Living Earth: A Short History of Life and Its Home by Evan G. NisbetLiving Earth: A Short History of Life and Its Home by Evan G. Nisbet

Living Earth: A Short History of Life and Its Home

byEvan G. Nisbet

Paperback | June 30, 1991

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Life has shaped the Earth, and the Earth has moulded the history of life. That history, the co-evolution of our ancestors and their horne, has much to teach us about our place on the planet today. We are part of the fabric of the biosphere. As we change that fabric we would be wise to understand how our horne was built. Our planet is neither a hotel nor a colony. It is not a place which life briefly inhabits during a transient occupation. Instead, it is our horne, designed by the deeds of our ancestors and suited to our own needs. The history of life on Earth is held in the geological record, which is composed of the rocks, water and air that are available for study on the planet's surface. These rocks, the oceans and the atmosphere are not simply stores of information for the excitement of fossil hunters and geochemists, or resources to exploit without thought. Their cre­ ation and continued existence form an integral part of the development and management of the Earth as the horne of life.
Title:Living Earth: A Short History of Life and Its HomeFormat:PaperbackPublished:June 30, 1991Publisher:Springer NetherlandsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0044458568

ISBN - 13:9780044458562

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Table of Contents

1 In the Abyss of Time.- 1 In the beginning.- The earliest Earth.- The water crisis.- A planet fit for life.- The constitution of the solid Earth; plate tectonics.- The importance of water.- Further reading.- 2 The beginning of life.- What is life?.- The making of life.- The chicken or the egg?.- The birthplace of life: Darwin's 'if'.- The hydrothermal possibility.- Other ideas.- An opinion.- Further reading.- 3 The Archaean planet.- The beginning of the geological record.- Examples from the geological record: the nature of the evidence.- The physical environment.- Further reading.- 2 The Occupation of the Planet.- 4 The variety of life.- Discovering life's history: stasis or change?.- The interdependence of life.- The Gaia hypothesis.- Further reading.- 5 Life in the Archaean.- The early record of life.- The doings of Archaean life: the creation of the biosphere.- Building an ecosystem.- Further reading.- 6 The surface of the Proterozoic Earth.- The middle age.- Building the continents.- The sedimentary basins of the late Archaean and Proterozoic.- Proterozoic igneous activity.- The Proterozoic world.- Further reading.- 7 The birth of the eukaryotes.- Proterozoic life.- The ancestry of the eukaryotes.- Reproduction and death.- The early eukaryotes.- Themetazoa.- The end of the Proterozoic: the Ediacarian record.- The environment at the end of the Proterozoic.- Further reading.- 3 The Spread of the Eukaryotes.- 8 The early Palaeozoic explosion and its aftermath.- The survival of the fittest.- The Burgess shale: life in the Cambrian Sea.- More diversification.- Fishes and plants.- Further reading.- 9 The changing land.- The dance of the continents.- The mechanism of continental drift.- The arrival of the land animals.- Eggs.- The early reptiles.- Food.- Further reading.- 10 The rule of the reptiles.- The reign of the archosaurs.- The Saurischia.- The Ornithischia.- The domestic economy of the dinosaurs.- Flying reptiles - pterosaurs and birds.- Painting the land: the arrival of colour.- The dinosaurs, science and dinner.- The late Cretaceous disaster.- Further reading.- 4 The Modern World.- 11 The new world.- A world in turmoil.- The split of the continents.- The changing climate.- The carbon budget.- The spread of the mammals.- The explosion of the placentals.- The C3 and C4 plants.- The birds.- Further reading.- 12 Humanity.- The evolution of the primates.- The early humans.- Homo sapiens.- The ice ages.- Further reading.- 13 Inhabiting an island.- Conquering the Earth.- The rats at work.- The management of our Earth.- Further reading.