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Neptune's Ark: From Ichthyosaurs to Orcas Download Pdf

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Download Book Title : Neptune's Ark: From Ichthyosaurs to Orcas

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From Publishers Weekly
Author and naturalist Wallace follows up Beasts of Eden, which tackled mammalian evolution, with this in-depth look at the evolution of marine tetrapods (four-limbed creatures), from the earliest proto-reptilians through present-day seals, whales and walruses. Using Georg Wilhelm Steller's still-unidentified 1741 discovery of a "very unusual and new animal" as a symbol for all we don't know about marine life, Wallace delves into a shrouded living environment that has likely hidden many more species than paleontologists will ever uncover. Unfortunately, the most interesting parts of the book-concerning the 18th, 19th and 20th century trailblazers in the field-are marred by Wallace's inability to keep himself out of the narrative (at one point, he describes a dream he had). Later chapters explore the attempts of eccentric John Lilly to communicate with dolphins and whales, the first migration of humans to the Americas, animal myths of Northwest Coast Natives and the destructive influence of Europeans. Though Wallace's voice can grate and the text gets bogged down in difficult-to-follow taxonomy discussions (a glossary would have been of immense help), those with a grounding in biology or science history will find Wallace's fascinating vignettes worth the effort. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From
The western coastline of North America is as close to an "ur-coast" as can be found on our planet--that is, in geologic time it has never been part of the interior of any continent or supercontinent. It is along this coast that naturalist Wallace (Beasts of Eden, 2004) bases his survey of marine evolution over the past 500 million years. Specifically targeting vertebrate evolution, Wallace examines the fantastical ancestors of today's species, as well as forms that left no direct descendants. Toothed birds flew above or dove below the seas, and fishlike ichthyosaurs patrolled open oceans. And sea cows, now reduced to a few tropical species, colonized the entire coastline. Wallace fills his narrative with stories of the often-quirky paleontologists who found these creatures and cautionary tales about the decimation and later conservation of their modern kin. The addition of coastal Indian^B creation tales and his own philosophical musings on the vast scope of diversity and time engages the reader in Wallace's voyage of discovery. Nancy BentCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


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Author(s) Book :David Rains Wallace, Ken Kirkland
Publish Year :2007 Publisher : University of California Press
You can check by ISBN10/ISBN13 : 0520243226/9780520243224
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