Harvard University Press, Small octavo, paperback,
In this entertaining and illuminating book, the biopsychologist Mark Blumberg explores the many ways that temperature rules the lives of all animals (including humans). Now available in paperback.
Harvard University Press, Small octavo, paperback,
Here the world’s foremost authority on the subject provides a fascinating overview of the evidence for and against a whole host of hypotheses concerning this cataclysmic event that unfolded at the end of the Permian.
Some 250 million years ago, the earth suffered the greatest biological crisis in its history. Around 95% of all living species died out–a global catastrophe far greater than the dinosaurs’ demise 65 million years ago. How this happened remains a mystery. But there are many competing theories. Some blame huge volcanic eruptions that covered an area as large as the continental United States; others argue for sudden changes in ocean levels and chemistry, including burps of methane gas; and still others cite the impact of an extraterrestrial object, similar to what caused the dinosaurs’ extinction. Extinction is a paleontological mystery story. Here, the world’s foremost authority on the subject provides a fascinating overview of the evidence for and against a whole host of hypotheses concerning this cataclysmic event that unfolded at the end of the Permian. After setting the scene, Erwin introduces the suite of possible perpetrators and the types of evidence paleontologists seek.
He then unveils the actual evidence–moving from China, where much of the best evidence is found; to a look at extinction in the oceans; to the extraordinary fossil animals of the Karoo Desert of South Africa. Erwin reviews the evidence for each of the hypotheses before presenting his own view of what happened. Although full recovery took tens of millions of years, this most massive of mass extinctions was a powerful creative force, setting the stage for the development of the world as we know it today. Also available in hardcover [stock id 24586].
3.8 billion years ago life evolved. 540 million years ago came the first complex animals.
380 million years ago fish had evolved fins with arm bones that humans have today.
So are humans a case study for or against evolution?
The Evolution Revolution takes you on a rollicking ride through the past 3.8 billion years of life on Earth exploring the complex and often controversial issue of evolution. Join two of Australia’s most accomplished popular science writers, palaeontologists Ken McNamara and John Long, on field trips that unearth some of the world’s most significant fossils, from microbes to mighty mammals, including the feathered dinosaurs that make the link between reptiles and birds.
The authors take us through the dramatic transition from fins to limbs, how the first insects flew, why dinosaurs got so big and how life has evolved into nearly every nook and cranny on Earth. The major fossil discoveries of the past decade they have documented comprehensively debunk the notion of intelligent design. Like it or not, along with dinosaurs, donkeys and dahlias we too came from bacteria that swam in the primordial soup.
Impeccably researched, remarkably readable and punctuated with good humour, The Evolution Revolution puts a human face on the enterprise of palaeontology. It is essential reading for anyone interested in fossils and the big events in life history.
This book stands alone amongst the major textbooks by focusing on key principles to offer a truly accessible, unintimidating treatment of evolutionary biology. With adaptation through natural selection – how the integrated complexity of living organisms comes about – as its central theme, the book adopts a lucid, crystal-clear narrative to explain the mechanism of evolution and its main outcomes. Chapters are grouped into six themed parts – basics, history, origins, adaptation, selection, and interaction – and the text is regularly interspersed with descriptive headings that set out a clear path through the subject. The Evolution of Life is written to instil a true understanding of the essential principles of evolutionary biology without that understanding being compromised by peripheral detail. As such, it is the ideal introduction for any student encountering this fascinating subject for the first time.
Online Resource Centre The Evolution of Life is supported by the following online resources: For registered adopters: – Figures from the book in electronic format for use in lectures – A set of exam questions for each chapter – Journal Clubs: discussion questions that guide students through research papers related to each chapter For students: – Programs and interactive spreadsheets related to activities posed in the book.
A comprehensive yet concise reference to the major subjects and concepts in evolutionary biology, from genes to mass extinctions. With contributions from leading researchers, the guide contains some 100 clear, accurate, and up-to-date articles on the most important topics in seven major areas: phylogenetics and the history of life; selection and adaptation; evolutionary processes; genes, genomes, and phenotypes; speciation and macroevolution; evolution of behavior, society, and humans; and evolution and modern society. Complete with glossaries of key terms, suggestions for further reading on each topic, and an index, this is an essential volume for undergraduate and graduate students, scientists in related fields, and anyone else with a serious interest in evolution.