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Evolution: The story of life Hardcover – 7 Sep 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley; 01 edition (7 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184533339X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845333393
  • Product Dimensions: 25.8 x 3.1 x 29.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"If time machines were real, this would be the book to carry on nature hikes into the distant past."--"Natural History"

"This beautiful volume is worthy of any collector's coffee table."--"Library Journal"

"An exciting record of life on earth."--"Booklist"

"Stunning . . a wonderful tribute 150 years after Darwin published his seminal work."--"Wildlife Activist"

"Useful and engaging work."--"Reference & Research Book News / Scitech Book News"

"Overwhelming scope and depth. If not for yourself, and if not merely for the bizarrely reasonable price, I seriously recommend seeding the library."--Carl Mehling"American Paleontologist" (12/01/2010)

"This book is up to date and includes . . . current paleontological and systematic knowledge, all of it accurate and correct."--Michael J. Benton"Bioscience" (09/01/2010)

Overwhelming scope and depth. If not for yourself, and if not merely for the bizarrely reasonable price, I seriously recommend seeding the library. --Carl Mehling"American Paleontologist" (12/01/2010)"

This book is up to date and includes . . . current paleontological and systematic knowledge, all of it accurate and correct. --Michael J. Benton"Bioscience" (09/01/2010)" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A book that no home, school, or library can be without A new generation of family natural history reference Four billion years of life on Earth in a super-panoramic scale A landmark publication to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the first publication of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species in 1859 and the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth Published in association with the Natural History Museum, London, one of the foremost centres of evolution research Features three special fold-out sections

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
... and never knew where to ask. This book is a triumph of structure, lucidity and design; it begins at the beginning, and lures you through the ensuing four billion years with seductive artwork, precise annotations, and crystal-clear prose. At its heart are 100 illustrations, each occupying a double-page spread, and recreating sites - from Western Australia to Arizona, from volcano to tropical forest, with ocean and desert inbetween - at crucial stages of the evolutionary story. The flora and fauna that existed at each period are imagined in delicate detail based on a seemingly forensic study of the evidence gleaned from bones and fossils. The composition is a joy - the true brilliance of which is revealed in a fold-out at the back of the book, where all the artworks flow together to create a panoramic view of the history of life. In addition there are discrete sections - site gazetteer, time-line, species listing, etc - which enable more detailed exploration away from the big-picture heart of the book.
It's unique - an extraordinary achievement.
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Format: Hardcover
'Evolution' has given me more pleasure than any other non-fictional book I have read in years. It is a book to pore over, to dip into and to explore. It is full of interest and sheer visual enjoyment. And there are some extraordinary surprises.

If mine had been the first review, I would have just sung its praises. As it's not, and others have done that very adequately, I thought it would be useful, instead, to identify what the book's particular features are, what it attempts to do and what it does not.

Unlike so many other illustrated books on the subject, 'Evolution' doesn't show examples of ancient species in isolation. Open it up anywhere in its main middle section and what you get is a piece of artwork extending across a big double-page spread. Each spread reconstructs an ancient landscape populated by animals and plants discovered at a specific fossil site. A double fold-out near the back cover reproduces all these spreads on a smaller scale showing that side by side they form a single huge diorama. 'Evolution' is a beautiful as well as an informative book.

The spreads follow one another chronologically. Above each there is a timeline showing exactly where you are as you journey through earth's history. Each specific site is named and some of its features are briefly mentioned (climate, geology and ecosystem). At the bottom of each page is a keyed list which names and identifies all the plants and animals shown. There are short but informative descriptions of the site, the geological period it represents and some of the lifeforms depicted. There are small photographs of some of the actual fossils, and blow-ups of parts of the main spread which draw your attention to particular details.
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Format: Hardcover
I agree with the previous reviewer in every detail. This book is a stupendous achievement. Working in association with the Natural History Museum in London to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, Douglas Palmer, a science writer and lecturer at Cambridge University, and Peter Barrett, an internationally renowned artist, have created a vision of the story of life on earth in a format which makes it accessible to all ages. Two-thirds of every page is a developing pictorial history of life, each page following smoothly from the previous one so the story is seen as a continuum which hypnotises the mind - a unique concept which is brilliantly pertinent to the subject. This continuum is further clarified in the pull-out section inside the back cover, where the history, from the first organisms to the present day, can be seen in one sweeping panorama. The organisation of the format of the book must have been formidable. All children are fascinated by prehistoric life and before they are reading they will love the illustrations. But details are highlighted on each page, giving the scientific explanation which is yet accessible to all. The text on Darwin, on reconstructing the past, on fossils, on the explosion of life I find fascinating. My grandchildren already delight in showing off their knowledge - Oh, grandma, we all know it all started with a big explosion - and of the latin names of prehistoric animals. This will keep them occupied for winters to come. I hope the book may somehow become part of education in American schools especially those who teach 'Creationism' as an alternative subject.
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Format: Hardcover
Ever since I was in my teens I have loved information about past aeons, mass extinctions and prehistory in general.

This book is a gem because it shows me what I can't imagine-particularly the changing flora and the whole biodiverse picture.

It's a book to skim through and also to savour when you have the leisure. It includes current knowledge such as reconstructions of Flores man as well as new insights on older information (mass extinctions).

I recommend it. It is definitely one to enjoy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like prehistoric creatures then this book is for you. It brings the reader through every prehistoric era with great artwork showing the creatures and their environment. An additional supplement is DK Prehistoric which is glossier but not as informative on evolution. Recommended.
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