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Restless Creatures: The Story of Life in Ten Movements

Matt Wilkinson
Item #: D71891
Format: Paperback
Pages/Publication Date: 308 / 2016
Publisher: Icon
ISBN: 9781785781155
$4.98
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To truly understand how life evolved on Earth, it is crucial to understand movement, argues evolutionary biologist Matt Wilkinson; the physical challenges of moving from place to place, when coupled with the implacable logic of natural selection, offer a powerful means of illuminating the living world. Whales and dolphins look like fish because they have been molded by the constraints of underwater locomotion, while the physical needs of flight have brought bats, birds, and pterodactyls to strikingly similar anatomies. Wilkinson shows how movement explains our opposable thumbs, why walking can make us feel good, how fish fins became legs and arms, and why there are no flying monkeys.

"It would be hard to find a more companionable guide to the marvels of locomotory evolution than Matt Wilkinson. In Restless Creatures, the zoologist and writer rehearses twice-told tales of animals becoming bilateral, exiting the sea for the land and evolving flight, but makes them fresh. These are wonderfully adept and informed explanations of locomotory modes—whether in birds, gliding snakes, eels, sharks or a host of fossil vertebrates—and there is not a single vignette that I failed to learn something from."—Nature

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