Home / Science / Popular Science / Popular Biology / Life on a Young Planet

Life on a Young Planet

Upon request
Dispatched within 15 - 25 days.

Add to wishlist

Australopithecines, dinosaurs, trilobites--such fossils conjure up images of lost worlds filled with vanished organisms. But in the full history of life, ancient animals, even the trilobites, form only the half-billion-year tip of a nearly four-billion-year iceberg. Andrew Knoll explores the deep history of life from its origins on a young planet to the incredible Cambrian explosion, presenting a compelling new explanation for the emergence of biological novelty.The very latest discoveries in paleontology--many of them made by the author and his students--are integrated with emerging insights from molecular biology and earth system science to forge a broad understanding of how the biological diversity that surrounds us came to be. Moving from Siberia to Namibia to the Bahamas, Knoll shows how life and environment have evolved together through Earth's history. Innovations in biology have helped shape our air and oceans, and, just as surely, environmental change has influenced the course of evolution, repeatedly closing off opportunities for some species while opening avenues for others.Readers go into the field to confront fossils, enter the lab to discern the inner workings of cells, and alight on Mars to ask how our terrestrial experience can guide exploration for life beyond our planet. Along the way, Knoll brings us up-to-date on some of science's hottest questions, from the oldest fossils and claims of life beyond the Earth to the hypothesis of global glaciation and Knoll's own unifying concept of ''permissive ecology.''In laying bare Earth's deepest biological roots, Life on a Young Planet helps us understand our own place in the universe--and our responsibility as stewards of a world four billion years in the making.

Author: Knoll Andrew
Pages: 277
ISBN: 9780691165530
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2015

Acknowledgments ix
Preface to the New Paperback Edition xi
Prologue 1
Chapter 1. In the Beginning? 6
Chapter 2. The Tree of Life 16
Chapter 3. Life's Signature in Ancient Rocks 32
Chapter 4. The Earliest Glimmers of Life 50
Chapter 5. The Emergence of Life 72
Chapter 6. The Oxygen Revolution 89
Chapter 7. The Cyanobacteria, Life's Microbial Heroes 108
Chapter 8. The Origins of Eukaryotic Cells 122
Chapter 9. Fossils of Early Eukaryotes 139
Chapter 10. Animals Take the Stage 161
Chapter 11. Cambrian Redux 179
Chapter 12. Dynamic Earth, Permissive Ecology 206
Chapter 13. Paleontology ad Astra 225
Epilogue 243
Further Reading 247
Index 269

Winner of the 2003 Book Award in Science, Phi Beta Kappa

Andrew H. Knoll is the Fisher Professor of Natural History at Harvard University and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. A paleontologist by training, he has spent more than two decades working to integrate geological and biological perspectives on early life.

You may also like


Subscribe to the newsletter to be the first to receive our new releases and offers
Your account Your wishlist