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Evolving Animals
The Story of our Kingdom

£22.99

  • Date Published: August 2014
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107627956

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About the Authors
  • What do we know about animal evolution in the early twenty-first century? How much more do we know today than Darwin did? What are the most exciting discoveries that have been made in the last few decades? Covering all the main animal groups, from jellyfish to mammals, this book considers all of these questions and more. Its 30 short chapters, each written in a conversational, nontechnical style and accompanied by numerous original illustrations, deal equally with the pattern and the process of evolution - with both evolutionary trees and evolutionary mechanisms. They cover diverse evolutionary themes, including: the animal toolkit, natural selection, embryos and larvae, animal consciousness, fossils, human evolution, and even the possibility of animal life existing elsewhere than on Earth. This unique text will make an excellent introduction for undergraduates and others with an interest in the subject.

    • Written in conversational, nontechnical style, ideal for both undergraduates and anyone with a general interest in the story of animal evolution
    • Covers all the main animal groups, from jellyfish to mammals, explaining what we know about the course of evolution and outlining what still remains to be learned
    • Deals equally with the pattern and the process of evolution – with both evolutionary trees and evolutionary mechanisms
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Wallace Arthur, a renowned evolutionary biologist, has written another of his excellent and easily approachable books introducing concepts, ideas and evidence of evolution. This new book is written in an informal style that a non-biologist should be able to follow without difficulty. He covers animal evolution from its beginning in deep time, and explains current ideas simply … Highly recommended for schools and biology students of all levels as well as the general reader.' Jennifer A. Clack, University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge

    'In Evolving Animals, the reader is taken on a tour through the major events in the history of animal life, from the Cambrian explosion to vertebrate origins, from water-to-land transitions to human evolution - with the benefit of enjoying the crystal-clear prose of a consummate writer who knows well how to produce a widely accessible book without any loss of accuracy or sacrifice in coverage. One of the world leaders in evolutionary developmental biology, Wallace Arthur draws extensively from this field to reconstruct animal evolution from a developmental perspective. In the end, more than being a book on zoology this is a book on evolution - adaptation, novelties, convergence, evolutionary trends in complexity of structure and behaviour, but also speciation and extinction - punctuated by frequent insights into the history of biology and informative glimpses of the new frontiers of phylogenetic reconstruction.' Alessandro Minelli, University of Padova, Italy

    'Wallace Arthur has written a clear, lively and enjoyable guide to the animal kingdom and its evolution. He leads the reader through what we know about animals, their forms, relationships, and origins in the deep past, but more importantly he tells how we know it in a way that's accessible to a wide range of readers.' Rudolf A. Raff, Indiana University

    'As an old-fashioned zoologist/embryologist, I enjoyed reading [this], and undergraduate biologists will gain a breadth of understanding of animals unattainable from any other book I know. This is a good little book, bringing zoology back into the academic gamut.' Jack Cohen, The Biologist

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107627956
    • length: 344 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 119 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    Acknowledgements
    1. What is an animal?
    2. Before there were animals
    3. How to make a fossil
    4. The Cambrian explosion
    5. How to make a species
    6. Jellyfish and their kin
    7. How to make a tree
    8. The enigmatic urbilaterian
    9. Animal symmetry and heads
    10. A plethora of worms
    11. Trends in animal complexity
    12. Where the octopus is king
    13. How to make an animal
    14. Exoskeletons galore
    15. Extinction
    16. Mouth first, mouth second
    17. Comparing embryos
    18. Larvae, mouthparts and moulting
    19. The animal toolkit
    20. Vertebrate origins and evolution
    21. From water to land to water
    22. Variation and inheritance
    23. Evolutionary novelties
    24. Human origins and evolution
    25. Animal plasticity
    26. The nature of adaptation
    27. The direction of evolution
    28. Animal extremophiles
    29. Extraterrestrial animals?
    30. The ghost in the machine
    Appendix
    References
    Index.

  • Author

    Wallace Arthur, National University of Ireland, Galway
    Wallace Arthur is Emeritus Professor of Zoology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is one of the founders of the interdisciplinary field of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), and has a special interest in explaining scientific concepts in plain, nontechnical language. He is the author of nine previous books, including Biased Embryos and Evolution (Cambridge, 2004) and The Origin of Animal Body Plans (Cambridge, 1997).

    Illustrated by

    Stephen Arthur

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