Aquagenesis: The Origin and Evolution of Life in the Sea

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9780142001561: Aquagenesis: The Origin and Evolution of Life in the Sea

Life on earth began in the sea, and in this tour de force of natural history, authority on marine biology and illustrator Richard Ellis chronicles more than three billion years of aquatic history. From the first microbes and jawless fishes that evolved into the myriad species we know today - sharks, whales, dolphins, and, of course, humans - Ellis reveals the deep evolutionary mysteries of the sea. Encyclopaedic in scope and complemented by more than sixty drawings, AQUAGENESIS is a fascinating work that will astonish readers with the wonder, richness, and complexity of the evolution of life.

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About the Author:

Richard Ellis is a celebrated authority on marine biology and America's foremost marine life artist whose work has been exhibited worldwide. His nine books include The Search for the Giant Squid (a Publishers Weekly 1998 Best Book of the Year), Great White Shark, Encyclopedia of the Sea, Men and Whales, Monsters of the Sea, Deep Atlantic The Book of Whales, and Imagining Atlantis.

From Library Journal:

This fascinating and scientifically rigorous work by a noted expert on marine biology addresses the beginning of plant and animal life in the sea and the return to the sea of many life forms. Like his other books (e.g., Encyclopedia of the Sea, LJ 9/15/00), this one is illustrated with his meticulous line drawings. Ellis advises readers that the nature of paleontology is speculation because the fossil record is incomplete and subject to varying interpretations, but it is generally agreed that life originated in the sea. In his discussion, he compares living animals such as horseshoe crabs, mollusks, brachiopods, cephalopods, and squid with those preserved in rock. He also examines the characteristics of ancient creatures once thought to be extinct (lungfishes, coelacanths) and the phenomena of bioluminescence and echolocation. Ellis ponders why such animals as sea turtles, seals, manatees, dolphins, and whales, returned to the water after having adapted to land. He weaves descriptions of extinct and living forms of the various species and discusses their evolutionary adaptations. Zoological names are used throughout, and explanatory captions accompany the scientific illustrations. Strongly recommended for all public and academic libraries. Judith B. Barnett, Pell Marine Science Lib., Univ. of Rhode Island, Kingston
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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