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History of Life / Edition 5

History of Life / Edition 5

by Richard CowenRichard Cowen
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This text is designed for students and anyone else with an interest in the history of life on our planet. The author describes the biological evolution of Earth’s organisms, and reconstructs their adaptations to the life they led, and the ecology and environment in which they functioned. On the grand scale, Earth is a constantly changing planet, continually presenting organisms with challenges. Changing geography, climate, atmosphere, oceanic and land environments set a stage in which organisms interact with their environments and one another, with evolutionary change an inevitable result. The organisms themselves in turn can change global environments: oxygen in our atmosphere is all produced by photosynthesis, for example. The interplay between a changing Earth and its evolving organisms is the underlying theme of the book.
The book has a dedicated website which explores additional enriching information and discussion, and provides or points to the art for the book and many other images useful for teaching. See:

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470671726
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/01/2013
Edition description: Fifth Edition
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Richard Cowen learned how to write and think critically at Cambridge University, and how to teach and think creatively at the University of California, Davis. He received a campus Distinguished Teaching Award in 1993 and designed the course “History of Life” there. The book was written specifically for that course, and has gone on to become a best-selling textbook.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

About the Companion Website x

1 The Origin of Life on Earth 1

2 Earliest Life on Earth 17

3 Sex and Nuclei: Eukaryotes 30

4 The Evolution of Metazoans 41

5 The Metazoan Radiation 54

6 Changing Life in a Changing World 66

7 The Early Vertebrates 84

8 Leaving the Water 98

9 Tetrapods and Amniotes 112

10 Early Amniotes and Thermoregulation 122

11 The Triassic Takeover 134

12 Dinosaurs 144

13 The Evolution of Flight 164

14 The Modernization of Land and Sea 183

15 The Origin of Mammals 199

16 The End of the Dinosaurs 212

17 Cenozoic Mammals 220

18 Geography and Evolution 236

19 Primates 249

20 Evolving Toward Humans 259

21 Life in the Ice Age 276

Index 294 

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