Steve Parker, general ed., Evolution: The Whole Story (Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 2015), 576 pp. Foreward by Alice Roberts.
Publisher’s description What happened, how it happened, and when. Ten expert contributors tell the story.
Evolution: The Whole Story provides an in-depth and up-to-the-minute account of evolution, one of the ultimate keystone theories in modern science. Ten esteemed experts thoroughly survey how each of Earth’s major groups of living things diversified and evolved through time and using visual features that make the story comprehensible, the book gives readers, even those with no previous knowledge of the topic, a clear understanding of evolution and how it brought us to the present day. Each of seven chapters takes one of Earth’s major living groups and describes the evolution of its subgroups and how they diversified and evolved. The stories are fascinating. In some cases, a subgroup fell off the evolutionary chain, like the dinosaurs that were part of the Early Reptiles group, and which became extinct by the second extinction event. In other cases, a living subgroup may contain a life form virtually the same as its evolutionary ancestors, such as the horseshoe crab from the Invertebrates group, which is a “living fossil” closely related to prehistoric sea scorpions. Along with profiles of the most important scientists that have influenced evolutionary theory, the book reveals how these advances have added to and often changed the story. Evolution: The Whole Story makes the story of evolution comprehensible, straightforward and stimulating. The introduction provides an important overview.
This is a weighty tome, and perhaps one might worry about the binding remaining intact. While the text is small and might be difficult for some readers, this book is just packed with evolution goodness. It’s printed on quality paper with fill-color photographs and illustrations throughout. An introduction gives a condensed overview of the history of evolutionary thought, while the bulk of the book has the feel of a chronological encyclopedia of the history of life on Earth. Evolution: The Whole Story would be a great addition to the bookshelf of any fan of evolution; more especially it would make a nice gift for a young, burgeoning biologist or paleontologist. Here are some sample images from the book: