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Seasons of Life: The Annual Rhythms That Enable Living Things to Survive and Thrive [Hardcover]

Russell Foster , Leon Kreitzman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Jun 2009
The natural world is full of rhythms. How do birds know when to return to their nesting grounds? What effect do the seasons have on our wellbeing, and how does the season in which we are born affect our subsequent life chances? How did humans get the idea that there were seasons 50,000 years ago? Seasons of Life explains why the seasons occur, the impact of seasonal change and how organisms have evolved to anticipate these changes. For although we mask the effects of seasonal changes by warming our homes, lighting our nights, preserving foods and storing water, we cannot hide from them.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (4 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861979142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861979148
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.4 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A must-read for anyone who has ever looked up at a migrating skein of geese and wondered "how do they know...? (New Scientist)

With their new book Foster and Kreitzman have produced a tantalizing account of most of the relevant facts of what has been nicknamed 'Nature's contraceptive'. This reflects the key function of seasonal organization. Thousands of species across the globe, including the tropics, employ seasonality to turn off reproduction at times of year when low food supply is expected and individual fitness is better served by waiting patiently for the next season. The Seasons of Life is a joy to read, and a compelling text on the importance of seasonality in the evolution of life on earth. (Nature)

Book Description

The new world of chronobiology is popular science at its most exciting: understanding how the seasons regulate the life of every human, plant and animal on Earth.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Foster and Kreitzman's first book, 'Rhythms of Life', explained the importance of the circadian, or daily, rhythms that animals and plants live by. This second venture shifts the time span outwards and delves into the complexities of circannual, or seasonal, rhythms.

The first chapter is devoted to plants, and the way in which they use circannual rhythms to initiate flowering and other vital events in their yearly cycle. There are chapters on circannual rhythms in animals and birds, including the timing of conception and reproduction, hibernation and migration. These chapters clearly set out the latest research on why and how these rhythms operate, how they contribute to species survival, and demonstrate the way all of nature is connected in a giant web of interdependent species and individuals.

Finally there are chapters on the effects of circannual rhythms on humans. This includes such fascinating topics as the prevalence of certain illnesses at different times of year, birth and death patterns in different seasons, and a chapter on SAD, including research and ideas on its prevention and treatment.

This was definitely not what you would call an easy read. The chapters on animals and plants are very detailed and there is a fair amount of biological terminology to get your head around, as well as diagrams that take a little time to study and understand. That said, Foster and Kreitzman have done a great job at explaining things for the lay reader and making the book as accessible as possible without losing its scientific rigour. The chapters on human circannual rhythms are much easier to understand anyway, approaching the subject on a more sociological basis to reflect both the effects of complex social issues on our lives and the relative lack of knowledge about our human internal clocks. A very worthwhile and interesting read!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 5 Dec 2013
By Shamaal
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good read for the non technically minded. It certainly puts life into perspective. However it pushes the biggest scam of the decade:: climate change.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed 9 Nov 2013
By Jordy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Extremely helpful with my coursework on Circadian and Circannual rhythms (this book is only to do with circannual rhythms), excellent
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not a good Kindle 10 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A comprehensive guide to current research on the ways the living world manages to coordinate with the seasons etc. can be bit tedious but well written.

As a Kindle it suffers from not being able to format the diagrams and tables particularly well. I suspect they would make much more sense in the printed version.
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0 of 28 people found the following review helpful
I have as yet to read this book, but it was sent promptly and efficiently by Amazon.
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