Procynosuchus skeleton

Tom Kemp

My books

2005. T.S. Kemp The origin and evolution of mammals.
Oxford University Press: Oxford Pp x+331 View cover
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.

Read excerpts from The origin and evolution of mammals on Google books


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

Cover: T.S. Kemp The origin and evolution of mammals. View further book covers