Neptune's Ark: From Ichthyosaurs to Orcas / Edition 1 available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- University of California Press
Neptune's Ark illuminates the dramatic saga of evolution spanning 500 million years of marine life along the magnificent Pacific coast of western North America.
In an engaging narrative that artfully blends elements of science, history, folklore, and personal observation, renowned naturalist David Rains Wallace reveals a marvelous diversity of creatures, not only modern ones, but those from the far prehistoric past. Mysterious forms have aboundedfrom giant sea cows, oyster bears, and flightless toothed birds to the orcas, elephant seals, and sea otters of modern times. Wallace tells a story about evolution as well as a tale of the storms, scurvy, and shipwrecks that plagued the coast's explorers, naturalists, and scientists, many of whom led turbulent or tragic lives, with themes reflected in the wonder and danger of the coast itself. Neptune's Ark is full of vivid charactersfrom explorers like Sir Francis Drake and Captain James Cook, to pioneer naturalists including Georg Steller and Charles Scammon, to early paleontologists Othniel Marsh and Edward Cope, and to recent scientists and ecological visionaries.
|Publisher:||University of California Press|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
David Rains Wallace is the author of sixteen books, including Beasts of Eden: Walking Whales, Dawn Horses, and Other Enigmas of Mammal Evolution (UC Press), A New York Times Notable Book; The Klamath Knot: Explorations of Myth and Evolution (Twentieth Anniversary Edition, UC Press), winner of the John Burroughs Medal; The Bonehunter's Revenge: Dinosaurs, Greed, and the Greatest Scientific Feud of the Gilded Age; and The Monkey's Bridge: Mysteries of Evolution in Central America, A New York Times Notable Book.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Prologue. Steller’s Sea Ape 1 / Reefs in the Desert 2 / Amphibious Ambiguities 3 / Bird Teeth and Reptile Necks 4 / Tail Tales 5 / Cope’s Elusive Ophidians 6 / Hooves into Flippers 7 / Marsh’s Deceptive Desmostylians 8 / Emlong’s Whale 9 / Paws into Flippers 10 / Sea Cows and Oyster Bears 11 / The Long, Warm Summer 12 / Emptying Bays 13 / Punctuated Pinnipeds and Darwinian Sirenians 14 / Advent of Autumn 15 / Ice Age
Invasions 16 / Hands into Paddles 17 / Pileated Woodpecker’s Boat 18 / The End of the Earth 19 / An
Interlude 20 /
Intimations of Communication Epilogue. The Old Man of the Sea Notes Bibliography
What People are Saying About This
"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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A most worthy addition to marine life of the past, from ammonites to sea bears. Masterfully illustrated, clearly written and a must for the paleontologically inclined.