The Rise of Animals: Evolution and Diversification of the Kingdom Animalia

Overview

Among the major events in evolutionary history, few rival in importance the appearance of animals. The Rise of Animals—a significant reference providing a comprehensive synthesis of the early radiation of the animal kingdom—fully captures this moment in geologic time.

Five of the world's leading paleontologists take us on a journey to the most important fossil sites that serve as unique windows to the earliest animal life—including the Ediacara Hills of Australia, the Russian ...

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Overview

Among the major events in evolutionary history, few rival in importance the appearance of animals. The Rise of Animals—a significant reference providing a comprehensive synthesis of the early radiation of the animal kingdom—fully captures this moment in geologic time.

Five of the world's leading paleontologists take us on a journey to the most important fossil sites that serve as unique windows to the earliest animal life—including the Ediacara Hills of Australia, the Russian taiga and tundra, the deserts of southwest Africa, and the rugged coasts of Newfoundland. Each of these places holds a rich fossil record that reveals how the animal form came into existence and why some groups succeeded while others failed. The authors describe the diversification of the Kingdom Animalia into the familiar body plans of today: from simple animals such as sponges to complex groups like mollusks, arthropods, echinoderms, and chordates that appear explosively in the Cambrian.

This exquisitely illustrated book reveals the early moments of an evolutionary process that eventually resulted in our own species. An essential resource for paleontologists, biologists, geologists, and teachers, The Rise of Animals is the best single reference on one of earth’s most significant events.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Bioscience - Gregory D. Edgecombe
A one-stop shop for up-to-date information about this puzzling meagerie... non-professionals will likewise find that it is a fine-looking book that captures the excitement of scientific discovery.
Choice
Recommended. Informed general readers; researchers/faculty; professionals/practitioners.
New Scientist
It's a beautiful book and the definitive account of the period... I love it and expect it to become a classic.

— Jeff Hecht

Science
The Rise of Animals offers a much-needed avenue to communicate to the general public the past decade's exciting discoveries of Ediacaran fossils.

— Shuhai Xiao

Choice

Recommended. Informed general readers; researchers/faculty; professionals/practitioners.

Bioscience
A one-stop shop for up-to-date information about this puzzling meagerie... non-professionals will likewise find that it is a fine-looking book that captures the excitement of scientific discovery.

— Gregory D. Edgecombe

New Scientist - Jeff Hecht
It's a beautiful book and the definitive account of the period... I love it and expect it to become a classic.
Science - Shuhai Xiao
The Rise of Animals offers a much-needed avenue to communicate to the general public the past decade's exciting discoveries of Ediacaran fossils.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801886799
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 1,205,531
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Mikhail A. Fedonkin is the head of the Precambrian Laboratory at the Russian Academy of Sciences. James G. Gehling is the senior curator at the South Australian Museum. Kathleen Grey is the chief paleontologist at the Geological Survey of Western Australia. Guy M. Narbonne is a professor and Queen's Research Chair at Queens University, Canada. Patricia Vickers-Rich holds a personal chair of paleontology and is founding director of the Monash Science Centre at Monash University in Australia.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Introduction to the Precambrian Metazoans

    While this book may already be outdated (2007 publication), it is an excellent introduction to Precambrian fossils, especially the Ediacaran metazoans. Packed with excellent photos, maps, charts and supplemented with short glossaries of important terms and asides on important topics, the text is basic enough to be easily followed by the interested lay or student readers. The book concludes with a photo atlas of the Precambrian metazoans with descriptions, an excellent resource. Though this book is presented as a text, the authors tell the story of the fossil finds with many personal details bringing the stories of their discoveries and the controversies alive which further underlines the importance of these fossils for the development of complex ecosystems, the evolution of more modern animals (especially their "body plans"), and the Cambrian explosion. Having read this, I will never see animals nor ecology in quite the same way. Most highly recommended.

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