Remarkable Creatures

Remarkable Creatures

Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species

eBook - 2009
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National Book Award Finalist: A biologist’s “thoroughly enjoyable” account of the expeditions that unearthed the history of life on our planet (Publishers Weekly).
 
Not so long 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. But scientists were about to embark on an amazing new era of understanding.
 
From the New York Times–bestselling author of The Big Picture, this book leads us on 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. Filled with the same sense of adventure that spurred on these extraordinary men and women, Remarkable Creatures is a “stirring introduction to the wonder of evolutionary biology” (Kirkus Reviews).
 
“Charming and enlightening.” —San Francisco Chronicle
 
“As fast-paced as a detective story.” —Nature


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 how old it was? Vague and vastly off the mark. And our sense of our own species’ history? A set of fantastic myths and fairy tales. Fossils had been known for millennia, but they were seen as the bones of dragons and other imagined creatures.
In the tradition of The Microbe Hunters and Gods, Graves, and Scholars, Sean Carroll’s Remarkable Creatures celebrates the pioneers who replaced our fancies with the even more amazing true story of how our world evolved.

Carroll recounts the most important discoveries in two centuries of national history — from Darwin’s trip around the world to CharlesWalcott’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. Join him in a rousing voyage of discovery, from the epic journeys of pioneering naturalists to the breakthroughs making headlines today.


Baker & Taylor
An award-winning biologist traces the contributions of pioneering scientists to the modern understanding of how Earth and the planet's life evolved, recounting such important discoveries as Darwin's trip around the world, Charles Walcott's discovery of pre-Cambrian life, the Leakeys' probe into humankind's remote past, and the mysteries of DNA.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009
ISBN: 9780547526140
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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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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