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The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to Evolution

Popular Science

By: Carl Zimmer(Author)

452 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour illustrations

Roberts and Company Publishers

Hardback | Oct 2009 | #192208 | ISBN-13: 9780981519470
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $39/€34 approx
Paperback | Oct 2013 | #207436 | ISBN-13: 9781936221448
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £41.99 $55/€48 approx

About this book

Please note: not to be confused with the 2012 book by Robert Michael Pyle by the same title.

The Tangled Bank takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the latest discoveries about evolution. In the Canadian Arctic, paleontologists unearth fossils documenting the move of our ancestors from sea to land. In the outback of Australia, a zoologist tracks some of the world's deadliest snakes to decipher the 100-million-year evolution of venom molecules. In Africa, geneticists are gathering DNA to probe the origin of our species.

In clear, non-technical language, Carl Zimmer explains the central concepts essential for understanding new advances in evolution, including natural selection, genetic drift, and sexual selection. He demonstrates how vital evolution is to all branches of modern biology – from the fight against deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria to the analysis of the human genome.


1. Evolution: An Introduction
2. From Natural Philosophy to Modern Biology
3. What the Rocks Say
4. The Tree of Life
5. Evolution's Molecules
6. The Ways of Change: Mutation, Drift, and Selection
7. The History in our Genes
8. Adaptation: From Genes to Traits
9. The Origin of Species
10. Radiations and Extinctions: Biodiversity through the Ages
11. Intimate Partnerships: The Evolution of Friends and Enemies
12. Sex and Family
13. Evolutionary Medicine
14. Minds and Microbes: The Evolution of Behavior
Photo and illustration credits

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Carl Zimmer is one of America’s leading science writers. A columnist for The New York Times and a regular contributor to magazines like Scientific American and National Geographic, he is the author of thirteen books, including Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea and Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life. Zimmer is a lecturer at Yale University, where he teaches science writing. He is a three-time winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award and the winner of the National Academies Communication Award.

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