Twenty-one years after the first true synthesis of edentate research, a book project is underway that promises to become the new standard reference for our field. The Biology of the Xenartha, edited by Sergio Vizcaíno and Jim Loughry, is now under consideration by the University Press of Florida, with an estimated release in late 2007. Its appearance will be most welcome, and long overdue: the volume edited by Gene Montgomery appeared in 1985, and was itself based on the proceedings of a symposium held in 1979. Projected to be over seven hundred pages in length, the forthcoming volume is intended to be a panoramic survey of current research, drawing on the expertise of the majority of the active xenarthran community. This book (tome, even) promises to be the most comprehensive volume yet assembled on edentate research, and we expect it will prove invaluable to a new generation of students and researchers alike.
Here we present a tentative table of contents to indicate its scope, which includes contributions from the field, the museum and the laboratory in equal measure. For more information, please contact either of the editors: Sergio Vizcaíno, Departamento Científico Paleontología Vertebrados, Museo de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, 1900 La Plata, Argentina, email <firstname.lastname@example.org>, and Jim Loughry, Department of Biology, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia 31698-0015, USA, e-mail <email@example.com>.
Tentative contents: 1. Xenarthran biology: Past, present, and future – S. F. Vizcaíno and W. J. Loughry. Part 1: Phylogeny. 2. Recent advances and future prospects in xenarthran molecular phylogenetics – F. Delsuc and E. J. P. Douzery; 3. Morphologybased investigations of the phylogenetic relationships among extant and fossil xenarthrans – T. J. Gaudin and H. G. McDonald. Part 2: Fossil Xenarthra. 4. Fossil history of sloths – H. G. McDonald and G. De Iuliis; 5. Paleogeographic distribution and anatomical adaptations in Peruvian megatheriine ground sloths (Xenarthra: Megatherioidea) – F. Pujos; 6. Evolution of the Vermilingua: An overview – H. G. McDonald, S. F. Vizcaíno and M. S. Bargo; 7. The evolution of armored xenarthrans and a phylogeny of the glyptodonts – J. C. Fernicola, S. F. Vizcaíno and R. A. Fariña; 8. Form, function and paleobiology in xenarthrans – S. F. Vizcaíno, M. S. Bargo and R. A. Fariña. Part 3: Living Xenarthra: Physiology and Genetics. 9. Armadillos and dimorphic pathogenic fungi: Ecological and evolutionary aspects – E. Bagagli and S. de M. G. Bosco; 10. Leprosy – R. W. Truman; 11. The spleen of the armadillo: Lessons of organ adaptation – E. B. Casanave and E. J. Galíndez; 12. The use of armadillo clones from the genus Dasypus as experimental models to investigate the source of physiological variability – P. Boily; 13. The physiology of two- and three-toed sloths – D. Gilmore, D. F. Duarte and C. Peres da Costa; 14. Sperm evolution in dasypodids – P. D. Cetica and M. S. Merani; 15. Reproductive biology of the nine-banded armadillo – R. D. Peppler; 16. Reproductive parameters and placentation in anteaters and sloths – K. Benirschke; 17. Placentation in armadillos, with emphasis on development of the placenta in polyembryonic species – A. C. Enders; 18. Sequencing the armadillo genome – J. Chang and J. Adams; 19. Chromosomal studies in the Xenarthra – W. Jorge and H. R. J. Pereira Jr.; 20. Genes and demes: Population genetic analyses of the Xenarthra – P. A. Prodöhl, W. J. Loughry and C. M. McDonough. Part 4: Living Xenarthra: Conservation. 21. Conservation status of the Xenarthra – J. M. Aguiar and G. A. B. da Fonseca; 22. Maintenance of Xenarthra in captivity – M. Superina, F. Miranda and T. Plese; 23. Exploitation of xenarthrans by the Guaraní-Isoseño indigenous people of the Bolivian Chaco: Comparisons with hunting by other indigenous groups in Latin America, and implications for conservation–A. J. Noss, R. L. Cuéllar and E. Cuéllar. Part 5: Living Xenarthra: Ecology and Behavior. 24. Anteater behavior and ecology – F. H. G. Rodrigues, Í. M. Medri, G. H. B. de Miranda, C. Camilo-Alves and G. Mourão; 25. Sloth ecology: An overview of field studies – A. G. Chiarello; 26. Behavioral ecology of armadillos – C. M. McDonough and W. J. Loughry; 27. Xenarthrans of the Paraguayan Chaco – D. A. Meritt Jr.; 28. Ecology and conservation of three species of armadillos in the Pampas region, Argentina – A. M. Abba and M. H. Cassini; 29. Biology and ecology of armadillos in the Bolivian Chaco – E. Cuéllar; 30. The natural history of the pichi, Zaedyus pichiy, in western Argentina.