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Air-Breathing Fishes: Evolution, Diversity, and Adaptation Hardcover – Jun 9 1997


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Review

"No one knows more about air-breathing fishes than Jeffrey Graham. Graham makes a heroic effort to examine critically the literature on the 347 species he consider air-breathing fishes. This book contains a wealth of information and will be a tremendous resource for biologists interested in fishes and in the evolution of air-breathing ability. The descriptions of natural history for each species are fascinating. ...a monumental achievement, the work of a mature scientist at the top of his game."
--COPEIA
"The book is well illustrated with clear diagrams, good photographs of dissected specimens, tissue sections and some scanning electron micrographs. It is written in a clear style, is well referenced and has a good index. It should have wide appeal for all interested in the anatomy of fishes and their physiology."
--NATURE
"Air-Breathing Fishes: Evolution, Diversity, and Adaptation most certainly qualifies as a comprehensive, authoritative source that will be required reading for fish biologists and for biologists studying tropical aquatic ecosystems. Graham's book is easily the most comprehensive treatment of its kind, rich in detail with abundant tabulated data and illustrations. Yet it remains refreshingly readable, entertaining and occasionally even amusing. ...Graham's book is sure to please."
--Warren W. Burggren, University of Nevada, SCIENCE
"Forty-nine fish families are now known to contain air-breathing species. The pertinent data about these species have been competently gathered. This handsome, well-illustrated volume will be useful for graduate students and professionals in ichthyology and evolutionary biology, as well as interested general readers."
--CHOICE
"A well-organized text aimed at upper university level covering physiology, ecology and evolution, with detailed overviews of the fishy mechanisms for breathing air. Specialized terms make it difficult to dip into later chapters without reading earlier ones, however."
--NEW SCIENTIST
"Air Breathing Fishes most certainly qualifies as a comprehensive, authoritative source that will be required reading for fish biologists and for biologists studying tropical aquatic ecosystems. More than this, however, Graham successfully convinces the reader that air-breathing fishes provide a powerful case study with broad implications for evolutionary biologists. Graham's book is easily the most comprehensive treatment of its kind, rich in detail with abundant tabulated data and illustrations. Yet it remains refreshingly readable, entertaining and occasionally even amusing."
--SCIENCE
"It holds a wealth of valuable information visually well presented by many cladograms and tables. A must for teleost taxonomists and general fans of phylogenetic systematics."
--NATURE
"Graham sets the stage by examining the phylogeny of air-breathing fishes in a comparative approach and maintains this approach throughout the book. Graham's effort has produced a very complete volume that will serve as an unusually good starting point for anyone interested in the topic, as well as a highly valuable resource for those already established in the field. Graham not only reviews and synthesizes past work, but also provides many ideas about future directions. This is an impressive compilation of a large, diverse and very interesting literature."
--TREE
"The text is packed with information and there is a valuable reference list. This book will be a staple reference for the career ichthyologist. It will also provide fascinating reading for anglers, aquarists and naturalists."
--ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY

From the Back Cover

Air-Breathing Fishes is unique in its coverage of the evolution of air-breathing, because it focuses exclusively on fish. This important and fascinating book, containing nine chapters that detail aspects of the life history, ecology, and physiology of the air-breathing fishes, provides exceptional insight into their diversity, to the comparative biology of vertebrate respiration, and to the origin of terrestriality.
Each chapter provides a historical background, details the present status of knowledge in the field, and defines the questions needing attention in future research. Thoroughly referenced, with more than 1,000 citations, and well documented with figures and tables, Air-Breathing Fishes is comprehensive in its coverage and will certainly have wide appeal. Researchers in vertebrate biology, paleontology, ichthyology, vertebrate evolution, natural history, comparative physiology, anatomy and many other fields will find something new and intriguing in Air-Breathing Fishes.

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Amazon.com: 1 review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fish lung is quite ancient Nov. 26 2000
By Howard Schneider - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Although this book is a detailed survey and synthesis of air-breathing fishes, it is clearly written, and provides introductory background information on the subject. As is pointed out several times, while air-breathing fishes are often considered as the fishes which evolved the ability to breathe in the air, and then invaded the land to evolve into the land vertebrates, this is not entirely correct. The fish lung evolved in the ancestor to both the ray-finned fishes and the lobe-finned fishes, many millions of years prior to transition to land. In the Upper Devonian one of many different fishes with lungs, a group belonging the lobe-finned fishes, became amphibious and eventually evolved into the tetrapods. While the fish lung was conserved and exists in the modern lungfish, in the bulk of fishes, such as modern teleosts, the fish lung evolved into a non-respiratory gas bladder, used largely for buoyancy control. Nonetheless, for more than three hundred different species of modern freshwater, shallow fishes, air breathing is a valuable mechanism to cope with hypoxic water conditions, and was conserved or re-evolved.


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