History of Life / Edition 5

Paperback (Print)
Rent from BN.com
(Save 75%)
Est. Return Date: 08/01/2015
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $52.86
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 50%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $52.86   
  • New (8) from $52.86   
  • Used (13) from $53.03   


This text is designed for students and anyone else with an interest in the history of life on our planet. The author describes the biological evolution of Earth’s organisms, and reconstructs their adaptations to the life they led, and the ecology and environment in which they functioned. On the grand scale, Earth is a constantly changing planet, continually presenting organisms with challenges. Changing geography, climate, atmosphere, oceanic and land environments set a stage in which organisms interact with their environments and one another, with evolutionary change an inevitable result. The organisms themselves in turn can change global environments: oxygen in our atmosphere is all produced by photosynthesis, for example. The interplay between a changing Earth and its evolving organisms is the underlying theme of the book.

The book has a dedicated website which explores additional enriching information and discussion, and provides or points to the art for the book and many other images useful for teaching. See: www.wiley.com/go/cowen/historyoflife.

Presents fossil record, disc. of early life; geog- raphy & diversity patterns; extinction; emergence of mammals

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Intended for introductory undergraduate courses, this text provides an overview of the field, detailing all animal life, and discussing vertebrates in depth. It draws from the fossil record to trace the development of life from its origin to the present, and focuses on the key processes that have shaped that development. Cowen teaches at the University of California, Davis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
“For both lecturers and students, the book has an appealing website, made to explore the topic further.” (Geological Journal, 25 January 2015

“Though biogeographical patterns take a backseat to the grand narrative of descent, as an entry?]level textbook this is hard to surpass.” (Frontiers of biogeography, 5 February 2013)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470671726
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Edition description: Fifth Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 206,224
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Cowen learned how to write and think critically at Cambridge University, and how to teach and think creatively at the University of California, Davis. He received a campus Distinguished Teaching Award in 1993 and designed the course “History of Life” there. The book was written specifically for that course, and has gone on to become a best-selling textbook.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The origin of life on Earth 1
Ch. 2 Earth's earliest life 16
Ch. 3 Sex and nuclei : eukaryotes 29
Ch. 4 The evolution of Metazoans 42
Ch. 5 The Cambrian explosion 54
Ch. 6 Changing life in a changing world 64
Ch. 7 The early vertebrates 84
Ch. 8 Leaving the water 95
Ch. 9 Tetrapods and amniotes 113
Ch. 10 Early amniotes and thermoregulation 124
Ch. 11 The Triassic takeover 139
Ch. 12 Dinosaurs 151
Ch. 13 The evolution of flight 176
Ch. 14 The modernization of land and sea 196
Ch. 15 The origin of mammals 213
Ch. 16 The end of the dinosaurs 228
Ch. 17 Cenozoic mammals : origins, guilds, and trends 238
Ch. 18 Geography and evolution 255
Ch. 19 Primates 267
Ch. 20 Evolving toward humans 278
Ch. 21 Life in the Ice Age 297
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)