Concluding Remarks

The study of Mesozoic mammals has made great leaps forward in the past two decades. A vast number of new fossils have been discovered and are now available for study. Some traditional ideas have been abandoned, while many new ideas have emerged—some of which are gaining increasingly wide acceptance, whereas others are hotly debated. This virtual explosion of new information, and interpretation based on these data, poses a daunting challenge for anyone attempting to comprehend all of it. Since the publication of the previous comprehensive book on Mesozoic mammals by Lillegraven, Kielan-Jaworowska, and Clemens in 1979, nearly a thousand papers on Mesozoic mammals have appeared in many different languages, scattered in numerous journals, symposium proceedings, and books published around the globe. We have endeavored to gather this scattered information in one book, so that readers may use this compendium as a gateway to a vast body of literature from a rapidly developing field of evolutionary biology. We hope that this volume will be a useful tool not only for students of Mesozoic mammals, but also for those who work on Tertiary and extant mammals and on terrestrial ecosystems of the Mesozoic.

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