Bivalves are the key components of Recent marine and freshwater ecosystems and have been so for most of the Phanerozoic. Their rich and long fossil record, combined with their abundance and diversity in modern seas, has made bivalves the ideal subject of palaeobiological and evolutionary studies. Despite this, however, topics such as early evolution of the class, relationships between various taxa and the life habits of some key extinct forms have remained remarkably clear.
In the last few years there has been enormous expansion in the range of techniques available to both palaeontologists and zoologists and key discoveries of new faunas which shed new light on the evolutionary biology of this important class.
This volume integrates palaeontological and zoological approaches and sheds new light on the course of the bivalve evolution. This series of 32 original papers tackles key issues including: up to date molecular phylogenies of major groups; new hard and soft morphological cladistic analyses; reassessments of the early Palaeozoic radiation; important new observations on form and functional morphology; analyses of biogeography and biodiversity; novel (palaeo)ecological studies.