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Return to the SeaThe Life and Evolutionary Times of Marine Mammals$
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Annalisa Berta

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520270572

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520270572.001.0001

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Past Diversity in Time and Space, Paleoclimates, and Paleoecology

Past Diversity in Time and Space, Paleoclimates, and Paleoecology

(p.29) Chapter Two Past Diversity in Time and Space, Paleoclimates, and Paleoecology
Return to the Sea

Annalisa Berta

University of California Press

This chapter provides an introduction to fossils and a geologic time frame, which provides a context for interpreting marine mammal fossils and possible causes for their origin and diversification. The evolution of marine mammal communities through space and time are considered, as well as what may have led marine mammals back to the sea. The use of stable isotope technology is explored for ecologic studies that range from reconstructing paleotemperatures and climate change to documenting diet and foraging ecology among both living and fossil marine mammals.

Keywords:   fossils, geologic time scale, communities, stable isotope technology

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