"A splendidly illustrated and thoughtfully constructed account of one of the greatest ideas ever conceived by the human mind -- evolution." --Donald C. Johanson, Founder of the Institute of Human Origins, and author of From Lucy to Language
"Splendid photographs, vivid language and concise text: a great read." --Nature
"The amount of evolutionary ground covered in the relatively short text, and the clarity with which it's laid out for the benefit of the reader, are exemplary." --Reports of the National Center for Science Education
Extinction and Evolution recounts the research of paleontologist Niles Eldredge, whose discoveries overturned Charles Darwin's theory of evolution as a slow and inevitable process. In his 1859 treatise On the Origin of Species, Darwin posited that evolutionary changes happen very slowly over millions of years. Eldredge's work, however, disproved the accepted Darwinian view, proving instead that significant changes occurred after a mass extinction event.
Eldredge's groundbreaking work is now accepted as the definitive statement of how life evolved on Earth. This book chronicles how Eldredge made his discoveries and traces the history of life through the lenses of paleontology, geology, ecology, anthropology, biology, genetics, zoology, mammalogy, herpetology, entomology and botany. Remaining rigorously accurate, the text is accessible, engaging and free of jargon.
Extinction and Evolution features 160 beautiful color plates (14 of which are new to this edition) that bridge the gap between science and art, and show more than 200 different fossil specimens, including photographs of some of the most significant fossil discoveries of recent years.