Since this is a volume in celebration of the work of Frederick S. Szalay, we think it is entirely appropriate to open with an appreciation. We gratefully acknowledge Dr. Szalay’s innovative efforts to bring the study of mammalian postcranial remains to the forefront of evolutionary morphology, a development that has inspired all of our research. MD thanks Dr. Szalay for being a supportive mentor, for instilling a broad and deep understanding of evolutionary biology, for generously allowing a naive graduate student access to important fossil specimens, and for providing the most stimulating environment for research. DLG thanks Dr. Szalay for his many kindnesses and thoughtful discussions over the years, and celebrates his intuitive ability to demonstrate how postcranial morphology can be used to decipher important evolutionary events in mammalian evolution. KCB acknowledges the intellectual debt he owes to Dr. Szalay, whose comprehensive studies of the systematics, phylogenetic relationships, and functional anatomy of Paleogene primates and other mammals has inspired subsequent generations to continue that legacy. XN and TQ congratulate Dr. Szalay on a long and productive career. Although this essay does not exhibit the breadth and depth typical of Fred’s work, it does in its own small way build upon themes evident in his own: the important contribution postcranial remains make to the interpretation of primate and mammalian evolution, systematics, and functional morphology (Szalay et al, 1975, 1987; Szalay, 1977, 1981a, b, 1984, 2007; Szalay and Drawhorn, 1980; Szalay and Lucas, 1993; Szalay and Sargis, 2001).