Michael J. Benton (2004)

Errors and corrections

Despite our best efforts, some errors have crept into the new edition. They are listed here in order. If you find any more, please e-mail the author at mike.benton 'at' bristol.ac.uk.

CHAPTER 4: The early tetrapods and amphibians

The limb figured in Box 4.2, fig b belongs to Ichthyostega not Acanthostega.

CHAPTER 6: Tetrapods of the Triassic

page 154, RH, line 2: The Carnian stage is 228-217 Myr ago, not 230-220, according to the 2004/2005 'Cambridge'/ GTS time scale.

CHAPTER 8: The age of dinosaurs

page 200: The caption is a bit confused. It should read:
The evolution of feathers: (a) the five main feather types in modern birds - filoplume (1), plumule or down feather (2), modified plumule and basic vaned feather (3), symmetrical vaned feather with interlocking barbules (4), asymmetrical flight feather (5); (b) complete specimen of Caudipteryx, showing the presence of filamentous feathers, as well as contour feathers on the arm (c) and tail; (d) contour feathers from the tail of Caudipteryx, (e) simplified phylogenetic tree showing the successive appearance of simple filamentous feathers and of contour feathers. [Figures (a, e) from various sources; (b-d) courtesy of Zhou Zhonghe.]

The feather types numbered in (a) should be added to fig (e): 1 in Coeluridae, 2 in Alvarezsauridae and Therizinosauridae, 4 in Troodontidae and Dromaeosauridae, 5 in birds.

CHAPTER 9: The birds

page 263: diagram should be re-labelled: (a) is the photograph; (b) is the three-part diagram at top right; (c) is the cladogram.

CHAPTER 10: The mammals

page 324, diagram: Node F is not Tethytheria, but is at present un-named.

page 325 (Section 10.6.3): 'The closest relatives of proboscideans are the sirenians, or sea cows... The next outgroup, the hyraxes...' This paragraph should read: 'The closest relatives of proboscideans are probably the hyraxes, an unlikely-looking grouping, since hyraxes look more like rabbits than elephants. The next outgroup, the sirenians or sea cows, used to be associated more closely with elephants as the clade Tethytheria, based on shared anatomy and a postulated shared aquatic origin, but molecular evidence does not support this view. Nonetheless, morphological and molecular evidence indicates that all three groups together form a clade, the Paenungulata.
Fig. 10.22 caption: reverse caption to items (b) and (c).

page 326: remove reference to 'tethytherian characters'.

page 348 (Section 10.1) The pairing of Carnivora and ungulates (Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla) within Ferungulata was, on the other hand, long argued by mammalogists.


Many thanks to Pedro Andrade for pointing out some of the errors in the Mammals chapter.
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