There are three major reasons why organisms should be similar. The first is obvious, the shared ancestry of evolution (homology). The second is shared function, recognized as convergent and parallel evolution. Perhaps frequently overlooked is a third: shared fabricational constraints. This constructional morphology is the constraints placed on form by the laws of physics as realized by the developmental programs of organisms. While constructional morphology provides the framework for the analysis of a given form, their transformation in ontogenetic and phylogenetic time is the subject of morphodynamics. Morphodynamics thus represents the unique interaction between the environment, functional morphology, and the constraints of development that shape the evolution of life.
Suitable as a reference or textbook, this book on morphodynamics leads the reader to pose their own questions and sharpen their interpretive skills. It is copiously illustrated with more than 125 plates of the authors’ own distinctive drawings. The book is divided into two parts, with the first part laying out the topic of morphodynamics and the interaction of form in evolution, taphonomy, and paleontology. The second part shows the application of those principles across the diversity of life.