Remarkable Creatures

Remarkable Creatures

Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species

Book - 2009
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An award-wining biologist explores the dramatic expeditions that unearthed the history of life on Earth--from the epic journeys of pioneering naturalists to the breakthroughs making headlines today.
A mixture of spirit and deed -- Introduction: Humboldt's gifts -- Part 1: The making of a theory. Reverend Darwin's detour ; Drawing a line between monkeys and kangaroos ; Life imitates life -- Part 2: The loveliest bones. Java man ; To the big bang, on horseback ; Where the dragon laid her eggs ; The day the mesozoic died ; Dinosaurs of a feather ; It's a fishapod! -- Part 3: The natural history of humans. Journey to the Stone Age ; Clocks, trees, and H-bombs ; CSI: Neander Valley -- Afterword: The shape of things to come.
Publisher: New York : Mariner Books 2009.
ISBN: 9780547247786
0547247788
Branch Call Number: 576.8 CAR
Characteristics: xix, 331 p. : ill., maps ; 21 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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