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The History of Life : A Very Short Introduction - Michael J. Benton

The History of Life

A Very Short Introduction

Paperback Published: 15th December 2008
ISBN: 9780199226320
Number Of Pages: 184

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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.

1: Introduction 2: The origin of life 3: The origin of sex 4: The origin of skeletons 5: The origin of life on land 6: Forests and flight 7: The biggest mass extinction 8: The origin of modern ecosystems 9: The origin of humans References and Further Reading

ISBN: 9780199226320
ISBN-10: 0199226326
Series: Very Short Introductions
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 184
Published: 15th December 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 17.4 x 11.8  x 1.1
Weight (kg): 0.16

Earn 43 Qantas Points
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