The Ancestor's Tale

The Ancestor's Tale

A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution

Book - 2004
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Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2004
ISBN: 9780618005833
0618005838
Branch Call Number: 576.8 D322A
Characteristics: xii, 673 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Wong, Yan

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r
ryner
Feb 27, 2018

Imagine traveling back in time to observe the last shared ancestor of humans, bonobos and chimpanzees. What might that individual have looked like? What was its lifestyle? And what if we ventured further back, to when those three species shared an ancestor with gorillas? How long would it take before we met up with the ancestors of all mammals, birds, lizards, sharks or insects? This book is a reverse journey of human ancestry, each stop a convergence with an extant group in the tree of life.

There's nothing I love more than a thick, detailed book of natural history, and I enthusiastically enjoyed it, though I have to admit that sometime during the final quarter my eyes started to glaze over when the subject matter turned heavily to cell biology and genetics -- no fault of the author, it's not my wheelhouse. Recommended heartily to natural history buffs.

d
dee_kelln
Jul 08, 2016

A really interesting read, but so much information. A huge book with pages chock full of small print. Really helped me understand how living things are related and the new phylogeny charts.

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