Evolution

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231543166
Format: PDF, ePub
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Donald R. Prothero’s Evolution is an entertaining and rigorous history of the transitional forms and series found in the the fossil record. Its engaging narrative of scientific discovery and well-grounded analysis has led to the book’s widespread adoption in courses that teach the nature and value of fossil evidence. Evolution tackles flood geology, rock dating, neo-Darwinism, and macroevolution. It includes extensive coverage of the primordial soup, invertebrate transitions, the development of the backbone, the reign of the dinosaurs, and the transformation from chimpanzee to human. The book details the many “missing links,” including some of the most recent discoveries, that flesh out the fossil timeline and the evolutionary process. In this second edition, Prothero describes new transitional fossils from various periods, vividly depicting such bizarre creatures as the Odontochelys, or the “turtle on the half shell,” fossil snakes with legs, and the “Frogamander,” a new example of amphibian transition. Prothero’s discussion of intelligent-design arguments includes more historical examples and careful examination of the “experiments” and observations that are exploited by creationists seeking to undermine sound science education. With new perspectives, Prothero reframes creationism more as a case study in denialism and pseudoscience than as a field with its own intellectual dynamism. The first edition was hailed as the best book on the fossil evidence for evolution, and this second edition will be welcome in the libraries of scholars, teachers, and general readers who stand up for sound science.

The Story of Life in 25 Fossils

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780231171908
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Every fossil tells a story. Best-selling paleontology author Donald R. Prothero describes twenty-five famous, beautifully preserved fossils in a gripping, scientific history of life on Earth. Recounting the adventures behind the discovery of these objects and fully interpreting their significance within the larger fossil record, Prothero creates a riveting and enlightening overview for anyone interested in the history of life on our planet. The twenty-five fossils lovingly portrayed in this book catch animals in their evolutionary splendor as they transition from one kind of organism to another. We witness extinct plants and animals of microscopic and immense size and thrilling diversity. We learn about fantastic land and sea creatures that have no match in nature today. Along the way, we encounter such fascinating fossils as the earliest trilobite,Olenellus; the giant shark Carcharocles; the "Frogamander" and the "Turtle on the Half Shell"; the "fishibian"Tiktalik; the first bird, Archaeopteryx; the walking whale Ambulocetus; enormous marine reptiles and the biggest dinosaurs known; the gigantic hornless rhinocerosParaceratherium, the largest land mammal that ever lived; and the Australopithecus nicknamed "Lucy," the oldest human skeleton. We learn about the scientists and adventurers who pioneered paleontology and the larger intellectual and social contexts in which their discoveries were made. Finally, we are told where to see these splendid fossils in the world's great museums. Ideal for all who love prehistoric landscapes and delight in the history of science, Prothero's new book will be a treasured addition to any bookshelf, stoking curiosity in the evolution and life on Earth.

After the Dinosaurs

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 9780253000552
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Perhaps nudged over the evolutionary cliff by a giant boloid striking the earth, the incredible and fascinating group of animals called dinosaurs became extinct some 65 million years ago (except for their feathered descendants). In their place evolved an enormous variety of land creatures, especially the mammals, which in their way were every bit as remarkable as their Mesozoic cousins. The Age of Mammals, the Cenozoic Era, has never had its Jurassic Park, but it was an amazing time in earth’s history, populated by a wonderful assortment of bizarre animals. The rapid evolution of thousands of species of mammals brought forth gigantic hornless rhinos, sabertooth cats, mastodonts and mammoths, and many other creatures—including our own ancestors. Their story is part of a larger story of a world emerging from the greenhouse conditions of the Mesozoic, warming up dramatically about 55 million years ago, and then cooling rapidly so that 33 million years ago the glacial ice returned. The earth’s vegetation went through equally dramatic changes, from tropical jungles in Montana and forests at the poles, to grasslands and savannas across the entire world. Life in the sea also underwent striking evolution reflecting global climate change, including the emergence of such creatures as giant sharks, seals, sea lions, dolphins, and whales. After the Dinosaurs is a book for everyone who has an abiding fascination with the remarkable life of the past.

