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Vertebrate palaeontology is a lively field, with new discoveries reported every week...and not only dinosaurs! This new edition reflects the international scope of vertebrate palaeontology, with a special focus on exciting new finds from China. A key aim is to explain the science. Gone are the days of guesswork. Young researchers use impressive new numerical and imaging methods to explore the tree of life, macroevolution, global change, and functional morphology. The fourth edition is completely revised. The cladistic framework is strengthened, and new functional and developmental spreads are added. Study aids include: key questions, research to be done, and recommendations of further reading and web sites. The book is designed for palaeontology courses in biology and geology departments. It is also aimed at enthusiasts who want to experience the flavour of how the research is done. The book is strongly phylogenetic, and this makes it a source of current data on vertebrate evolution.