Call Boomerang Books 1300 36 33 32

Description - At the Water's Edge by Carl Zimmer

Everybody Out of the Pond At the Water's Edge will change the way you think about your place in the world. The awesome journey of life's transformation from the first microbes 4 billion years ago to Homo sapiens today is an epic that we are only now beginning to grasp. Magnificent and bizarre, it is the story of how we got here, what we left behind, and what we brought with us. We all know about evolution, but it still seems absurd that our ancestors were fish. Darwin's idea of natural selection was the key to solving generation-to-generation evolution -- microevolution -- but it could only point us toward a complete explanation, still to come, of the engines of macroevolution, the transformation of body shapes across millions of years. Now, drawing on the latest fossil discoveries and breakthrough scientific analysis, Carl Zimmer reveals how macroevolution works. Escorting us along the trail of discovery up to the current dramatic research in paleontology, ecology, genetics, and embryology, Zimmer shows how scientists today are unveiling the secrets of life that biologists struggled with two centuries ago. In this book, you will find a dazzling, brash literary talent and a rigorous scientific sensibility gracefully brought together. Carl Zimmer provides a comprehensive, lucid, and authoritative answer to the mystery of how nature actually made itself.

Buy At the Water's Edge by Carl Zimmer from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780684856230
ISBN-10: 0684856239
Format: Paperback
(212mm x 137mm x 19mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Touchstone
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: 1-Nov-1999
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions - At the Water's Edge by Carl Zimmer

Book Reviews - At the Water's Edge by Carl Zimmer

US Kirkus Review » Points to Zimmer, a senior editor at Discover magazine, for tackling unplowed ground in popular paleontology: no less than the movement of life from sea to land (over 350 million years ago) and the later reverse migration as land mammals returned to the sea. These transitions are dubbed "macroevolution" - big changes, as opposed to the smaller changes of microevolution. The bare bones of current theory has it that we are descended from lobe-finned fishes. During a wet period when plants were creeping toward the water's edge and swamps abounded with life, these fish developed fins with fingers and toes to maneuver on muddy bottoms and pick at plant life while staying mainly in the water. But one thing led to another, and more land-lubbering species emerged. The one thing Zimmer emphasizes is the role of "Hox" genes, which control major events in embryogenesis, such as the shape of the basic body pattern and the formation of limbs from tissue "buds." A mutation in timing or patterning of Hox genes can do wonders for changing form and function. The reverse transition from land to sea is an equally complex story and maybe even more controversial. It involves what Zimmer describes as a misfit group of hoofed, long-snouted, carnivorous predators called "mesonychids" drawn to the sea for the rich herring and other catches. Subsequent changes over a few million years involved loss of fur, hips, and lower limbs and development of fins and fluke and other essentials of life in the depths. Zimmer uses the latest cladistic diagrams to plot the species splits and changes over time - pointing out that they are at odds with molecular geneticists' DNA analyses, which would have hippos as whales' closest living relatives. Don't hold your breath waiting for resolution on that score. But do credit Zimmer with this scholarly disquisition on two of evolution's most absorbing transformations. (Kirkus Reviews)

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about At the Water's Edge book by Carl Zimmer and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a Boomerang Books Account Holder - it's free to sign up and there are great benefits!)

Write Review

Books By Carl Zimmer

Virus by Carl Zimmer
Hardback, January 2017
Feathers by Carl Zimmer
Hardback, April 2016
Planet of Viruses by Carl Zimmer
Paperback, October 2015
'T. Rex' and the Crater of Doom by Carl Zimmer
Paperback, October 2015