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About the Author
Steve Parker gained a BSc Honors First Class in Zoology and is a Senior Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London. His passion for animals, plants, and life sciences such as ecology and ethology is reflected in the more than 300 books that he has written, contributed to, or acted as consultant for. They include The Encyclopedia of Sharks and as co-author Planet Ape, both published by Firefly Books.
Alice Roberts is a clinical anatomist and Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham. She has presented several BBC science series including The Incredible Human Journey, Origins of Us, Prehistoric Autopsy and Ice Age Giants. She writes a regular science column for The Observer, and has authored five popular science books.
(starred review) This accessible volume takes a pictorial look at all aspects of evolution, organizing the progression of species chronologically by group ("Earliest Life," "Plants," "Invertebrates," "Fish and Amphibians," "Reptiles," "Birds," and "Mammals"). Each section contains a narrative essay and historical time line of key events. The individual snapshot entries both show and describe the characteristics of individual organisms (such as Dunkleosteus, a four-ton, vampire-fanged fish) and how they are ancestors of or relatives to modern species. Each entry is a two-page spread, filled with color illustrations and photographs--more than 1,000 illustrations in all. There is also coverage of noted scientists as well as important places worldwide. In addition, numerous sidebars further elucidate topics of particular interest. The coverage here is exhaustive, but the writing is easy to follow, and the short-entry format makes for a very readable book. This is an important work and is highly recommended for all types of libraries, where it will serve both general readers and students.-- (12/01/2015)
(starred review) This book is a gorgeously illustrated and utterly fascinating history of the planet Earth and the millions of life forms that have called it home. Parker, a prolific science writer, synthesizes the most up-to-date knowledge of evolutionary science for educated general readers in this accessible, chronological guide. Evolution encompasses "the changes undergone by living things through time," and it is therefore the story of our world. Parker divides the book into seven chapters that cover eons, during which life very gradually evolved from primordial microbes into invertebrate creatures, plants, fish and amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Every single page contains full-colour images of fossils and living animals, as well as superb artistic renderings of long-extinct creatures great and small. Parker provides vital information on each species--sea floor--crawling trilobites, flesh-tearing terrestrial dinosaurs, ape-like early human ancestors, and more--including scientific names, life cycles, habitats, taxonomic groups, and fossil records. Modestly priced for such a richly detailed hardcover, this book is the essential story of life on earth, and it belongs on the shelf of everyone who is interested in that story.-- (10/01/2015)
Editor Parker has assembled the work of 20 contributing scientists in "Evolution," an approachable and interesting 576 page study of life on Earth, now and then. Diagrams, photos, charts and text all add up to a fascinating study.-- (01/28/2016)
Monoplacophorans are not particularly showy, but they are part of Earth's evolutionary story. As might be expected in this colorful, well-laid out, methodical presentation of the history of life on this planet, monoplacophorans are there--even if one has never heard of them--along with Tiktaalik, spirobranchus, and of course, trilobites, dinosaurs, and people. This book gives readers a profound sense of time, a sense of awe at the great variety of life that has lived and is living on Earth, and an encyclopedic view of evolution that is unequalled. By replicating portions of the photographs as areas of special interest mentioned in the text and using regularly occurring, way-finding icons and inserts, the authors have created a sense of animation and of "being there" while the story is told. With 1,288 carefully selected photographs and illustrations, 123 time lines and phylogenies, a 94-entry glossary, an index of more then 1,600 entries, and 11 contributing authors, this book earns its subtitle "the whole story." Highly recommended. All library collections.-- (03/01/2016)