Download Beasts of Eden: Walking Whales, Dawn Horses, and Other by David Rains Wallace PDF

By David Rains Wallace

ISBN-10: 0520246845

ISBN-13: 9780520246843

Mammals first developed at concerning the related time as dinosaurs, and their tale might be the extra interesting of the two--in half since it can be our personal tale. during this literate and exciting ebook, eminent naturalist David Rains Wallace brings the saga of historical mammals to a common viewers for the 1st time. utilizing artist Rudolph Zallinger's majestic The Age of Mammals mural on the Peabody Museum as a body for his narrative, Wallace deftly strikes over various terrain--drawing from heritage, technological know-how, evolutionary concept, and artwork history--to current a full of life account of fossil discoveries and an summary of what these discoveries have printed approximately early mammals and their evolution. In those pages we come across towering mammoths, tiny horses, giant-clawed floor sloths, whales with legs, uintatheres, zhelestids, and different unique extinct creatures in addition to the scientists who came across and questioned approximately their is still. We meet such memorable figures as Georges Cuvier, Richard Owen, Edward D. Cope, George Gaylord Simpson, and Stephen Jay Gould and study in their heated disputes, from Cuvier's and Owen's fights with early evolutionists to offer controversies over the past due Cretaceous mass extinction. Wallace's personal lifelong curiosity in evolution is mirrored within the book's evocative and fascinating variety and within the own reviews he expertly weaves into the story, supplying an altogether expansive point of view on what Darwin defined because the "grandeur" of evolution.

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Additional resources for Beasts of Eden: Walking Whales, Dawn Horses, and Other Enigmas of Mammal Evolution

Example text

Blainville was not a transmutationist, and his papers appealed to creationists because they denied a mammalian presence in the Secondary. Yet Geoffroy and Grant also liked Amphitherium because it implied a progressive link between reptiles and mammals. All this was vexing to William Buckland, who started calling the Stonesfield fossil Botheratiotherium, “bothersome beast,” but still considered it a marsupial. He had tried to buttress the case for Secondary marsupials by describing some even older footprints, recently found in Germany, as similar to a kangaroo’s.

And suddenly marble turns into animals, dead things live anew, and lost worlds are unfolded before us! . In the presence of this awesome resurrection due to the voice of a single man, that tiny grain granted to our use in this nameless infinity, which is common to all spheres and which we have baptized as TIME, that minute of life seems pitiable. We wonder, crushed as we are under so many worlds in ruin, what can our glories avail, our hatreds and our loves, and if it is worth living at all.

Paris, 1822), 3: 38, pl. 66. ably looked like one, although only distantly related to antelope or deer. The third species, A. minus, had the size and proportions of a hare, but, again, only a distant relationship to rabbits. Another fossil, the skeleton of a small clawed mammal, was an even greater departure from living European ones, and it permitted a spectacular demonstration of Cuvier’s anatomical powers. He quickly discerned a similarity to American opossums, but the skeleton’s gypsum matrix hid one proof of its marsupial nature—a pair of pelvic bones thought to support the animal’s pouch.

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Beasts of Eden: Walking Whales, Dawn Horses, and Other Enigmas of Mammal Evolution by David Rains Wallace


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