My books

2021 (in press). T.S. Kemp. Amphibians: a very short introduction. Oxford University Press
2019. T.S. Kemp. Reptiles: a very short introduction. Oxford University Press: pp135
2017. T.S.Kemp. Mammals: a very short introduction. Oxford University Press: pp148
2016. T.S.Kemp. The origin of higher taxa: palaeobiological, developmental, and ecological perspectives. Oxford University Press & Chicago University Press: Pp xi+201
The question is addressed of how new higher taxa such as orders, classes and phyla evolve, which over time involve large  morphological changes in many characters. How is the essential functional integration amongst the organism's parts maintained, and what drives an evolving lineage along the particular morphological track it takes. Evidence from the principles of morphology, the fossil record, developmental biology, and ecology is used to develop a general view of how the great evolutionary transitions occurred. 
2005. T.S. Kemp. The origin and evolution of mammals. Oxford University Press: Pp331

The first half of the book is a complete update of the story of the mammal-like reptiles and the origin of mammals since my 1982 review. The second half continues the story of the radiation of mammals through the Mesozoic and Tertiary. The patterns of evolution as inferred from the fossil evidence is related to functional interpretation and the prevailing palaeoecological and biogeographic background. It is the first book to cover the molecular systematics of the mammalian interordinal relationships, and discusses the radical impact this has had on the interpretation of the fossil record.

Click here for a PDF of  The origin and evolution of mammals 

1999. T.S. Kemp Fossils and evolution. 
Oxford University Press: Pp vi+284


An account of the ideas, methodology and scope of contemporary palaeobiology. It addresses the central issue of how to combine palaeobiological and neontological evidence in order to understand the mechanisms of evolution over the geological timescale. Attention is thus focussed on those fundamentally important long term aspects of evolution for which the fossil record gives unique insight: long-term species stasis, major patterns of radiation and extinction including mass extinction, and the large treks through morphospace characteristic of the origin of radically new kinds of organisms.

1982. T.S. Kemp Mammal-like reptiles and the origin of mammals. Academic Press: London. Pp xiv+363 


The only comprehensive account of the pre-mammalian synapsid fossil record, and what it reveals about the radiation of the dominant amniote group prior to the dinosaurs, and the process of the origin of mammals from their basal amniote ancestry. Being by far the most complete fossil record for the transition to a major new taxon, the synapsids also illustrate the general nature of mega-evolutionary change.

1972. K.A. Joysey and T.S. Kemp (editors) Studies in vertebrate evolution: essays presented to Dr F.R. Parrington FRS. Oliver & Boyd: Edinburgh. Pp284


An edited collection of essays by his former students and colleagues, forming a Festschrift to celebrate the retirement of F.R Parrington, one of the major figures in mid-20th century vertebrate palaeontology.

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