Did you know that you are more closely related to a mushroom than to a daisy? That crocodiles are closer to birds than to lizards? That dinosaurs are still among us? That the terms "fish," "reptiles," and "invertebrates" do not indicate scientific groupings? All this is the result of major changes in classification, whose methods have been totally revisited over the last thirty years.
Modern classification, based on phylogeny, no longer places humans at the center of nature. Groups of organisms are no longer defined by their general appearance, but by their different individual characteristics. Phylogeny, therefore, by showing common ancestry, outlines a tree of evolutionary relationships from which one can retrace the history of life.
This book diagrams the tree of life according to the most recent methods of classification. By showing how life forms arose and developed and how they are related, "The Tree of Life" presents a key to the living world in all its dazzling variety.
As the book review editor, it is obvious that I would request from the publisher a copy of any book with this title, with the intention of then sending it on to a reviewer. However, I just couldn't make myself do it in this case--I loved the book too much to be able to part with it...[T]he straightforward arrangement, the simple writing style (translated well) and the direct presentation of phylo-genetic information all make the book accessible to the reader, both expert and non-expert alike. In short, the book is unique. It not only represents the first thorough attempt to portray life from a purely phylogenetic perspective, it is an excellent implementation of that idea. As an added bonus, there is a 35-page introduction to phylogenetic systematics. This is among the best such introductions in any language. The candid and unadorned writing style comes to the fore, so that the ideas and information are comprehensible to the uninitiated without alienating the experts by oversimplification. None of the complications in phylogeny reconstruction are avoided (although the methodology concentrates on parsimony analysis), and yet the concepts are presented in a straightforward and logical manner, with suitable illustrated examples.--David A. Morrison"Systematic Biology" (07/01/2007)
|Sequenced Genomes||p. 533|
|General Bibliography||p. 537|
|Index of Common Names||p. 543|
|Index of Latin Names||p. 554|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Harvard University Press Reference Library
Number Of Pages: 560
Published: 15th January 2007
Dimensions (cm): 28.1 x 19.6 x 3.914
Weight (kg): 1.668