Featuring contributions from leading researchers, this volume provides perspectives on how molecular biology can inform paleontology, directly and indirectly, to better understand life’s past. Paleobiological questions such as genome size, digit homologies, genetic control cascades behind phenotype, estimates of vertebrate divergence dates, and rates of morphological evolution are addressed.
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The Rise of Animals: Evolution and Diversification of the Kingdom AnimaliaArtist/Author: Fedonkin, Mikhail A. et al.
Among the major events in evolutionary history, few rival in importance the appearance of animals. This book, a significant reference providing a comprehensive synthesis of the early radiation of the animal kingdom, fully captures this moment in geologic time. Five of the world’s leading palaeontologists take us on a journey to the most important fossil sites that serve as unique windows to the earliest animal life – including the Ediacara Hills of Australia, the Russian taiga and tundra, the sandy deserts of southwest Africa, and the rugged coasts of Newfoundland. Each of these places is a rich record of how animals came into existence and how some succeeded and others failed. The authors also explore the diversification of Animalia into the familiar body plans of today: from simple sponges to complex molluscs, arthropods, echinoderms, and chordates that appear explosively in the Cambrian. This exquisitely illustrated book is an essential resource for palaeontologists, biologists, geologists, and teachers.
40 Years of evolution: Darwin’s finches on Daphne Major Island.Artist/Author: Grant, Peter R. and B. Rosemary Grant.
Renowned evolutionary biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant have produced landmark studies of the Galapagos finches first made famous by Charles Darwin. In “How and why species multiply”, they offered a complete evolutionary history of Darwin’s finches since their origin almost three million years ago. Now, in this richly illustrated new book, the authors turn their attention to events taking place on a contemporary scale. By continuously tracking finch populations over a period of four decades, they uncover the causes and consequences of significant events leading to evolutionary changes in species. The authors used a vast and unparalleled range of ecological, behavioural, and genetic data, including song recordings, DNA analyses, and feeding and breeding behaviour, to measure changes in finch populations on the small island of Daphne Major in the Galapagos archipelago. They find that natural selection happens repeatedly, that finches hybridize and exchange genes rarely, and that they compete for scarce food in times of drought, with the remarkable result that the finch populations today differ significantly in average beak size and shape from those of forty years ago. The authors’ most spectacular discovery is the initiation and establishment of a new lineage that now behaves as a new species, differing from others in size, song, and other characteristics. The authors emphasize the immeasurable value of continuous long-term studies of natural populations and of critical opportunities for detecting and understanding rare but significant events. By following the fates of finches for several generations, this book offers unparalleled insights into ecological and evolutionary changes in natural environments.
On the Origin of Species: the illustrated edition.Artist/Author: Quammen, David editor.
Now in paperback, an excellent book and a very good primer to the “Origin”. This illustrated edition of Darwin’s classic is illustrated with more than 350 illustrations and photographs, many of them in colour. Reproductions from Darwin’s “The Voyage of the Beagle,” his journal of the travels that led to his remarkable breakthrough, appear throughout, inviting readers to experience Darwin’s journey and to understand how he developed his theory of evolution. In addition, brief excerpts from his letters, diaries, and correspondence bring both Darwin the man and his revolutionary discovery to life. Also available in hardcover [stock id 28858].
Darwin’s Universe: Evolution from A to ZArtist/Author: Milner, Richard.
This alphabetically arranged reference, an immensely entertaining browser’s delight, offers a dazzling overview of the life and thought of Charles Darwin and his incredibly wide sphere of influence. Authoritative and abundantly illustrated, it illuminates the ways in which ideas of evolutionary biology have leapt the boundaries of science to influence philosophy, law, religion, literature, cinema, art, and popular culture. Darwin’s universe, a thoroughly revised and updated successor to Richard Milner’s acclaimed Encyclopaedia of evolution, contains more than a hundred new essays, including entries on animal behaviour (Alex the parrot, Kanzi the bonobo, and Digit the gorilla), on women in science (Mary Anning and Rosalind Franklin), and on the latest finds of human fossils. A veritable museum of natural history, it also contains many original discoveries brought to light by Milner’s historical sleuthing. Packed with hundreds of rare illustrations, including many new ones, this Darwin Bicentennial edition will appeal to a wide audience of readers.