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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
6
4.3 out of 5 stars
Evolution in Action: Natural History through Spectacular Skeletons
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:£24.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 14 July 2012
My first impression, upon picking up this book is that it was thick and heavy, making it stereotypically challenging to decipher and remain conscious. However, I was delighted to find a stunning array of photos fully complement each of the 44 short chapters, making this very readable indeed!

The chapters of 'Evolution in Action' are divided into 6 sections:
1) Architecture (skeletal form)
2) The Birth of Species
3) Seduction & Selection
4) Evolutionary Tinkering
5) The Power of the Environment
6) Evolution and time

Each chapter uses B&W photos of skeletons to expound an aspect of evolution, relating to the species illustrated. This really is a case for a picture being worth a thousand words: The glossy paper that makes the book heavy is put to optimal effect in capturing explicit anatomical details.

Apart from teaching evolution by skeletal comparisons and vestiges, there is also a secondary narrative woven into the narrative - historical objection to common ancestry on religious grounds. Panafieu shows himself to be well up to both tasks, deftly expounding skeletal details, whilst charting the general enlightenment of mankind.

I would say this is a fairly unique publication, the product quality and author's specialist knowledge make it very good value. The most similar books (I have also read) are the equally excellent 'Inside Nature's Giants' - a CH4 production, and 'The Ancestor's Tale' - one of Richard Dawkins finest. Buy this if you seek wide ranging evolutionary instruction, unravelled in photographic format.
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on 26 March 2016
This book has the widest photographic record of skeletal remains in all vertebrate classes. Skeletons themselves are from french zoological collections, the photographer and writer are french as well. My personal opinion is that aside from numerable scattered short internet sources, this is the best osteological backgound source. Please tell me if you have found a better one yourself. This book also reminds me of my biology books in high school (Finland) at the end of the 80's, so this format that I did cherish then, I am delighted to have found in this product of the 2000's again.
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on 19 December 2014
A really great book. Excellent photography and design. Delighted to see it doing well several years after it was first published - long may it continue to do so. The specimens selected (historical specimens at the Paris Museum of Comparative Anatomy - one of the finest museums in the world) are well-chosen and, on the whole, accurately assembled and in good condition. A book that anyone interested in natural history should surely cherish, and an invaluable tool for any artist interested in animal structure.
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on 16 January 2016
Was a present that he wanted
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on 31 October 2014
I was hoping for the larger version format that was first published. As I use it for making scaled sculpture armatures the bigger format woudl have been more useful. great book and lovely photos but it would be fabulous to have one with just contemprary animals as well as the historical animals and some contemporary.
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on 9 February 2013
My niece who is studying to become a medical doctor,wanted it for her birthday and was really thrilled with it.
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