The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | October 1, 2008

byMichael J. Benton

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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 tohighlight 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 wedestroy 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.

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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 tohighlight the great leaps that enabled life to evo...

Professor Michael J. Benton is Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol. He has written some fifty books, ranging from children's dinosaur and palaeontology books to standard textbooks in palaeontology and vertebrate palaeontology (such as Vertebrate Palaeontology, 3rd edition, Blackwell, 2005). He is als...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.8 × 4.4 × 0.6 inPublished:October 1, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199226326

ISBN - 13:9780199226320

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