On the Wing: Insects, Pterosaurus, Birds, Bats and the Evolution of Animal Flight

Hardcover | September 9, 2015

byDavid E. Alexander

not yet rated|write a review
Ask anybody what superpower they wished to possess and odds are the answer just might be "the ability to fly." What is it about soaring through the air held up by the power of one's own body that has captivated humans for so long? David Alexander examines the evolution of flight in the onlyfour animals to have evolved this ability: insects, pterosaurs, birds, and bats. With an accessible writing style grounded in rigorous research, Alexander breaks new ground in a field that has previously been confined to specialists. While birds have received the majority of attention from flightresearchers, Alexander pays equal attention to all four groups of flyers-something that no other book on the subject has done before now. In a streamlined and captivating way, David Alexander demonstrates the links between the tiny 2-mm thrip and the enormous albatross with the 12 feet wingspan usedto cross oceans. The book delves into the fossil record of flyers enough to satisfy the budding paleontologist, while also pleasing ornithologists and entomologists alike with its treatment of animal behavior, flapping mechanisms, and wing-origin theory. Alexander uses relatable examples to draw in readers evenwithout a natural interest in birds, bees, and bats. He takes something that is so off-limits and unfamiliar to humans-the act of flying-and puts it in the context of experiences that many readers can relate to. Alexander guides readers through the anomalies of the flying world: hoveringhummingbirds, unexpected gliders (squirrels, for instance), and the flyers that went extinct (pterosaurs). Alexander also delves into wing-origin theory and explores whether birds entered the skies from the trees down (as gliders) or from the ground up (as runners) and uses the latest fossilevidence to present readers with an answer.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$32.95

Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

Ask anybody what superpower they wished to possess and odds are the answer just might be "the ability to fly." What is it about soaring through the air held up by the power of one's own body that has captivated humans for so long? David Alexander examines the evolution of flight in the onlyfour animals to have evolved this ability: in...

David Alexander grew up near Dayton, Ohio, and earned a B.S. at the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. at Duke University. He has been on the faculty of the University of Kansas for over 20 years.

other books by David E. Alexander

Why Don't Jumbo Jets Flap Their Wings?: Flying Animals, Flying Machines, and How They Are Different
Why Don't Jumbo Jets Flap Their Wings?: Flying Animals,...

Hardcover|Jul 26 2009

$30.23 online$34.00list price(save 11%)
How to write an Emergency Plan
How to write an Emergency Plan

Kobo ebook|Jun 2 2016

$48.59 online$62.99list price(save 22%)
Technology Transfer in a Global Economy
Technology Transfer in a Global Economy

Kobo ebook|Dec 16 2012

$180.29 online$234.04list price(save 22%)
see all books by David E. Alexander
Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 0.12 × 0.12 × 0.12 inPublished:September 9, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199996776

ISBN - 13:9780199996773

Customer Reviews of On the Wing: Insects, Pterosaurus, Birds, Bats and the Evolution of Animal Flight

Reviews