We all know about the birds and the bees, but what about the ancient placoderm fishes and the dinosaurs? The history of sex is as old as life itself—and as complicated and mysterious. And despite centuries of study there is always more to know. In 2008, paleontologist John A. Long and a team of researchers revealed their discovery of a placoderm fish fossil, known as “the mother fish,” which at 380 million years old revealed the oldest vertebrate embryo—the earliest known example of internal fertilization. As Long explains, this find led to the reexamination of countless fish fossils and the discovery of previously undetected embryos. As a result, placoderms are now considered to be the first species to have had intimate sexual reproduction or sex as we know it—sort of. Inspired by this incredible find, Long began a quest to uncover the paleontological and evolutionary history of copulation and insemination. In The Dawn of the Deed, he takes readers on an entertaining and lively tour through the sex lives of ancient fish and exposes the unusual mating habits of arthropods, tortoises, and even a well-endowed (16.5 inches!) Argentine Duck. Long discusses these significant discoveries alongside what we know about reproductive biology and evolutionary theory, using the fossil record to provide a provocative account of prehistoric sex. The Dawn of the Deed also explores fascinating revelations about animal reproduction, from homosexual penguins to monogamous seahorses to the difficulties of dinosaur romance and how sexual organs in ancient shark-like fishes actually relate to our own sexual anatomy. The Dawn of the Deed is Long’s own story of what it’s like to be a part of a discovery that rewrites evolutionary history as well as an absolutely rollicking guide to sex throughout the ages in the animal kingdom. It’s natural history with a naughty wink.
|Publisher:||University of Chicago Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||7 MB|
About the Author
John A. Long is vice president of research and collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. His other books include, most recently, Frozen in Time: Prehistoric Life of Antarctica and The Rise of Fishes.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you're curious about the origins of sex & the "apparatus" thereof-this is a must read! the style of writing is intelligent & humorous(yes,a paleontology book thats definitly NOT dry & dusty as many others on this subject)garanteed to have you hooked till the very last chapter.kudos to Mr. Long for showing how from ancient armored fish(placoderms) might have done "it" up to our closest releatives-the randy chimpanzees-this is the sexyist fossil book of the year!!