The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to Evolution

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Overview


Used widely in non-majors biology classes, The Tangled Bank is the first textbook about evolution intended for the general reader. Zimmer, an award-winning science writer, takes readers on a fascinating journey into the latest discoveries about evolution. In the Canadian Arctic, paleontologists unearth fossils documenting the move of our ancestors from sea to land. In the outback of Australia, a zoologist tracks some of the world’s deadliest snakes to decipher the 100-million-year evolution of venom molecules. In Africa, geneticists are gathering DNA to probe the origin of our species. In clear, non-technical language, Zimmer explains the central concepts essential for understanding new advances in evolution, including natural selection, genetic drift, and sexual selection. He demonstrates how vital evolution is to all branches of modern biology—from the fight against deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria to the analysis of the human genome.

The second edition of The Tangled Bank has been dramatically revised. It includes an entirely new chapter focused on human evolution, for example, as well as discussions of additional concepts in evolution, new illustrations, and descriptions of new research.

Richly illustrated with 285 drawings and photographs, The Tangled Bank is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the history of life on Earth.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The Tangled Bank is the best written and best illustrated introduction to evolution of the Darwin centennial decade, and also the most conversant with ongoing research. It is excellent for students, the general public, and even other biologists." —Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University, and author of Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge

"The best textbook I’ve seen for a non-majors introductory biology course about evolution.... The Tangled Bank is well-produced, up-to-date, readable, and exceptionally well illustrated. At no point does it falter." —Randy Moore, CBE—Life Sciences Education Book Review

"Zimmer describes the processes and patterns of evolution admirably, using his flair with language and substantial knowledge of biology—the latter aided by four scientific advisers, who have advised him well. Zimmer has a gift for finding just the right example to fascinate the reader, encouraging him or her to want to read on and learn more. The book is astoundingly well illustrated; it could serve as a coffee-table book as well as an up-to-date introduction to the changing ways in which evolution has been and is being studied. The inclusion of selected readings allows entry into the primary literature. A book to both browse and read in depth." —CHOICE (by B. K. Hall, Dalhousie University)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780981519470
  • Publisher: Roberts and Company Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/15/2009
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 394
  • Sales rank: 277,685
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Carl Zimmer is one of the country's leading science writers. A regular contributor to the New York Times and magazines like Scientific American and Discover, he is the author of six books, including Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea and Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life. He has won numerous awards from institutions including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Institute of Biological Sciences.

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Table of Contents

1. Evolution: An Introduction
2. From Natural Philosophy to Modern Biology
3. What the Rocks Say
4. The Tree of Life
5. Evolution’s Molecules
6. The Ways of Change: Mutation, Drift, and Selection
7. The History in our Genes
8. Adaptation: From Genes to Traits
9. The Origin of Species
10. Radiations and Extinctions: Biodiversity through the Ages
11. Intimate Partnerships: The Evolution of Friends and Enemies
12. Sex and Family
13. Evolutionary Medicine
14. Minds and Microbes: The Evolution of Behavior

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