Neptune's Ark: From Ichthyosaurs to Orcas

Neptune's Ark: From Ichthyosaurs to Orcas

by David Rains Wallace, Ken Kirkland
     
 


"Neptune's Ark takes us on a voyage of discovery into the world of the enigmatic creatures who evolved in the ocean and the intrepid individuals who study them. In this moving and majestic book, David Rains Wallace navigates the mythic dimensions of humans' and animals' ancient, ambiguous relationship with the sea."—Adrienne Mayor, author of TheSee more details below

Overview


"Neptune's Ark takes us on a voyage of discovery into the world of the enigmatic creatures who evolved in the ocean and the intrepid individuals who study them. In this moving and majestic book, David Rains Wallace navigates the mythic dimensions of humans' and animals' ancient, ambiguous relationship with the sea."—Adrienne Mayor, author of The First Fossil Hunters and Fossil Legends of the First Americans

"In the pageant of creation, Earth's seas have always hosted the greatest part of the show. Wallace brings to life a spectacular array of marine organisms ancient and new, tiny and titanic, renowned and obscure-and some almost unimaginably weird-and illuminates often surprising connections between them. Have you ever wondered where modern sea lions come from? Or penguins? Pelicans? Manatees? Great whales? The answers, in Neptune's Ark, take your mind on a voyage through millions of years of natural history. Enjoy the swim."—Douglas Chadwick, author of The Grandest of Lives

"Neptune's Ark delivers not only a riveting history of paleontology and the origins of marine mammalogy on the west coast-from Cope and Emlong to Steller and Scammon-but also a heartfelt tribute to the great creatures they all pursued so avidly."—Dick Russell, author of Eye of the Whale

"Wallace writes fascinating accounts of the astounding menagerie of animals that once inhabited the waters of the west coast, from giant toothed birds, oyster bears, and the enigmatic Desmostylus, to enormous saber-toothed salmon. Paired with Ken Kirkland's exquisitely rendered and life-like drawings, this book is hard to put down."—Ray Troll, author of Rapture of the Deep

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Naturalist Wallace (Beasts of Eden: Walking Whales, Dawn Horses, and Other Enigmas of Mammal Evolution) here turns to evolution along the Pacific coast of North America. The diversity of the creatures he reveals is broader than the title implies-included are seals, whales, salmon, gulls, bears, otters, and "sea apes." Following the narrative can be difficult, partly because of the large number of species discussed (the index will be useful in tracking different species). Explorers James Cook and Francis Drake, naturalists Georg Steller and Charles Scammon, paleontologists Edward Cope and Othniel Marsh, and Douglas Emlong, an amateur with an amazing talent for finding fossils, thread through the book. Both Richard Ellis's Aquagenesis: The Origin and Evolution of Life in the Seaand Carl Zimmer's At the Water's Edge: Macroevolution and the Transformation of Lifefocus more on the evolution of strictly marine species. Wallace's research, as always, is strong, with good notes and a good bibliography. For academic and research libraries with an interest in paleontology. (Index not seen.)
—Jean E. Crampon

The California Territorial Quarterly

“Wallace’s easy-going style, mixing personal adventures with textbook science, makes paleontology as readable as narrative history.”
Mammalia - Evelyne Bremond-Hoslet

“A fascinating narrative of adventures from the pioneer naturalists to modern scientists.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520243224
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
05/14/2007
Pages:
313
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

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From the Publisher
"Wallace's easy-going style, mixing personal adventures with textbook science, makes paleontology as readable as narrative history."—The California Territorial Quarterly

"A fascinating narrative of adventures from the pioneer naturalists to modern scientists."—Mammalia

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