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Missing Links: Evolutionary Concepts and Transitions Through Time

Author(s): Robert A. Martin, PhD, Murray State University
  • ISBN-13: 9780763721961
  • ISBN-10:0763721964
  • Paperback    304 pages      © 2004
Price: $92.95 US List
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Missing Links: Evolutionary Concepts and Transitions Through Time provides readers with a compendium of scientific evidence of extinct organisms, or "missing links," that bridge the evolutionary gaps between primordial species and modern life. The book introduces newcomers to the field of evolutionary science with an accessible discussion of basic scientific practices, rock and fossil dating techniques, and schools of classification. Readers are then ushered through a fascinating array of examples of evolutionary transition at all chronological and geographical scales, from the ultimate origins of life on Earth to the morphological changes that readers will observe during their lifetimes.

Missing Links serves as an engaging introduction to evolution for students and general readers, and is ideal supplementary reading for courses in General Biology, Genetics, Anthropology, Geosciences, Historical Geology, Philosophy of Science, or any course that will benefit from additional background on biological evolution.



Features & Benefits

This is the only text on the market dedicated to documenting transitions at a variety of chronological scales.

It is the only reference that has a chapter focused on changes in evolution during modern time.

The chapters engage non-specialists with cultural references, such as the chapter on whales which includes discussion of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.

Section 1 includes all the standard evolutionary information found in most texts on the subject, but also includes extra information that applies to fossils and their interpretation.

There is a summary of the recent Archaeoraptor fraud.

The text shows clearly how we are all scientists, because science is what we do to gain information.

Applicable Courses

Missing Links: Evolutionary Concepts and Transitions Through Time is designed primarily for the undergraduate reader and individuals not associated with colleges and universities who would have an interest in the evolution/creationism controversy. The text is well-suited for all levels at two- and four-year institutions and relevant courses could be found in departments of biology, geology, philosophy, and religion. The text fits most aptly to a one-semester course and can serve as an ancillary in a non-majors General Biology class, or a more specialized course on Evolution. Missing Links could be used as a primary Evolution text, but most likely colleges and universities will use it as a secondary text.

Possible course offerings:

  • Evolution
  • Biological Anthropology
  • Geosciences, Earth through Time 
  • Geosciences, Historical Geology
  • Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science


Section I: A Primer of Evolutionary Science

Ch. 1: Sources of Knowledge and Earth History
Ch. 2: The Origin and Evolution of Species
Ch. 3: Classification and Ecology: Making Sense of Nature

Section II. Case Histories
Ch. 4: Origins
Ch. 5: Pedestrian Whales
Ch. 6: The Kentucky Derby in Deep Time: Evolution of Horses During the Cenozoic
Ch. 7: The Thanksgiving Day Dinosaur
Ch. 8: On Hearing and Hinges
Ch. 9: Evolving Voles and Muskrats
Ch. 10: Fishes with Fingers?
Ch. 11: History of Upstanding Primates.
Ch. 12: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. Epilogue: Charles Darwin and the Fossil “Problem”

Epilogue: Charles Darwin and the Fossil “Problem”

Robert A. Martin, PhD-Murray State University

Professor Martin teaches in the Department of Biological Sciences at Murray State University and conducts primary research on vertebrate paleontology, mammalian evolution, and paleoecology. He earned his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Florida in 1969 after receiving a M.S. in Biology from Tulane University. Dr. Martin has published more than 50 professional articles, and his paleontological research in the Meade Basin of southwestern Kansas, where he is Director of the Meade Basin Rodent Project, has been supported by the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation.

  • "Read this book if you ever wanted to know anything about evolution! It is full of interesting and incredibly insightful information on the subject!"

    --Amazon Reviewer

    "…[C]ompact, well written, and informative little book…”

    --The Journal of Paleontology