Evolving Animals: The Story Of Our Kingdom

Evolving Animals: The Story Of Our Kingdom

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Wallace Arthur
Cambridge University Press, 9/22/2014
EAN 9781107627956, ISBN10: 1107627958

Paperback, 348 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.6 cm
Language: English

What do we know about animal evolution in the early twenty-first century? How much more do we know today than Darwin did? What are the most exciting discoveries that have been made in the last few decades? Covering all the main animal groups, from jellyfish to mammals, this book considers all of these questions and more. Its 30 short chapters, each written in a conversational, nontechnical style and accompanied by numerous original illustrations, deal equally with the pattern and the process of evolution - with both evolutionary trees and evolutionary mechanisms. They cover diverse evolutionary themes, including: the animal toolkit, natural selection, embryos and larvae, animal consciousness, fossils, human evolution, and even the possibility of animal life existing elsewhere than on Earth. This unique text will make an excellent introduction for undergraduates and others with an interest in the subject.

1. What is an animal?
2. Before there were animals
3. How to make a fossil
4. The Cambrian explosion
5. How to make a species
6. Jellyfish and their kin
7. How to make a tree
8. The enigmatic urbilaterian
9. Animal symmetry and heads
10. A plethora of worms
11. Trends in animal complexity
12. Where the octopus is king
13. How to make an animal
14. Exoskeletons galore
15. Extinction
16. Mouth first, mouth second
17. Comparing embryos
18. Larvae, mouthparts and moulting
19. The animal toolkit
20. Vertebrate origins and evolution
21. From water to land to water
22. Variation and inheritance
23. Evolutionary novelties
24. Human origins and evolution
25. Animal plasticity
26. The nature of adaptation
27. The direction of evolution
28. Animal extremophiles
29. Extraterrestrial animals?
30. The ghost in the machine