Beasts of Eden
Walking Whales, Dawn Horses, and Other Enigmas of Mammal Evolution
By (author) David Rains Wallace
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Beasts of Eden by David Rains Wallace
Book DescriptionMammals first evolved at about the same time as dinosaurs, and their story is perhaps the more fascinating of the two - in part because it is also our own story. In this literate and entertaining book, eminent naturalist David Rains Wallace brings the saga of ancient mammals to a general audience for the first time. Using artist Rudolph Zallinger's majestic The Age of Mammals mural at the Peabody Museum as a frame for his narrative, Wallace deftly moves over varied terrain - drawing from history, science, evolutionary theory, and art history - to present a lively account of fossil discoveries and an overview of what those discoveries have revealed about early mammals and their evolution. In these pages we encounter towering mammoths, tiny horses, giant-clawed ground sloths, whales with legs, uintatheres, zhelestids, and other exotic extinct creatures as well as the scientists who discovered and wondered about their remains. We meet such memorable figures as Georges Cuvier, Richard Owen, Edward D. Cope, George Gaylord Simpson, and Stephen Jay Gould and learn of their heated disputes, from Cuvier's and Owen's fights with early evolutionists to present controversies over the Late Cretaceous mass extinction. Wallace's own lifelong interest in evolution is reflected in the book's evocative and engaging style and in the personal experiences he expertly weaves into the tale, providing an altogether expansive perspective on what Darwin described as the 'grandeur' of evolution.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520246843
(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 5-Aug-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author David Rains Wallace
Chuckwalla Land, Hardback (April 2011)
Discusses distinctive corner of California - its desert, the driest and hottest environment in North America. This title illuminates the desert's intriguing flora and fauna as he explores a controversial, unresolved scientific debate about the origin and evolution of its unusual ecosystems.
Neptune's Ark, Paperback (August 2008)View all books by David Rains Wallace
Tells a story about evolution, as well as a tale of the storms, scurvy, and shipwrecks that plagued the Pacific coast's explorers, naturalists, and scientists, many of whom led turbulent or tragic lives, with themes reflected in the wonder and danger of the coast itself.
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Author Biography - David Rains Wallace
David Rains Wallace is the author of fifteen books, including The Klamath Knot: Explorations of Myth and Evolution (Twentieth Anniversary Edition, California, 2003), winner of the John Burroughs Medal; The Bonehunter's Revenge: Dinosaurs, Greed, and the Greatest Scientific Feud of the Gilded Age (1999); and The Monkey's Bridge: Mysteries of Evolution in Central America (1997).
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