History of Life: A Very Short Introduction by Michael J. Benton
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History of Life: A Very Short Introduction
By Michael J. Benton

The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction

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Format: Paperback

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History of Life: A Very Short Introduction by Michael J. Benton

Book Description

There are few stories more remarkable than the evolution of life on earth. This Very Short Introduction presents a succinct guide to the key episodes in that story - from the very origins of life four million years ago to the extraordinary diversity of species around the globe today. Beginning with an explanation of the controversies surrounding the birth of life itself, each following chapter tells of a major breakthrough that made new forms of life possible: including sex and multicellularity, hard skeletons, and the move to land. Along the way, we witness the greatest mass extinction, the first forests, the rise of modern ecosystems, and, most recently, conscious humans. Introducing ideas from a range of scientific disciplines, from evolutionary biology and earth history, to geochemistry, palaeontology, and systematics, Michael Benton explains how modern science pieces the evidence in this vast evolutionary puzzle together, to build up an accessible and up-to-date picture of the key developments in the history of life on earth. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780199226320
ISBN-10: 0199226326
Format: Paperback
(174mm x 111mm x 10mm)
Pages: 184
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 27-Nov-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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The greatest mass extinction in Earths history happened some 251 million years ago. In this cataclysm at least 90 per cent of life was killed, both on land and in the sea, almost bringing evolution to a halt. What caused destruction on such an unimaginable scale? Was it the impact of a huge meteorite, or prolonged volcanic eruption in Siberia?

Literary Biography by Michael J. Benton Literary Biography, Paperback (July 2015)

Literary Biography: An Introduction offers an erudite and insightful introduction into the history, theory, and practice of the increasingly popular literary genre of life writing. The text illustrates and accounts for the literary genre that merges verifiable historical facts with the familiar conventions of narrative.

Vertebrate Palaeontology by Michael J. Benton Vertebrate Palaeontology, Paperback (October 2014)

Vertebrate palaeontology is a lively field, with new discoveries reported every week and not only dinosaurs! This new edition reflects the international scope of vertebrate palaeontology, with a special focus on exciting new finds from China. A key aim is to explain the science. Gone are the days of guesswork.

Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record by Michael J. Benton Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record, Paperback (January 2009)

Coverage of all fossil groups Boxes showing case studies and topics of special interest Numerous line drawings and photographs of fossils The most up-to-date information on the tools and techniques used by paleobiologists. End of chapter questions.

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Author Biography - Michael J. Benton

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 also author of some 200 scientific papers and numerous popular articles and reviews.

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When Life Nearly Died by Michael J. Benton
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