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The Animal Kingdom: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 24 Nov 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (24 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199593213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199593217
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 1 x 11.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Peter Holland is Linacre Professor of Zoology and Head of the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. After a degree in Zoology and a PhD in Genetics he has spent the last 20 years undertaking research into the evolution of the animal kingdom, focussing primarily on the genetic and developmental differences between animal groups. He has published over 150 research papers on animal development and evolution.


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Format: Paperback
Animals are one of the most familiar and ubiquitous mental categories. They surround all of us, whether they are minuscule flies or oversize pets, and the human history would have been unimaginably different without our oversize reliance on animals. Aside from our daily experience, we learn about animals in school, but unless we end up majoring in biology very few of us go through the trouble of learning about these creatures on a deeper and more systematic level.

In "The Animal Kingdom: A Very Short Introduction" Peter Holland takes us on a journey of rediscovery of animals in all of their fascinating glory. This book can challenge and radically transform one's understanding of what is meant by the word "animal." It turns out that animals are much more diverse and heterogeneous than what most of us suspect. There are estimated millions of species of animals out there, and we'll probably never get a full catalog of them. Like with all other branches of the tree of life, most animals are extremely small or microscopic, live in regions far away from human habitats, and engage in lifestyles that make them extremely hard to detect and study. Even with the known species of animals, the process of categorization and classification can be extremely daunting. For the most of human history, including the past couple of centuries of rapid scientific progress, animals had been categorized in terms of their gross physiological features. This sort of classification worked more or less well for the larger species, but for some smaller ones it created a lot of puzzles. All of this has changed with the advent of DNA analysis which has put the task of animal classification on a much more rigorous footing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very short as advertised but so interesting! Bought this as recommended by a lecturer at my university and it was such a good summary of the Animal Kingdom! I have gone on to buy other books in the series as they present a lot of useful information in a very reader-friendly way which is excellent!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
excellent up to date introduction. in fact, i am most impressed by this whole introduction series and have recently purchased others covering a wide range of subjects.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
really interesting book and provides a very good overview of the animal kingdom, being careful not to fall into the traps of similar books re Human biases.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent quality, and came quickly.
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