24 Feb Evolution: The Whole Story
Summary: Evolution: The Whole Story provides an in-depth and up-to-the- minute account of evolution, one of the ultimate keystone theories in modern science. Ten esteemed experts thoroughly survey how each of Earth’s major groups of living things diversified and evolved through time and using visual features that make the story comprehensible, the book gives readers, even those with no previous knowledge of the topic, a clear understanding of evolution and how it brought us to the present day.
· Modern evolutionary theory
· Terms such as convergent evolution and speciation; time charts and their eras, periods and epochs
· Explanations of graphic devices such as phylogenies and cladograms that depict evolutionary relationships
· How we know or surmise about long-gone animals, plants, habitats, and ecosystems
· Factors and pressures that drove evolution
· How fossils formed and are studied.
· Thematic essays that provide a complete account of all the major life groups, explaining in detail their comparative anatomy and evolutionary legacies.
· Photographic features that investigate the characteristics of individual organisms, including living species, fossils and skeletons, and how they are direct ancestors or relatives to members of modern life groups.
· 160 Key Focus features that investigate topics of particular interest.
· Stimulating lifelike reconstructions of past habitats and ecosystems.
· Historical timelines highlighting key evolutionary events and discoveries.
· In-depth coverage of 20 eminent scientists that have made major contributions to our understanding of evolution.
· Coverage of Mass Extinctions in their chronological position on the evolutionary timescale.
· Hallucigenia, a wormlike creature so odd that a scientist thought he was hallucinating.
· Flowers, insects and co-evolution — how organisms can progress “hand-in-hand”
· Peripatus, today’s walking worm with stumpy legs, which may show how arthropods evolved
· Eurypterus, at almost 5 feet long it was a real monster for its time.
· Arthropleura, a giant millipede-like arthropod the size of a sports car.
· Othniel Charles Marsh, Edward Drinker Cope and the Bone Wars, as rivals competed to find the biggest, best dinosaur fossils.
· Hobbits, an amazing discovery in 2003 of 3-feet-tall fossil humans — are they a distinct species?
· Reversing evolution and de-extinction — will we be able to “de-extinct” long-gone species?
· Gigantopithecus, a 10-feet-tall close cousin of humans living in Asia up to 100,000 years ago.
· Today’s sea eagle — what modern eagles tell us about the evolution of their group.
· Are new species evolving?
Angie’s comments: Yes, I read the whole book (over 500 pages), although it took some time. Indiana gets a lovely mention due to the Falls of the Ohio fossilized coral beds. This is intended more as read what you want book, rather than a book that needs to be read cover to cover. It highlights interesting plants, animals, and other lifeforms. The enteries are relatively easy to understand, and I especially enjoyed the section on plants.
Recommended for anyone interested in evolution or biology.