Evolution: The Whole Story

Evolution: The Whole Story edited by Steve Parker

QH 367 .E8667 2015

“The origin of humans fascinates us all. This comprehensive book traces that extraordinary journey spanning 4 billion years, from the emergence of living bacteria to the rise of the varied species that coexist today, including humans.

Evolution: The Whole Story is an in-depth account of how each of the major groups of living organisms evolved. Beginning with the origins of life – the first fossils and single-celled organisms, then early invertebrates, plants, arthropods, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs and finally, mammals and humans – each chapter presents thematic essays on particular subgroups.

Fascinating photographic features investigate organisms in detail with reference to the ways in which their anatomy suited their environment, the factors that necessitated adaptation – or caused their demise – and their evolutionary legacies. Extinct species are analyzed with reference to pivotal fossil specimens, reassembled skeletons and reconstructions, while living species are compared to their ancestors. Evolution: The Whole Story ends with examples of de-extinction projects and impending extinctions.

Learn about the giant spiders that inhabited the seas until 250 million years ago, the sharks that have changed little in 400 million years, the carnivorous dinosaurs that roamed during the Cretaceous period, the terror birds that gave rise to ostriches, and the complex evolution of the horse. Helpful cladograms clarify relationships between each animal group and its members.

Profiles of theorists, fossil-hunters, paleontologists and geneticists that contributed to the unraveling of the evolutionary story place important discoveries in historical context.

Our understanding of evolution has a profound effect on our appreciation of the natural world. The plants and animals alive today account for one percent of the species that have ever lived. This book will enable you to understand why and how the other 99 percent perished. Evolution: The Whole Story equips you with everything you need to know about the development and survival of life on Earth.”
– publisher description

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