Life on a Young Planet: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth

Life on a Young Planet: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth

by Andrew H. Knoll
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691120293

ISBN-13: 9780691120294

Pub. Date: 08/30/2004

Publisher: Princeton University Press

"Andrew Knoll, one of the world's foremost paleontologists, here presents the origin and early evolution of life the way it should be told: a mystery unfolding as an epic. Resonating with the authority of firsthand stories of discovery, his account will be exceptionally enjoyable for scientists and the educated public alike."—Edward O. Wilson, Harvard

Overview

"Andrew Knoll, one of the world's foremost paleontologists, here presents the origin and early evolution of life the way it should be told: a mystery unfolding as an epic. Resonating with the authority of firsthand stories of discovery, his account will be exceptionally enjoyable for scientists and the educated public alike."—Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University

"Here is a firsthand account of one of the most exciting quests in modern science. Knoll writes with the confidence of a distinguished scientist who has devoted his career to unraveling the mysteries of life's origins and the passion of someone who deeply believes in the importance of recent discoveries about life before the Cambrian explosion. From the wilds of Siberia to the ocean floor, from Earth to Mars and beyond, he takes readers on a fascinating personal adventure that may change the way they think about themselves and their place in the world."—Lawrence M. Krauss, author of The Physics of Star Trek and Atom

"In a highly personal, gripping narrative, Knoll takes us on the most incredible journey of all journeys—the history of life on Earth."—Donald E. Canfield, Odense University

"This is a truly great book. It is a remarkably readable synthesis of many diverse ideas selected from a breathtaking array of disciplines. The narrative is engaging and entertaining—a travelogue through time that incorporates amusing and informative anecdotes from Knoll's travels to many far-off places."—Sean Carroll, University of Wisconsin, author of From DNA to Diversity

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691120294
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/30/2004
Series:
Princeton Science Library Series
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.64(w) x 9.52(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Prologue 1
Chapter 1. In the Beginning? 6
Chapter 2. The Tree of Life 16
Chapter 3. Life's Signature in Ancient Rocks 32
Chapter 4. The Earliest Glimmers of Life 50
Chapter 5. The Emergence of Life 72
Chapter 6. The Oxygen Revolution 89
Chapter 7. The Cyanobacteria, Life's Microbial Heroes 108
Chapter 8. The Origins of Eukaryotic Cells 122
Chapter 9. Fossils of Early Eukaryotes 139
Chapter 10. Animals Take the Stage 161
Chapter 11. Cambrian Redux 179
Chapter 12. Dynamic Earth, Permissive Ecology 206
Chapter 13. Paleontology ad Astra 225
Epilogue 243
Further Reading 247
Index 269

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