging ecology among both living and fossil marine mammals.

Keywords: fossils; geologic time scale; communities; stable isotope technology

Chapter.  3627 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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