We began work on this book on Mesozoic mammals at the beginning of 1999. With support from our colleagues Donald R. Prothero and Hans-Dieter Sues, we signed the contract with Columbia University Press in April 1999. During our five years of work on this book, we greatly benefited from the help and advice of numerous colleagues and friends, who generously offered us enormous assistance in various ways. Primary among them (cited in alphabetic order) are Alexander O. Averianov and William A. Clemens, who agreed to serve as official reviewers of the whole book, read all the chapters at various stages of our work, and offered most valuable comments and criticism. We acknowledge, with heartfelt thanks, the many colleagues who kindly offered invaluable help in reading and reviewing one or several chapters, and/or provided us with photographs, casts, or needed information: J. David Archibald, Michael Archer, K. Christopher Beard, Percy M. Butler, Zoltan Csiki, Brian M. Davis, Mary R. Dawson, Steven Diem, Paul C. Ensom, Tim F. Flannery, Emmanuel Gheerbrant, Pascal Godefroit, Cynthia L. Gordon, Gerhard Hahn, John Hunter, J0rn H. Hurum, Louis L. Jacobs, Harry J. Jerison, Wighart von Koenigswald, Wann Langston, Jason A. Lillegraven, Scott K. Madsen, Thomas Martin, Malcolm C. McKenna, Christian de Muizon, Anne Musser, Michael J. Novacek, the late Constantin Radulescu, Thomas H. Rich, Kenneth D. Rose, Andrew Ross, Guillermo W. Rougier, Donald E. Russell, Bernard Sigé, Denise Sigogneau-Russell, Frederick S. Szalay, Tim Tokaryk, Michael W. Webb, Anne Weil, John R. Wible, Dale A. Winkler, and André R. Wyss.

We are greatly indebted to the following colleagues, who graciously provided us with original drawings (based on specimens, casts, or photographs) that we publish herein: Alexander O. Averianov, Percy M. Butler, Cynthia L. Gordon, Nicholas J. Czaplewski, Yaoming Hu, Aleksan-dra Holda, Michael J. Novacek, Constantin Radulescu, and Karol Sabath. The artists Mark A. Klingler and Linda Lil-legraven also kindly assisted with illustrative work, providing some of the reconstructions published in the book.

We obtained invaluable help from two colleagues at the Institute of Paleobiology in Warsaw. Andrzej Kaim cooperated patiently with us throughout the preparation of this book and processed digital images of all illustrations, unifying and greatly improving them.Aleksandra Szmielew shared with us her experience in making the first preliminary layout of the book.

We extend our sincere thanks to the following individuals for their assistance in final compilation and proofing of the manuscript: Cynthia L. Gordon, Brian M. Davis, Karol Sabath, and Wojciech Siciiiski. We thank our successive editors at Columbia University Press, Holly Hod-der and Robin Smith, for their help and support throughout. It is also a pleasure to acknowledge, with thanks, Cyd

Westmoreland of Princeton Editorial Associates, who spearheaded the effort to tame an unruly manuscript and who patiently fielded our sometimes naïve queries and niggling requests.

Our work was supported by the Institute of Paleobiology, Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN), in Warsaw (to ZK-J) and a collaborative program between the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and PAN (ZK-J and RLC). Aspects of this work were directly supported or facilitated by grants from NSF (RLC and Z-XL), the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society (RLC), the National Geographic Society (RLC and Z-XL), the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC), and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (Z-XL).

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