By: Richard Cowen(Author)
302 pages, colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations
History of Life is designed for students and anyone else with an interest in the history of life on our planet. The author describes the biological evolution of Earth's organisms, and reconstructs their adaptations to the life they led, and the ecology and environment in which they functioned. On the grand scale, Earth is a constantly changing planet, continually presenting organisms with challenges. Changing geography, climate, atmosphere, oceanic and land environments set a stage in which organisms interact with their environments and one another, with evolutionary change an inevitable result. The organisms themselves in turn can change global environments: oxygen in our atmosphere is all produced by photosynthesis, for example. The interplay between a changing Earth and its evolving organisms is the underlying theme of History of Life.
Chapter 1. The Origin Of Life on Earth
Chapter 2. Earliest Life on Earth
Chapter 3. Sex and Nuclei: Eukaryotes
Chapter 4. The Evolution of Metazoans
Chapter 5. The Metazoan Radiation
Chapter 6. Changing Life in a Changing World
Chapter 7. The Early Vertebrates
Chapter 8. Leaving the Water
Chapter 9. Tetrapods and Amniotes
Chapter 10. Early Amniotes and Thermoregulation
Chapter 11. The Triassic Takeover
Chapter 12. Dinosaurs
Chapter 13. The Evolution of Flight
Chapter 14. The Modernization of Land and Sea
Chapter 15. The Origin of Mammals
Chapter 16. The End of the Dinosaurs
Chapter 17. Cenozoic Mammals
Chapter 18. Geography and Evolution
Chapter 19. Primates
Chapter 20. Evolving Toward Humans
Chapter 21. Life in the Ice Age
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Richard Cowen learned how to write and think critically at Cambridge University, and how to teach and think creatively at the University of California, Davis. He received a campus Distinguished Teaching Award in 1993 and designed the course “History of Life” there. The book was written specifically for that course, and has gone on to become a best-selling textbook.
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