History of Lifeby Richard Cowen
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
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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.
"His material is accessible to even the uninitiated, but is still able to include fairly nuanced arguments. Mr. Cowen's gentle wit is much appreciated. This is a wonderful text, written in an engaging style by an author with both deep and broad knowledge of the history of life."
Emily Buchholtz, Wellesley College
"...the History of Life is a superb book which has no peer among published texts describing the macroevolution of life on Earth and the abiotic and biotic factors that have influenced the evolutionary history of living organisms."
Robert McMahon, U of Texas at Arlington
Praise for the Third Edition:
Anybody interested in the evolution of the Earth and its living organisms, especially animals, will find the content of this book useful and interesting. [...] I would recommend the book to those readers who would like to gain a basic knowledge on the Earth's evolution accompanied with detailed description of the evolution of animals.
L. Natr, Photosynthetica 40
'Should be compulsory for everyone who wants to call him/herself a palaeontologist.' J.W.F Reumer, PalArch's Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology, (2006)
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- 38 MB
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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.
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