Description : Among the major events in evolutionary history, few rival in importance the appearance of animals. The Rise of Animals—a significant reference providing a comprehensive synthesis of the early radiation of the animal kingdom—fully captures this moment in geologic time. Five of the world's leading paleontologists take us on a journey to the most important fossil sites that serve as unique windows to the earliest animal life—including the Ediacara Hills of Australia, the Russian taiga and tundra, the deserts of southwest Africa, and the rugged coasts of Newfoundland. Each of these places holds a rich fossil record that reveals how the animal form came into existence and why some groups succeeded while others failed. The authors describe the diversification of the Kingdom Animalia into the familiar body plans of today: from simple animals such as sponges to complex groups like mollusks, arthropods, echinoderms, and chordates that appear explosively in the Cambrian. This exquisitely illustrated book reveals the early moments of an evolutionary process that eventually resulted in our own species. An essential resource for paleontologists, biologists, geologists, and teachers, The Rise of Animals is the best single reference on one of earth’s most significant events.
Description : 'tells a great story and manages to be informative at all levels. Conway Morris has a collector's eye for the sort of entertaining yet informative snippets that keep readers on their toes.' New Scientist Located in the west of Canada, the Burgess Shale contains a unique collection of fossil remains, and has become an icon for those studying the history of life. This remarkable book takes us on a fresh journey back in time through the Burgess Shale and its astonishing collection of pre-Cambriancreatures. In an entertaining and readable style, Simon Conway Morris paints a vivid picture of the critical period which saw the diversification of all the major animal groups, and takes a controversial stance on current evolutionary theories that is sure to provoke much interest and debate. 'It is less bleak in its assessment of life on earth and it is spiritually uplifting, rather than dry and mechanistic as some would have us believe' THES R 'The centerpiece of The Crucible of Creation is a description, authoritative and readable, of the animals themselves. New York Times Book Review
Description : The engaging story of how an unlikely group of extraordinary people laid the foundation for the legal protection of animals In eighteenth-century England—where cockfighting and bullbaiting drew large crowds, and the abuse of animals was routine—the idea of animal protection was dismissed as laughably radical. But as pets became more common, human attitudes toward animals evolved steadily. An unconventional duchess defended their intellect in her writings. A gentleman scientist believed that animals should be treated with compassion. And with the concentrated efforts of an eccentric Scots barrister and a flamboyant Irishman, the lives of beasts—and, correspondingly, men and women—began to change. Kathryn Shevelow, a respected eighteenth-century scholar, gives us the dramatic story of the bold reformers who braved attacks because they sympathized with the plight of creatures everywhere. More than just a history, this is an eye-opening exploration into how our feelings toward animals reveal our ideas about ourselves, God, mercy, and nature. Accessible and lively, For the Love of Animals is a captivating cultural narrative that takes us into the lives of animals—and into the minds of humans—during some of history's most fascinating times.
Description : The Rise of Animals analyzes the intellectual origins of our changing attitudes about animals and illuminates major currents of eighteenth-century British literary culture. It offers new readings of works by Margaret Cavendish, William Cowper, Erasmus Darwin, and others.
Description : Family isn't just important. It's everything. From lions hunting as a pride to penguins huddling together to keep from freezing in the bitter Antarctic winter, many animals are dependent on complex social relationships for their survival. Powerful dynasties lay claim to vast swathes of territory, fighting off rivals and securing their hunting grounds for generations to come. Dynasties offers an immersive insight into the shifting hierarchies of animal families. Each chapter follows a different dynasty, from the Marsh Lions of the Masai Mara to rival packs of painted wolves, from a tiger protecting her newborn cubs to a chimpanzee troop and the penguin colonies of the Antarctic. Alongside tender moments when bonds are strengthened through grooming and play, the book charts the rivalries that tip the balance of power, when family members turn against each other and younger animals grow strong enough to challenge for control. With over 200 stunning photographs and insights from the crew of the BBC series, Dynasties reveals in astonishing detail the intricate social lives of our planet’s most fascinating animals.
Description : As the scholarly and interdisciplinary study of human/animal relations becomes crucial to the urgent questions of our time, notably in relation to environmental crisis, this collection explores the inner tensions within the relatively new and broad field of animal studies. This provides a platform for the latest critical thinking on the condition and experience of animals. The volume is structured around four sections: engaging theory doing critical animal studies critical animal studies and anti-capitalism contesting the human, liberating the animal: veganism and activism. The Rise of Critical Animal Studies demonstrates the centrality of the contribution of critical animal studies to vitally important contemporary debates and considers future directions for the field. This edited collection will be useful for students and scholars of sociology, gender studies, psychology, geography, and social work.
Description : The most important aspect of evolution, from a philosophical viewpoint, is the rise of complex, advanced creatures from simple, primitive ones. This "vertical" dimension of evolution has been downplayed in both the specialist and popular literature on evolution, in large part because it was in the past associated with unsavory political views. The avoidance of evolution's vertical dimension has, however, left evolutionary biology open to the perception, from outside, that it deals merely with the diversification of rather similar creatures, all at the same level of "advancedness" from a common ancestor—for example, the classic case studies of finches with different beaks or moths of different colors. The latest incarnation of creationism, dubbed intelligent design (or ID), has taken advantage of this situation. It portrays an evolutionary process that is constantly guided—especially in its upward direction—by the hand of an unseen Creator, who is able to ensure that it ends up producing humans. Creatures of Accident attacks the antiscience ID worldview, mainly by building a persuasive picture of how "unaided" evolution produces advanced creatures from simple ones by an essentially accidental process. Having built this picture, in the final chapter the book reflects on its religious implications.
Description : This book explores the history and nature of our dependency on other animals and the implications of this for human and animal health. Writing from an historical and sociological perspective, Joanna Swabe's work discusses such issues as: * animal domestication * the consequences of human exploitation of other animals, including links between human and animal disease * the rise of a veterinary regime, designed to protect humans and animals alike * implications of intensive farming practices, pet-keeping and recent biotechnological developments. This account spans a period of some ten thousand years, and raises important questions about the increasing intensification of animal use for both animal and human health.