Remarkable Creatures

Remarkable Creatures

Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species

Book - 2009
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An award-winning biologist takes us on the dramatic expeditions that unearthed the history of life on our planet.

Just 150 years ago, most of our world was an unexplored wilderness. Our sense of its age was vague and vastly off the mark, and much of the knowledge of our own species' history was a set of fantastic myths and fairy tales. In the tradition of The Microbe Hunters and Gods , Graves , and Scholars , Sean Carroll leads a rousing voyage that recounts the most important discoveries in two centuries of natural history: from Darwin's trip around the world to Charles Walcott's discovery of pre-Cambrian life in the Grand Canyon; from Louis and Mary Leakey's investigation of our deepest past in East Africa to the trailblazers in modern laboratories who have located a time clock in our DNA.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009
ISBN: 9780151014859
015101485X
Branch Call Number: 575 Carroll
575 Carroll
Characteristics: xix, 331 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm

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carbonbusters
May 02, 2011

Well written, makes it a pleasure to read; focuses on the adventures, trials, tribulations and successes of some of the key explorers and researchers of natural history, evolution and palaeontology from Humboldt and Darwin to modern DNA research.

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Gardengallivant
Aug 28, 2010

I was given a wonderful glimpse of what has driven great naturalists into the field despite fatigue, disease, and sometimes an utter lack of funds. These people clearly enjoyed taking their field by storm and getting down to serious disputations about their findings. There is nothing like a solid wrangle over a fossil to get the best work done.

Besides Darwin, Wallace and Bates early work and their influences the book covers Eugène Dubois's discovery of Java Man; Charles Walcott's di ...more I was given a wonderful glimpse of what has driven great naturalists into the field despite fatigue, disease, and sometimes an utter lack of funds. These people clearly enjoyed taking their field by storm and getting down to serious disputations about their findings. There is nothing like a solid wrangle over a fossil to get the best work done.

Besides Darwin, Wallace and Bates early work and their influences the book covers Eugène Dubois's discovery of Java Man; Charles Walcott's discovery of the trilobite bearing Burgess Shale and the several Leakey family members discoveries of hominin fossils in Africa. The end segment covers the work begun by Pauling on molecular clocks and the accuracy of comparing genetic drift's neutral changes in DNA coding sequences of homologous proteins. The controversy & impact of genome based cladistics on classical taxonomy is slightly understated. The book tackles a wide range of material and covers it with a lively involved style of writing.

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