Fires of Life: Endothermy in Birds and Mammals

Fires of Life: Endothermy in Birds and Mammals

Yale University Press

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A groundbreaking argument on how endothermy—arguably the most important innovation in vertebrate evolution—developed in birds and mammals

This pioneering work investigates why endothermy, or “warm-bloodedness,” evolved in birds and mammals, despite its enormous energetic costs. Arguing that single-cause hypotheses to explain the origins of endothermy have stalled research since the 1970s, Barry Gordon Lovegrove advances a novel conceptual framework that considers multiple potential causes and integrates data from the southern as well as the northern hemisphere. Drawing on paleontological data; research on extant species in places like the Karoo, Namaqualand, Madagascar, and Borneo; and novel physiological models, Lovegrove builds a compelling new explanation for the evolution of endothermy. Vividly narrated and illustrated, this book stages a groundbreaking argument that should prove provocative and fascinating for specialists and lay readers alike.

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Barry Gordon Lovegrove is professor emeritus in the School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is the author of The Living Deserts of Southern Africa, winner of the 1995 University of Natal Book Prize, and co-editor of Hypometabolism in Animals.


Pub Date: 2019
Format: Hardback with bw illus.
Pages: 384
Size: 7.00 x 9.00 inches

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