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Evolving Animals
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Book description

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.

Reviews

'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 Source: The Biologist

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Contents


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