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The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Here is the extraordinary story of the unfolding of life on Earth, told by Michael J. Benton, a world-renowned authority on biodiversity. Ranging over four billion years, Benton weaves together the latest findings on fossils, earth history, evolutionary biology, and many other fields to highlight the great leaps that enabled life to evolve from microbe to human--big breakthroughs that made whole new ways of life possible--including cell division and multicellularity, hard skeletons, the move to land, the origin of forests, the move to the air. He describes the mass extinctions, especially the Permian, which obliterated 90% of life, and he sheds light on the origins of human beings, and of the many hominids that went before us. He ends by pointing out that studying the past helps us to predict the future: what happens if the atmosphere warms by 5 degrees? What happens if we destroy much of the biodiversity on Earth? These things have happened before, Benton notes. We need only look to the distant past to know the future of life on Earth.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

About the Author

Michael J. Benton is Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol. He has written some fifty books, ranging from children's dinosaur and palaeontology books to standard textbooks.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199226320
Author:
Benton, Michael J.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
Benton, M. J.
Author:
null, Michael J.
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution
Subject:
Life Sciences - Genetics & Genomics
Subject:
Life
Subject:
Origin
Subject:
Paleontology
Subject:
Evolution
Subject:
Life -- Origin.
Subject:
Life Sciences | Evolutionary Biology
Subject:
Biology-Evolution
Series:
Very Short Introductions
Series Volume:
193
Publication Date:
20081231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
25 b/w halftones
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
4.400 x 6.800 in 0.338 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » World History » Oxford Very Short Introductions
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Genetics
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Paleontology
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Biology
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Evolution

The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) New Trade Paper
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Product details 144 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199226320 Reviews:
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