Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature
“Switek seamlessly intertwines sorts of evolution: certainly one of lifestyles on the earth and the opposite of paleontology itself.”—Discover Magazine
““In pleasant prose, [Switek] . . . fantastically exhibits that ‘[i]f we will be able to enable cross of our conceit,’ we are going to see the preciousness of existence in all its forms.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Highly instructive . . . a hot, clever yeoman’s advisor to the growth of life.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Magisterial . . . half ancient account, half medical detective tale. Switek’s based prose and considerate scholarship will swap how you see existence on our planet. This booklet marks the debut of a big new voice.”—Neil Shubin
“Elegantly and engagingly crafted, Brian Switek’s narrative interweaves tales and characters infrequently encountered in books on paleontology—at as soon as a special, informative and wonderful read.”—Niles Eldredge
“If you must learn one ebook to wake up to hurry on evolution, learn Written in Stone. Brian Switek’s transparent and compelling e-book is stuffed with attention-grabbing tales approximately how scientists have learn the fossil list to track the evolution of lifestyles on Earth.”—Ann Gibbons
“[Switek's] debts of dinosaurs, birds, whales, and our personal primate ancestors will not be simply attention-grabbing for his or her wealthy historic element, but in addition for his or her updated reporting on paleontology’s most modern discoveries.”—Carl Zimmer
"After examining this e-book, you have got a unconditionally new context within which to interpret the evolutionary heritage of amphibians, mammals, whales, elephants, horses, and particularly humans.”—Donald R. Prothero
Spectacular fossil unearths make contemporary headlines; new expertise unlocks secrets and techniques of skeletons unearthed 100 years in the past. nonetheless, evolution is frequently poorly represented by way of the media and misunderstood by means of the general public. A powerful antidote to pseudoscience, Written in Stone is an engrossing historical past of evolutionary discovery for somebody who has marveled on the sort and richness of life.
His wife’s knitting needles, and on December 23 the visage of the primate got here into view. the traditional face used to be flatter than anticipated for an ape, and it lacked the heavy forehead ridges of the Neanderthals and Pithecanthropus. extra fabulous, even though, used to be that the foramen magnum, the outlet within the backside of the cranium by which the spinal wire exits, was once orientated downward. In quadrupedal animals, like canines, the foramen magnum is orientated backward, whereas in our species it's located beneath so.
via critics, used to be an anachronism greater suited for Paley’s time. Buckland’s plea appeared extra of an attempt to carry again liberal threats to conservative orthodoxy than to appreciate nature because it actually used to be. the concept the start and dying of organisms have been regulated via normal legislation was once changing into extra appropriate. This view used to be officially articulated by means of Charles Babbage in his unofficial 9th Bridgewater Treatise. It used to be now not adequate to examine the trend of nature and say, “This fossil reptile speaks of.
Hitchcock subscribed to, yet this new point of view on life’s background raised new questions. Birds have been so various from different vertebrates that they perched on their lonesome lonely department within the tree of existence. How may well they've got developed? Hitchcock’s tracks hinted that actual birds have been current approximately so long as reptiles and amphibians, and the invention of a fossil feather in 1860 from Solnhofen, Germany, did not anything to alter this quandry. present in the Jurassic-aged limestone of a.
Swum, sunk, waded, crept, or flown via an odd historical global. by means of the 1840s, even if, there has been little question that Cuvier were right, and a few naturalists have been very inspired by means of resemblances among the skeletons of the flying fiends and birds. As Richard Owen said in an 1874 monograph of Mesozoic fossil reptiles:Every bone within the poultry used to be antecedently found in the framework of the Pterodactyle; the resemblance of that component without delay subservient to flight is nearer within the bare.
occurred tremendous quick, simply ten million years separate the wolflike Pakicetus and the totally aquatic Basilosaurus, yet thankfully the fossil list has preserved a rare range of fossil whales. A confluence of fossil and genetic info has allowed us to appreciate a transition that used to be mysterious, yet there are nonetheless issues to benefit approximately lineages that have been regarded as popular. Behemoth “Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now,.