Examines the scientific implications and continuing controversy over Archaeopteryx, a bird-reptile fossil discovered 130 years ago that many scientists believe offers tangible proof of Darwin's theory of evolution
"Mesozoic Birds is the first book to bring together world-renowned specialists on fossil birds and their importance to avian origins and, more importantly, it stresses a unified approach (cladistics) and presents the most anatomically detailed analyses available to date. No other study or collection of studies has ever done so much. How could the project not be welcomed by its audience of paleontologists, ornithologists, and evolutionary biologists!"—David Weishampel, editor of The Dinosauria "This is the first comprehensive volume dedicated to the relationships and evolution of the birds that lived during the Age of Dinosaurs. Its wealth of information and its diversity of viewpoints will ensure that this indispensable volume is used and discussed for many years to come."—Kevin Padian, University of California, Berkeley
Evolutionary science is not only one of the greatest breakthroughs of modern science, but also one of the most controversial. Perhaps more than any other scientific area, evolutionary science has caused us all to question what we are, where we came from, and how we relate to the rest of the universe. Encyclopedia of Evolution contains more than 200 entries that span modern evolutionary science and the history of its development. This comprehensive volume clarifies many common misconceptions about evolution. For example, many people have grown up being told that the fossil record does not demonstrate an evolutionary pattern, and that there are many missing links. In fact, most of these missing links have been found, and their modern representatives are often still alive today. The biographical entries represent evolutionary scientists within the United States who have had and continue to have a major impact on the broad outline of evolutionary science. The biographies chosen reflect the viewpoints of scientists working within the United States. Five essays that explore interesting questions resulting from studies in evolutionary science are included as well. The appendix consists of a summary of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, which is widely considered to be the foundational work of evolutionary science and one of the most important books in human history. The five essays include: How much do genes control human behavior?What are the ghosts of evolution?Can an evolutionary scientist be religious?Why do humans die?Are humans alone in the universe
This is an ideal book for graduate students and researchers interested in the aerodynamics, structural dynamics and flight dynamics of small birds, bats and insects, as well as of micro air vehicles (MAVs), which present some of the richest problems intersecting science and engineering. The agility and spectacular flight performance of natural flyers, thanks to their flexible, deformable wing structures, as well as to outstanding wing, tail and body coordination, is particularly significant. To design and build MAVs with performance comparable to natural flyers, it is essential that natural flyers' combined flexible structural dynamics and aerodynamics are adequately understood. The primary focus of this book is to address the recent developments in flapping wing aerodynamics. This book extends the work presented in Aerodynamics of Low Reynolds Number Flyers (Shyy et al. 2008).
Dinosaurs didn’t die out when an asteroid hit Earth 66 million years ago. Get ready to unthink what you thought you knew and journey into the deep, dark depths of the Jurassic. The discovery of the first feathered dinosaur in China in 1996 sent shockwaves through the palaeontological world. Were the feathers part of a complex mating ritual, or a stepping stone in the evolution of flight? And just how closely related T. rex to a chicken Award-winning journalist John Pickrell reveals how dinosaurs developed flight and became the birds in our backyards. He delves into the latest discoveries in China, the US, Europe and uncovers a thriving black market in fossils and infighting between dinosaur hunters, plus the controversial plan to use a chicken to bring dinosaurs back from the dead.
Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species
Author: Sean B. Carroll
Publisher: Hachette UK
In 1809, when Darwin was born, much of the world was an unexplored wilderness. Our knowledge of the past was nonexistent, and our picture of our species' history little more than a set of fantastic myths and fairytales. But a new era was dawning. Five decades later, On the Origin of the Species was able to draw on the pioneering work of explorers and naturalists to produce a theory that revolutionized our conception of our world. And the revolution didn't stop with the publication of Darwin's masterwork. 150 years later, his 'dangerous idea' is still headline news, denied by many, capable of enraging and dividing, even as biologists decipher the 3-billion-year history of life as written in our very DNA. This book tells the stories of the most dramatic adventures and important discoveries in two centuries of natural history - from Alexander von Humboldt's epic journeys in South America to the hi-tech genome-reading projects making headlines today - and how they gave birth to and have nourished the evolution revolution.
Over the past twenty years, paleontologists have made tremendous fossil discoveries, including fossils that mark the growth of whales, manatees, and seals from land mammals and the origins of elephants, horses, and rhinos. Today there exists an amazing diversity of fossil humans, suggesting we walked upright long before we acquired large brains, and new evidence from molecules that enable scientists to decipher the tree of life as never before. The fossil record is now one of the strongest lines of evidence for evolution. In this engaging and richly illustrated book, Donald R. Prothero weaves an entertaining though intellectually rigorous history out of the transitional forms and series that dot the fossil record. Beginning with a brief discussion of the nature of science and the "monkey business of creationism," Prothero tackles subjects ranging from flood geology and rock dating to neo-Darwinism and macroevolution. He covers the ingredients of the primordial soup, the effects of communal living, invertebrate transitions, the development of the backbone, the reign of the dinosaurs, the mammalian explosion, and the leap from chimpanzee to human. Prothero pays particular attention to the recent discovery of "missing links" that complete the fossil timeline and details the debate between biologists over the mechanisms driving the evolutionary process. Evolution is an absorbing combination of firsthand observation, scientific discovery, and trenchant analysis. With the teaching of evolution still an issue, there couldn't be a better moment for a book clarifying the nature and value of fossil evidence. Widely recognized as a leading expert in his field, Prothero demonstrates that the transformation of life on this planet is far more awe inspiring than the narrow view of extremists.
30 Activities and Observations for Exploring the World of Birds
Author: Monica Russo
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
This generously illustrated, full-color book engages young nature enthusiasts in exploring the world of birds. Kids learn that birds can be seen almost anywhere: in city parks and streets, zoos, farms, and backyards. Using "Try This," "Look For," and "Listen For" prompts, Birdology promotes independent observation and analysis, writing and drawing skills, and nature literacy. Kids observe the diversity of shapes, colors, patterns, and behavior of birds; listen for their songs and the clap of wings; make a juice-box feeder; plant flowers that attract hummingbirds; start a birding journal and sketchbook; and much more. Other topics presented in clear, kid-friendly prose include migration, nesting, food, territories, and conservation and preservation. Extensive resources include a glossary, bird orders and scientific names, bird and wildlife organizations, and "Teacher Topics" to initiate classroom discussion and investigation. Monica Russo is the author and illustrator of several children's nature books including Chilly Creatures, Amazing Insects, Watching Nature, and Tree Almanac. She wrote the "Nature Notes" column for southern Maine's Sun Chronicle for many years. She is an experienced birdwatcher and a founding member of the Maine Entomological Society. Kevin Byron is a photographer who specializes in nature, wildlife, and ship images and whose work has appeared in many books, magazines, and newspapers including Watching Nature, BirdScope magazine, the New York Times, and the Kennebunk Post. They both live in Kennebunk, Maine.