This richly illustrated book brings Darwin's fossils, many of which survive in museums and institutions around the world, together for the first time. Reveals how darwin's study of fossils shaped his scientific thinking and led to his development of the theory of evolution. Darwin's fossils is an accessible account of Darwin's pioneering work on fossils, his adventures in South America, and his relationship with the scientific establishment.
While darwin's research on Galápagos finches is celebrated, his work on fossils is less well known. All of this research was fundamental in leading Darwin to develop his revolutionary theory of evolution. Including new photography of many of the fossils--which in recent years have enjoyed a surge of scientific interest--as well as superb line drawings produced in the nineteenth century and newly commissioned artists' reconstructions of the extinct animals as they are understood today, Darwin's Fossils reveals how Darwin's discoveries played a crucial role in the development of his groundbreaking ideas.
. Yet he was the first to collect the remains of giant extinct South American mammals; he worked out how coral reefs and atolls formed; he excavated and explained marine fossils high in the Andes; and he discovered a fossil forest that now bears his name.
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World
Rex, brontosaurus, Triceratops, and more. Rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China. An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come. Includes 75 images, world maps of the prehistoric earth, and a dinosaur family tree.
Sixty-six million years ago, the Earth’s most fearsome creatures vanished. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, when thousands of species thrived, emerged. The story continues to the end of the cretaceous period, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species but not all died out, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.
Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T.
Now the rise and fall of the Dinosaurs reveals their extraordinary, 200-million-year-long story as never before. In this captivating narrative enlivened with more than seventy original illustrations and photographs, and new history of the dinosaurs, spectacular flourishing, Steve Brusatte, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, cataclysmic extinction, surprising, astonishing diversity, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field—naming fifteen new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies and fieldwork—masterfully tells the complete, and startling living legacy.
The ultimate dinosaur biography, " hails scientific american: A thrilling new history of the age of dinosaurs, from one of our finest young scientists.
End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals
These great beasts, or “megafauna, ” lived on every habitable continent and on many islands. 78 color illustrations. E. Until then, gorgeous four-color illustrations by Peter Schouten re-create these megabeasts here in vivid detail. With a handful of exceptions, all are now gone. What caused the disappearance of these prehistoric behemoths? No one event can be pinpointed as a specific cause, but several factors may have played a role.
Macphee explores them all, weighing the evidence, examining the leading extinction theories, and presenting his own conclusions. Paleomammalogist Ross D. He shows how theories of human overhunting and catastrophic climate change fail to account for critical features of these extinctions, and how new thinking is needed to elucidate these mysterious losses.
Along the way, we learn how time is determined in earth history; how DNA is used to explain the genomics and phylogenetic history of megafauna―and how synthetic biology and genetic engineering may be able to reintroduce these giants of the past. The fascinating lives and puzzling demise of some of the largest animals on earth.
Until a few thousand years ago, 500-pound birds, creatures that could have been from a sci-fi thriller―including gorilla-sized lemurs, and crocodiles that weighed a ton or more―roamed the earth.
The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life
Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field—the study of life’s diversity and relatedness at the molecular level—is horizontal gene transfer HGT, or the movement of genes across species lines. In the tangled tree david quammen, the notorious maverick whose wild ideas about “mosaic” creatures proved to be true; and tsutomu wantanabe, the most important little-known biologist of the twentieth century; Lynn Margulis, chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them—such as Carl Woese, “one of that rare breed of science journalists who blends exploration with a talent for synthesis and storytelling” Nature, who discovered that the scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a direct result of horizontal gene transfer, bringing the deep study of genome histories to bear on a global crisis in public health.
Longlisted for the national book award for nonfiction and a new york times Notable Book of 2018 Nonpareil science writer David Quammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology can change our understanding of evolution and life’s history, with powerful implications for human health and even our own human nature.
Now, in the tangled tree, he explains how molecular studies of evolution have brought startling recognitions about the tangled tree of life—including where we humans fit upon it. It turns out that HGT has been widespread and important. He is simply astonishing, ingenuity, humor, one of that rare class of writer gifted with verve, guts, and great heart” Elle.
Thanks to new technologies such as crISPR, we now have the ability to alter even our genetic composition—through sideways insertions, as nature has long been doing.
Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past
Reich delves into how the genomic revolution is transforming our understanding of modern humans and how DNA studies reveal deep inequalities among different populations, between the sexes, and among individuals. A groundbreaking book about how ancient DNA has profoundly changed our understanding of human history.
Geneticists like david reich have made astounding advances in the field of genomics, linguistics, which is proving to be as important as archeology, and written records as a means to understand our ancestry. In who we are and how we got here, reich allows readers to discover how the human genome provides not only all the information a human embryo needs to develop but also the hidden story of our species.
Provocatively, reich’s book suggests that there might very well be biological differences among human populations but that these differences are unlikely to conform to common stereotypes. Drawing upon revolutionary findings and unparalleled scientific studies, Who We Are and How We Got Here is a captivating glimpse into humankind—where we came from and what that says about our lives today.
Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World
Why an awareness of earth's temporal rhythms is critical to our planetary survivalFew of us have any conception of the enormous timescales in our planet's long history, and this narrow perspective underlies many of the environmental problems we are creating for ourselves. These overlapping rates of change in the Earth system--some fast, some slow--demand a poly-temporal worldview, one that Bjornerud calls "timefulness.
She explains why timefulness is vital in the Anthropocene, this human epoch of accelerating planetary change, and proposes sensible solutions for building a more time-literate society. This compelling book presents a new way of thinking about our place in time, enabling us to make decisions on multigenerational timescales.
Our everyday lives are shaped by processes that vastly predate us, and our habits will in turn have consequences that will outlast us by generations. But spans of hundreds of years--the time a molecule of carbon dioxide resides in the atmosphere--approach the limits of our comprehension. Timefulness reveals how knowing the rhythms of Earth's deep past and conceiving of time as a geologist does can give us the perspective we need for a more sustainable future.
Marcia bjornerud shows how geologists chart the planet's past, explaining how we can determine the pace of solid Earth processes such as mountain building and erosion and comparing them with the more unstable rhythms of the oceans and atmosphere. The lifespan of earth may seem unfathomable compared to the brevity of human existence, but this view of time denies our deep roots in Earth's history--and the magnitude of our effects on the planet.
The passage of nine days, which is how long a drop of water typically stays in Earth's atmosphere, is something we can easily grasp.
The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife
Mary roach meets bill bryson in this "surefire summer winner" janet maslin, but when it comes to understanding animals, New York Times, an uproarious tour of the basest instincts and biggest mysteries of the animal worldHumans have gone to the Moon and discovered the Higgs boson, we've still got a long way to go.
Whether we're seeing a viral video of romping baby pandas or a picture of penguins "holding hands, temperance, fidelity, " it's hard for us not to project our own values--innocence, hard work--onto animals. Charming and at times downright weird, this modern bestiary is perfect for anyone who has ever suspected that virtue might be unnatural.
They do--and that's just for starters. In the truth about animals, lucy cooke takes us on a worldwide journey to meet everyone from a Colombian hippo castrator to a Chinese panda porn peddler, all to lay bare the secret--and often hilarious--habits of the animal kingdom. So you've probably never considered if moose get drunk, penguins cheat on their mates, or worker ants lay about.
Darwin's Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory
60 line drawings Norton. This unique glimpse of darwin’s life introduces us to an enthusiastic correspondent, most of all, and, family man, crowd-sourcer, an incorrigible observer and experimenter. Includes directions for eighteen hands-on experiments, school, yard, for home, or garden. From the experiments’ results, he plumbed the laws of nature and evidence for the revolutionary arguments of On the Origin of Species and his other watershed works.
Beyond darwin at work, grief at the loss of three children, we accompany him against the backdrop of his enduring marriage, chronic illness, and joy in scientific revelation. We then follow darwin to down house, maintained a flock of sixteen pigeon breeds in the dovecote, and to Bournemouth, where he kept porcupine quills at his desk to dissect barnacles, and cultivated climbing plants in the study, his bustling home of forty years, where on one memorable family vacation he fed carnivorous plants in the soup dishes.
