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By: Richard Southwood
264 pages, B/w illus, figs, maps
In recounting the story of life from the origin of the earth to the present against a background of the world's changing climate and geology, Southwood reveals how evolution has driven and shaped unpredictable environmental forces, leading to five major and many lesser extinction events and creating new patterns of life.
'This remarkable book succeeds, within less than 300 pages, in summarizing everything essential about all living creatures for more than three billion years.' Jared Diamond
'Extremely few living scientists would be able to cover the entire history of life authoritatively, with wisely chosen examples and principles, presented in lucid prose, and all in fewer than 260 well-illustrated pages.' E O Wilson
Extremely few living scientists would be able to cover the entire history of life authoritatively, with wisely chosen examples and principles, presented in lucid prose, and all in fewer than 260 well-illustrated pages. Southwood is one of them, has done so, and I accordingly recommend this book.
Introduction; 1. Special chemistry; 2. A quick start; 3. Cells with Nuclei; 4. Jellyfish, polyps and worms?; 5. Claws, rasps and shells; 6. Sand, mud and shallow seas; 7. The giant continent forms; 8. A sparse start; 9. The world of the dinosaurs; 10. Today's world dawns; 11. The evolution of the able ape; 12. Humans - the great modifiers; Further reading; Acknowledgements; Index
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