This unique volume of thirty essays, by fifty-three internationally known scholars, honours C.S. (Rufus) Churcher, the distinguished Canadian palaeontologist. The papers focus on late Cenozoic mammals in North America and Africa and provide both site-specific descriptions of faunas and their associated geological contexts, and more general syntheses of regional palaeoenvironments and biogeography. The volume provides a much-needed overview of current research.
The stature of the researchers who have contributed to the volume, and the breadth of the material presented, is a reflection of Churcher’s diverse research interests. The first section contains eleven papers on the palaeoenvironment and palaeoecology of Quaternary mammals in North America; the second section has 9 contributions describing faunas and morphological analyses of North American Quaternary mammals; and the final section contains nine papers on the palaeoecology and palaeoenvironments of late Cenozoic mammals of Africa. In this final section, Alan Gentry pays tribute to Churcher by naming a species after him: Budorcas churcheri. The volume contains individual discussions of North American fossil prairie dogs, mastodons, zebras, short-faced bears, sabre cats, lions, giant armadillos, elk-moose, caribou and muskrats, as well as African hyaenas, zebras, hipparion horses, antelopes, rodents, and giraffes.