The Ancestor's Tale

The Ancestor's Tale

A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life

Book - 2017
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A fully updated edition of one of the most original accounts of evolution ever written, featuring new fractal diagrams, six new 'tales' and the latest scientific developments.

THE ANCESTOR'S TALE is a dazzling, four-billion-year pilgrimage to the origins of life: Richard Dawkins and Yan Wong take us on an exhilarating reverse journey through evolution, from present-day humans back to the microbial beginnings of life. It is a journey happily interrupted by meetings of fellow modern animals (as well as plants, fungi and bacteria) similarly tracing their evolutionary path back through history. As each evolutionary pilgrim tells their tale, Dawkins and Wong shed light on topics such as speciation, sexual selection and extinction.

Written with unparalleled wit, clarity and intelligence; taking in new scientific discoveries of the past decade; and including new 'tales', illustrations and fractal diagrams, THE ANCESTOR'S TALE shows us how remarkable we are, how astonishing our history, and how intimate our relationship with the rest of the living world.
Publisher: Hachette Book Group JAN 2017
ISBN: 9781474600569
Branch Call Number: ON ORDER


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Feb 27, 2018

Imagine traveling back in time to observe the last shared ancestor of humans, bonobos and chimpanzees. What might that individual have looked like? What was its lifestyle? And what if we ventured further back, to when those three species shared an ancestor with gorillas? How long would it take before we met up with the ancestors of all mammals, birds, lizards, sharks or insects? This book is a reverse journey of human ancestry, each stop a convergence with an extant group in the tree of life.

There's nothing I love more than a thick, detailed book of natural history, and I enthusiastically enjoyed it, though I have to admit that sometime during the final quarter my eyes started to glaze over when the subject matter turned heavily to cell biology and genetics -- no fault of the author, it's not my wheelhouse. Recommended heartily to natural history buffs.

Jul 08, 2016

A really interesting read, but so much information. A huge book with pages chock full of small print. Really helped me understand how living things are related and the new phylogeny charts.

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