The Animal Kingdom: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 24 Nov 2011
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›