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Quirks of Human Anatomy
An Evo-Devo Look at the Human Body


  • Date Published: August 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521732338

£ 32.99

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About the Authors
  • With the emergence of the new field of evolutionary developmental biology we are witnessing a renaissance of Darwin's insights 150 years after his On the Origin of Species. Thus far, the exciting findings from 'evo-devo' have only been trickling into college courses and into the domain of non-specialists. With its focus on the human organism, Quirks of Human Anatomy opens the floodgates by stating the arguments of evo-devo in plain English, and by offering a cornucopia of interesting case studies and examples. Its didactic value is enhanced by 24 schematic diagrams that integrate a host of disparate observations, by its Socratic question-and-answer format, and by its unprecedented compilation of the literature. By framing the 'hows' of development in terms of the 'whys' of evolution, it lets readers probe the deepest questions of biology. Readers will find the book educational and enjoyable, as it revels in the fun of scientific exploration.

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Author Lewis Held brings readers a rich and extensively documented exploration of the evolutionary and developmental bases of modern human anatomy. … From my perspective as a teacher of anatomy, I rejoice any time that an exploration of the human form makes clear the evolutionary basis of our biological features. However, Quirks hits the jackpot by delivering on the other two components that contribute to our current form: development and function. A second strength of this book is that it provides detailed - and extensively illustrated and documented - accounts of developmental genetics and pathways focused around the sorts of questions that beginning students in anatomy might have … the illustrations are very helpful … I heartily recommend this book and found it a joy to read.' Andrew J. Petto, Evolution: Education and Outreach

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521732338
    • length: 274 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 177 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 24 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Background
    2. Symmetry and asymmetry
    3. Mysteries of the midline
    4. Merism and modularity
    5. Sexual dimorphisms
    6. Silly, stupid, and dangerous quirks
    7. Mind and brain.

  • Author

    Lewis I. Held, Jr, Texas Tech University
    Dr Lewis I. Held earned his BS in Life Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973. On completion of his PhD in molecular biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1977, he became a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Irvine's Developmental Biology Center from 1977 to 1980. Following a 6-year period as an Assistant Professional Research Biologist at the University of California, Irvine, he joined Texas Tech University as an Associate Professor of Biology in 1987. He was awarded the President's Excellence in Teaching Medal from Texas Tech University in 1995 and is the author of Models for Embryonic Periodicity and Imaginal Discs: The Genetic and Cellular Logic of Pattern Formation.

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