Reality Check

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253010365
Format: PDF, Docs
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The battles over evolution, climate change, childhood vaccinations, and the causes of AIDS, alternative medicine, oil shortages, population growth, and the place of science in our country—all are reaching a fevered pitch. Many people and institutions have exerted enormous efforts to misrepresent or flatly deny demonstrable scientific reality to protect their nonscientific ideology, their power, or their bottom line. To shed light on this darkness, Donald R. Prothero explains the scientific process and why society has come to rely on science not only to provide a better life but also to reach verifiable truths no other method can obtain. He describes how major scientific ideas that are accepted by the entire scientific community (evolution, anthropogenic global warming, vaccination, the HIV cause of AIDS, and others) have been attacked with totally unscientific arguments and methods. Prothero argues that science deniers pose a serious threat to society, as their attempts to subvert the truth have resulted in widespread scientific ignorance, increased risk of global catastrophes, and deaths due to the spread of diseases that could have been prevented.

Time Matters

Author: Michael Leddra
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781444323269
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Time Matters provides an invaluable insight into the background behind some of the key concepts we use in Earth science today. It shows the historical context in which these ideas were developed, the important contributions of individual scientists and thinkers, and how these ideas continue to shape our view of science and the world in which we live. The book covers subjects such as the age of the earth, catastrophism vs uniformitarianism, evolution vs creationism, plutonism vs neptunism, continental drift and plate tectonics. It explores the people involved, their ideas and the scientific and religious power politics involved in the development. It is effectively partly a review of the way in which science works or does not work. The text includes questions and comment boxes which help the reader to appreciate/understand the ideas and concepts that have been included and their problems, strengths or weaknesses. Accessible introduction – does not assume prior knowledge Teaches scientific thought – particularly the use of evidence Topic based – uses a set of key geological theories This book is written for anyone with an interest in geology and the history of science, but will be particularly valuable to university or high-school students beginning a study of earth science for the first time.

The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400884454
Format: PDF, Docs
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After the mass extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, mammals became the dominant terrestrial life form on our planet. Roaming the earth were spectacular beasts such as saber-toothed cats, giant mastodonts, immense ground sloths, and gigantic giraffe-like rhinoceroses. Here is the ultimate illustrated field guide to the lost world of these weird and wonderful prehistoric creatures. A woolly mammoth probably won't come thundering through your vegetable garden any time soon. But if one did, this would be the book to keep on your windowsill next to the binoculars. It covers all the main groups of fossil mammals, discussing taxonomy and evolutionary history, and providing concise accounts of the better-known genera and species as well as an up-to-date family tree for each group. No other book presents such a wealth of new information about these animals—what they looked like, how they behaved, and how they were interrelated. In addition, this unique guide is stunningly illustrated throughout with full-color reconstructions of these beasts—many never before depicted—along with photographs of amazing fossils from around the world. Provides an up-to-date guidebook to hundreds of extinct species, from saber-toothed cats to giant mammoths Features a wealth of color illustrations, including new reconstructions of many animals never before depicted Demonstrates evolution in action—such as how whales evolved from hoofed mammals and how giraffes evolved from creatures with short necks Explains how mass extinctions and climate change affected mammals, including why some mammals grew so huge

Understanding Evolution

Author: Kostas Kampourakis
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139916475
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Current books on evolutionary theory all seem to take for granted the fact that students find evolution easy to understand when actually, from a psychological perspective, it is a rather counterintuitive idea. Evolutionary theory, like all scientific theories, is a means to understanding the natural world. Understanding Evolution is intended for undergraduate students in the life sciences, biology teachers or anyone wanting a basic introduction to evolutionary theory. Covering core concepts and the structure of evolutionary explanations, it clarifies both what evolution is about and why so many people find it difficult to grasp. The book provides an introduction to the major concepts and conceptual obstacles to understanding evolution, including the development of Darwin's theory, and a detailed presentation of the most important evolutionary concepts. Bridging the gap between the concepts and conceptual obstacles, Understanding Evolution presents evolutionary theory with a clarity and vision students will quickly appreciate.

Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780231146609
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Greenhouse of the dinosaurs -- Bad lands, good fossils -- Magnets and lasers -- "Punk eek" in the badlands -- Dinosaur battles -- Marine world -- Rocky mountain jungles and eel's ears -- From greenhouse to icehouse -- Once and future greenhouse?