History of Life

History of Life

4.02 (43 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This text is designed for students and anyone else with an interest in the history of life on our planet. The author describes the biological evolution of Earth s organisms, and reconstructs their adaptations to the life they led, and the ecology and environment in which they functioned. On the grand scale, Earth is a constantly changing planet, continually presenting organisms with challenges. Changing geography, climate, atmosphere, oceanic and land environments set a stage in which organisms interact with their environments and one another, with evolutionary change an inevitable result. The organisms themselves in turn can change global environments: oxygen in our atmosphere is all produced by photosynthesis, for example. The interplay between a changing Earth and its evolving organisms is the underlying theme of the book. The book has a dedicated website which explores additional enriching information and discussion, and provides or points to the art for the book and many other images useful for teaching. See: www.wiley.com/go/cowen/historyoflife.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 312 pages
  • 219 x 274 x 15mm | 844g
  • Wiley-Blackwell
  • Hoboken, United States
  • English
  • 5th Edition
  • black & white illustrations, colour illustrations, black & white line drawings, colour line drawings, maps, figures
  • 0470671726
  • 9780470671726
  • 578,818

Back cover copy

This text is designed for students and anyone else with an interest in the history of life on our planet. The author describes the biological evolution of Earth's organisms, and reconstructs their adaptations to the life they led, and the ecology and environment in which they functioned. On the grand scale, Earth is a constantly changing planet, continually presenting organisms with challenges. Changing geography, climate, atmosphere, oceanic and land environments set a stage in which organisms interact with their environments and one another, with evolutionary change an inevitable result. The organisms themselves in turn can change global environments: oxygen in our atmosphere is all produced by photosynthesis, for example. The interplay between a changing Earth and its evolving organisms is the underlying theme of the book.

The book has a dedicated website which explores additional enriching information and discussion, and provides or points to the art for the book and many other images useful for teaching. See: www.wiley.com/go/cowen/historyoflife.
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Table of contents

Preface vii About the Companion Website x 1 The Origin of Life on Earth 1 2 Earliest Life on Earth 17 3 Sex and Nuclei: Eukaryotes 30 4 The Evolution of Metazoans 41 5 The Metazoan Radiation 54 6 Changing Life in a Changing World 66 7 The Early Vertebrates 84 8 Leaving the Water 98 9 Tetrapods and Amniotes 112 10 Early Amniotes and Thermoregulation 122 11 The Triassic Takeover 134 12 Dinosaurs 144 13 The Evolution of Flight 164 14 The Modernization of Land and Sea 183 15 The Origin of Mammals 199 16 The End of the Dinosaurs 212 17 Cenozoic Mammals 220 18 Geography and Evolution 236 19 Primates 249 20 Evolving Toward Humans 259 21 Life in the Ice Age 276 Index 294
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Review Text

"Though biogeographical patterns take a backseat to the grand narrative of descent, as an entry level textbook this is hard to surpass." ( F rontiers of biogeography , 5 February 2013)
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Review quote

Though biogeographical patterns take a backseat to the grand narrative of descent, as an entry level textbook this is hard to surpass. (Frontiers of biogeography, 5 February 2013)
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About Richard Cowen

Richard Cowen learned how to write and think critically at Cambridge University, and how to teach and think creatively at the University of California, Davis. He received a campus Distinguished Teaching Award in 1993 and designed the course History of Life there. The book was written specifically for that course, and has gone on to become a best-selling textbook.
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Rating details

43 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 40% (17)
4 33% (14)
3 21% (9)
2 5% (2)
1 2% (1)
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