308 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
Despite the overwhelming diversity of life on earth, one theme has dominated its evolution: the apparently simple act of moving from one place to another. Restless Creatures is the first book for a general audience telling the incredible story of locomotion in human and animal evolution.
Evolutionary biologist Matt Wilkinson shows why our ancestors became two-legged, why we have opposable thumbs, why the backbone appeared, how fish fins became limbs, how even trees are locomotion-obsessed, and how movement has shaped our minds as well as our bodies. He explains why there are no flying monkeys or biological wheels, how dinosaurs took to the air, how Mexican waves began in the animal kingdom, and why moving can make us feel good.
Restless Creatures opens up an astonishing new perspective – that nothing in life makes sense except in the light of movement.
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Matt Wilkinson is a zoologist and science communicator at the University of Cambridge. His work has been covered in the Telegraph, Metro, New Scientist and Nature. He has been a runner-up in the Daily Telegraph/BASF science writer competition, and reached second place in the first Cheltenham Science Festival FameLab competition. In 2007 he went to drama school, and he wrote a play about T.H. Huxley that was premiered at the 2009 Darwin Festival. Restless Creatures is his first book.