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A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth

A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth

4. 6 Billion Years in 12 Pithy Chapters

by Henry Gee
Hardback
Publication Date: 09/11/2021

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  $43.25

The Royal Society's Science Book of the Year

"[A]n exuberant romp through evolution, like a modern-day Willy Wonka of genetic space. Gee's grand tour enthusiastically details the narrative underlying life's erratic and often whimsical exploration of biological form and function." --Adrian Woolfson, The Washington Post

In the tradition of
Richard Dawkins, Bill Bryson, and Simon Winchester--An entertaining and uniquely informed narration of Life's life story.

In the beginning, Earth was an inhospitably alien place--in constant chemical flux, covered with churning seas, crafting its landscape through incessant volcanic eruptions. Amid all this tumult and disaster, life began. The earliest living things were no more than membranes stretched across microscopic gaps in rocks, where boiling hot jets of mineral-rich water gushed out from cracks in the ocean floor.

Although these membranes were leaky, the environment within them became different from the raging maelstrom beyond. These havens of order slowly refined the generation of energy, using it to form membrane-bound bubbles that were mostly-faithful copies of their parents--a foamy lather of soap-bubble cells standing as tiny clenched fists, defiant against the lifeless world. Life on this planet has continued in much the same way for millennia, adapting to literally every conceivable setback that living organisms could encounter and thriving, from these humblest beginnings to the thrilling and unlikely story of ourselves.

In A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth, Henry Gee zips through the last 4.6 billion years with infectious enthusiasm and intellectual rigor. Drawing on the very latest scientific understanding and writing in a clear, accessible style, he tells an enlightening tale of survival and persistence that illuminates the delicate balance within which life has always existed.

ISBN:
9781250276650
9781250276650
Category:
Evolution
Format:
Hardback
Publication Date:
09-11-2021
Language:
English
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Country of origin:
United States
Dimensions (mm):
186.18x129.03x28.19mm
Weight:
0.29kg
Henry Gee

Dr Henry Gee was born in 1962. He was educated at the universities of Leeds and Cambridge. For more than three decades he has been a writer and editor at the international science journal Nature. His previous books include The Accidental Species: Misunderstandings of Human Evolution; Across The Bridge: Understanding the Origin of the Vertebrates; Deep Time: Cladistics, the Revolution in Evolution; Jacob’s Ladder: The History of the Human Genome; The Science of Middle-Earth, and (with Luis V. Rey) A Field Guide to Dinosaurs. He lives in Cromer, Norfolk, with his family and numerous pets.

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