Using his garden and greenhouse, the surrounding meadows and woodlands, study, and hallways of his home-turned-field-station, Darwin tested ideas of his landmark theory of evolution with an astonishing array of hands-on experiments that could be done on the fly, and even taking over the cellar, without specialized equipment.
He engaged naturalists, nieces, and even his children, nephews, family servants, and cousins as assistants in these experiments, friends, neighbors, which involved everything from chasing bees and tempting fish to eat seeds to serenading earthworms. Darwin’s backyard goes beyond the portrait of Charles Darwin as a brilliant thinker to concentrate on him as a nimble experimenter delving into some of evolution’s great mysteries.
101 American Fossil Sites You've Gotta See
Contained within the last 541 million years are the Cambrian explosion, and five mass extinctions, the age of crinoids, including the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. This compendium of 101 fossil sites is the companion volume to the hugely popular 101 American Geo-Sites You've Gotta See, published in 2012.
Amply illustrated with photographs and written in a clear yet playful prose, 101 American Fossil Sites You'veGotta See will entertain and inform amateur and seasoned fossil buffs, whether from an armchair or in the field. At some sites, you can sift through the shale in search of fossils to keep; at other sites, you can watch professionals excavate museum-quality specimens.
Norton. Examining in detail at least one amazing fossil site in every state, Albert Dickas clearly explains the critters preserved in the rocks, from sharks and rhinoceroses to trilobites and horn corals. Dickas also provides a short history of life on Earth, from microbes in 3-billion-year-old chert to massive mammals of the Pleistocene ice ages.
The entertaining introduction discusses the history of paleontology, including nineteenth-century arguments about the age of Earth.
She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity
Each piece has its own ancestry, traveling a different path back through human history. We need a new definition of what heredity is and, through Carl Zimmer’s lucid exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour de force delivers it. Weaving historical and current scientific research, his own experience with his two daughters, Zimmer ultimately unpacks urgent bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical technologies, and the kind of original reporting expected of one of the world’s best science journalists, but also long-standing presumptions about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations.
Gradually, people translated their old notions about heredity into a language of genes. 2019 pen/e. O. As the technology for studying genes became cheaper, millions of people ordered genetic tests to link themselves to missing parents, to distant ancestors, to ethnic identities. But, zimmer writes, “each of us carries an amalgam of fragments of DNA, stitched together from some of our many ancestors.
We say we inherit genes from our ancestors—using a word that once referred to kingdoms and estates—but we inherit other things that matter as much or more to our lives, from microbes to technologies we use to make life more comfortable. Wilson literary science writing award finalist"science book of the year"—the guardianone of new york times 100 notable books for 2018one of publishers weekly's top ten books of 2018one of kirkus's best books of 2018 One of Mental Floss's Best Books of 2018One of Science Friday's Best Science Books of 2018“Extraordinary”—New York Times Book Review "Magisterial"—The Atlantic"Engrossing"—Wired"Leading contender as the most outstanding nonfiction work of the year"—Minneapolis Star-TribuneCelebrated New York Times columnist and science writer Carl Zimmer presents a profoundly original perspective on what we pass along from generation to generation.
Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures
A palaeontological howdunnit…Spying on Whales captures the excitement of…seeking answers to deep questions in cetacean science. Nature called “the best of science writing” Edward O. They evolved from land-roaming, can grow to 300, 000 pounds, dog-sized creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, live 200 years and travel entire ocean basins.
Wilson and named a best book by Popular Science, a dive into the secret lives of whales, from their four-legged past to their perilous present. Whales fill us with terror, awe, and affection--yet there is still so much we don't know about them. Full of rich storytelling and scientific discovery, Spying on Whales spans the ancient past to an uncertain future--all to better understand the most enigmatic creatures on Earth.
Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. Why did it take whales over 50 million years to evolve to such big sizes, in the sweepstakes of human-driven habitat and climate change, and how do they eat enough to stay that big? How did their ancestors return from land to the sea--and what can their lives tell us about evolution as a whole? Importantly, will whales survive?Nick Pyenson's research has given us the answers to some of our biggest questions about whales.
Norton. He takes us deep inside the smithsonian's unparalleled fossil collections, and to the arid desert in Chile, to frigid Antarctic waters, where scientists race against time to document the largest fossil whale site ever found.