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

By David Rains Wallace

ISBN-10: 0520246845

ISBN-13: 9780520246843

Mammals first developed at in regards to the comparable time as dinosaurs, and their tale may be the extra interesting of the two--in half since it is additionally our personal tale. during this literate and pleasing e-book, eminent naturalist David Rains Wallace brings the saga of historic mammals to a normal 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 assorted terrain--drawing from background, technological know-how, evolutionary conception, and paintings history--to current a full of life account of fossil discoveries and an outline of what these discoveries have printed approximately early mammals and their evolution. In those pages we come upon towering mammoths, tiny horses, giant-clawed flooring sloths, whales with legs, uintatheres, zhelestids, and different unique extinct creatures in addition to the scientists who came upon and puzzled 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 examine in their heated disputes, from Cuvier's and Owen's fights with early evolutionists to provide controversies over the past due Cretaceous mass extinction. Wallace's personal lifelong curiosity in evolution is mirrored within the book's evocative and fascinating kind and within the own reviews he expertly weaves into the story, offering an altogether expansive standpoint 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

J e k y l l a n d t h e s t o n e s f i e l d j aw s three The Origin of Mammals one reason the public prefers dinosaurs to prehistoric mammals may be that they are less threatening. There’s a certain aloof impartiality about a tyrannosaur’s aggressions. Despite baleful red eyes, the one in Zallinger’s Age of Reptiles seems bucolically oblivious of the hulking potential prey all around it. The computer-enhanced dinosaurs that rampage at Mack Truck speed through movies lack a certain discernment.

J e k y l l a n d t h e s t o n e s f i e l d j aw s 15 centricity later declined into dementia. But he was an good geologist, and he became famous in 1821 by finding a prehistoric hyena den in a Yorkshire cave. To prove that hyenas had inhabited it, he acquired a living one named Billy and compared the way it cracked and gnawed bones with the cave’s fossils. ” A lithograph of Buckland creeping into the cave by torchlight to observe resurrected hyenas gnawing pachyderm bones was one of the earliest full-blown prehistoric mammal reconstructions.

It might be challenging, fearful, or curious. Or it might not be looking at the mammoth at all, but simply gazing vacantly into the haze of time. It is hard to imagine what’s in the creature’s mind, because it is so strange. Unlike the elephantine mammoth, Megatherium resembles no familiar living creature. Indeed, there is something of Zallinger’s slightly toylike dinosaurs about it. Standing propped on its massive tail, it is nearly as tall as the mammoth, but its small head and pigeon-toed feet make it seem clumsy rather than 1 Figure 3.

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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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