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Seeds: Time Capsules of Life (compact edition) [Hardcover]

Rob Kesseler , Wolfgang Stuppy

Price: 20.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 May 2014
Seeds are perfect little bundles of life that carry within them the next generation of a species. Should they fail in their mission to reach a suitable place to germinate and grow, their species is doomed to extinction, forcing plants to develop an astonishing range of strategies to ensure that their seeds make the most of their once-in-a-lifetime chance to travel. The appearance of the first seeds some 360 million years ago was a momentous step in the evolution of land plants. Since then they have evolved into highly sophisticated structures that have enabled plants to conquer almost every habitat from the Antarctic to the hottest deserts. True time capsules of life, seeds may travel thousands of miles and, if necessary, wait for hundreds of years before germinating. They range from the giant Seychelles nut that weighs twenty kilos to the tiny dust-like seeds of orchids and include the mesmerizing blue seeds of the Malagasy Traveller's Tree, the perfectly aerodynamic wafer-thin gliders of the Monkey Pod and, most extraordinary, the seeds of the parasitic Desert Hyacinth that resemble a miniature honeycomb. In this informative and enthralling book, artist Rob Kesseler and seed morphologist Wolfgang Stuppy of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank present a natural history of seeds, illustrated with stunning close-up photographs and scanning electron micrographs that reveal an astonishing microcosm where the tiniest examples are the most beautiful and sophisticated. Seeds constitutes a treasure trove to enlighten and inspire both those fascinated by the natural world and artists, designers, and indeed scientists.

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About the Author

Visual artist Rob Kesseler is University of the Arts London Chair in Arts, Design & Science. His long career has often used plants as a source of inspiration. In 2001 he was appointed NESTA* Fellow at Kew. Since then he has worked with microscopic plant material. He was 2010 Year of Bio-Diversity Fellow at the Gulbenkian Science Institute, Portugal. His work has been shown in museums and galleries in the UK, Europe and North America, including solo exhibitions at The Victoria & Albert Museum, Kew Gardens and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon. He is a fellow of the Linnean Society and Royal Society of Arts. (*National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) Wolfgang Stuppy is the Seed Morphologist at Kew's Millennium Seed Bank based at Wakehurst Place in Sussex. At the heart of this large international project, which collects and stores seeds and fruits from all over the world, Dr. Stuppy has found the ideal environment to feed his passion for research into the astonishing diversity of seeds and fruits. A specialist in a rarely studied field, Dr. Stuppy teaches seed biology to university students and members of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership within the UK and overseas.

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