The Diversity Of Life Paperback – 1 Jan 1992
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Wilson's is still the best work we are ever likely to have on the tangled, ever-changing relationships that all species on the planet have with one another--and why the preservation of the same biological diversity that sparks our curiosity and enriches our spirit may also be the key to our survival.--T.H. Watkins "Washington Post "
About the Author
Edward O. Wilson is the Pellegrino University Research Professor and Honorary Curator in Entomology at Harvard University. He is the author of SOCIOBIOLOGY, the two Pulitzer Prize-winning works ON HUMAN NATURE and THE ANTS, and the bestselling CONSILIENCE. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
There's a comprehensive Foreword and, at the end there are Notes, a Glossary and an Index. the body of the book is divided into 3 sections:
1) "Violent Nature, Resilient Life" covers the destructive forces of nature such as those that have wiped out vast numbers of species in the past and describes how life clings on and returns to repopulate zones of devastation.
2) "Biodiversity Rising" covers the generation of biodiversity: how and why new species evolve; the time this takes; potential extent of the diversity in various types of habitat.
3) "The Human Impact" covers the ways humans have driven and are driving species to extinction, the speed of destruction, the time it would take to re-establish a high level of biodiversity, the possible consequences of severe reduction in biodiversity for life on earth and humanity in particular, and what can be done to slow down and reverse the impoverishment trend.
The author presents his facts and lays out the case for conservation in a very cool and logical way.Read more ›
"The most wonderful mystery of life may well be the means by which it created so much diversity from so little physical matter. The biosphere, all organisms combined, makes up only about one part in ten billion of the earth's mass. It is sparsely distributed through a kilometre-thick layer of soil, water and air stretched over a half billion square kilometres of surface. If the world were the size of an ordinary desktop globe and its surface were viewed edgewise an arm's length away, no trace of the biosphere could be seen with the naked eye. Yet life has divided into millions of species, the fundamental units, each playing a unique role in relation to the whole."
Wilson divides his ideas, theories and explanations into three main parts: Violent Nature, Resilient Life; Biodiversity Rising; and The Human Impact. In the first section he writes with an almost poetic intensity about the great extinctions that have occurred on the earth since time began. Krakatau (not Krakatoa - which is a westernisation) is an exemplar of how biodiversity can repopulate a devastated plot, an amazing process that is oddly moving to contemplate. Wilson then goes on to talk about the major extinctions - the great eruptions which have occurred repeatedly across long stretches of geological time - and the arguments for one or the other theory of why they happened - meteors or not? The earth appears to have cooled dramatically during the first four crises, eliminating many species and forcing others into smaller areas, rendering them more vulnerable to extinction. He makes the point that a complete recovery from each of the five major extinctions required tens of millions of years.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great introduction to the modern concepts involved in ecology, zoology and environmental science.Published 12 months ago by L.W
A fascinating look into the diversity of life on Earth from an expert in the field. This book is suitable for readers with no specialist background knowledge.Published 16 months ago by Andrew Leslie
Excellent delivery time and the book came safely with no damage from post. Very happy with it.Published 19 months ago by Rebeca Elliott
I loved this book and strongly recommend it to anything with more than a passing interest in life on earth, humanity and our uncertain future. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Dr. Geoffrey Kemball-Cook
I would recommend anyone who is interested in natural history to read this book but to preferably spend more on the hardback edition which has more photos. Read morePublished on 28 Jun. 2013 by Moondance
I have always been a huge admirer of the work of E.O. Wilson, but up to now hadn't had any chance of reading any of his books, only scientific articles. Read morePublished on 4 Jun. 2013 by Pablo Valverde
This book is great for students in university, I found this book interesting and useful as it aided my modules.Published on 10 April 2013 by iammeg
I really like this book. The author comes across as an original thinker. His writing is clear and logical and he presents interesting and compelling arguments. Highly recommended.Published on 21 Mar. 2013 by Jon Boy
Important book, up to date edition. Promptly delivered in good cognition. A great book, easy to read, good case studies, super addition to anyone's book shelvesPublished on 28 Dec. 2012 by Ms Sue Townsend
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