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The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site situated in the heart of the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve is the jewel in South Africa’s evolutionary crown: an area ‘of outstanding universal value’, it has attracted world-wide interest and furnished key evidence about where, when and how we came to be. The greater Magaliesberg area is peppered with some 200 caves and has a unique geology, history and biodiversity. For decades now, specialists have been combing the area to uncover evidence of our heritage.
In his spectacular new title, Vincent Carruthers guides readers along a timeline, from the birth of our planet through to developments of the twenty first century. Along the way he documents the formation of our landscapes and the emergence of life, the rise of hominins, the stone and iron ages, early settlement, migrations, wars and modern developments in the Magaliesberg – the entire evolution of life up to the present, as we know it.
Vividly illustrated with photographs, maps and diagrams, Cradle of Life portrays the intrigue and importance of the site, taking readers on a magical journey of discovery.
Wat Moet Ons Met Ons Kerk Doen? is 'n poging om te probeer verstaan waar ons as Afrikaners teologies vandaan kom, watter kragte en magte ons en ons Kerk gevorm het en hoe ons Kerk tans daar uitsien.
Die N.G.Kerk was 'n belangrike en rigtinggewende rolspele in die opheffing van die Afrikaner na die Britse vergrype tydens en na die Tweede Vryheidsoorlog. Tans word die N.G.Kerk ervaar as 'n instansie wat ongevoelig teenoor die geestelike behoeftes van haar lidmate staan.
Hierdie is 'n moet-lees boek vir:
'Vivid, thrilling, a delight ... Tim Flannery is a palaeontologist and ecologist of global standing, and this is a compelling and authoritative narrative of the evolution of Europe's flora and fauna, from the formation of the continent to its near future ... an exciting book, full of wonder' James McConnachie, Sunday Times A place of exceptional diversity, rapid change, and high energy, Europe has literally been at the crossroads of the world ever since the interaction of Asia, North America and Africa formed the tropical island archipelago that would become the continent of today. In this unprecedented evolutionary history, Tim Flannery shows how for the past 100 million years Europe has absorbed wave after wave of immigrant species; taking them in, transforming them, and sometimes hybridising them. Flannery reveals how, in addition to playing a vital role in the evolution of our own species, Europe was once the site of the formation of the first coral reefs, the home of some of the world's largest elephants, and now has more wolves than North America. This groundbreaking book charts the history of the land itself and the forces shaping life on it - including modern humans - to create a portrait of a continent that continues to exert a huge influence on the world today.
What can long-dead dinosaurs teach us about our future? Plenty, according to world-renowned paleontologist and recent star of BBC show The Day the Dinosaurs Died Dr Kenneth Lacovara, who has discovered some of the largest creatures to ever walk the Earth, including the super-massive Dreadnoughtus. 'Majestic, awe-inspiring and deeply humbling. Kenneth Lacovara reveals how dinosaurs have changed how we understand time, the world and ourselves' DR ALICE ROBERTS, anatomist and anthropologist, television presenter, author and professor `This is a dinosaur book with a difference. In lyrical prose Kenneth Lacovara shows how an understanding of the past helps to understand the present. The dinosaurs played no role in the great extinction that ended their era: we, on the other hand, are playing a major part in the extinction that is taking place today. And unless we change our ways, if we continue destroying the natural world, this will lead inevitably to our own extinction. But unlike the dinosaurs we have the power to turn things around.' DR JANE GOODALL, DBE, conservationist, founder of the Jane Goodaal Institute and UN Messenger of Peace `Kenneth Lacovara LOVES Dinosaurs, LOVES science and truly LOVES telling you about it. Few non-fiction writers wield words with more poetic and potent affection for their subject. Ken's deep scholarship and clear enjoyment of his subject always makes ME feel smarter. A man obsessed not just with his subject matter, but with showing us how looking into our deep past can illuminate our future.' ADAM SAVAGE of THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL By tapping into the wonder that dinosaurs inspire, Dr Lacovara weaves together the stories of our geological awakening, of humanity's epic struggle to understand the nature of deep time, the meaning of fossils, and our own place on the vast and bountiful tree of life. Go on a journey, back to when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, to discover how dinosaurs achieved feats unparalleled by any other group of animals. Learn the secrets of how paleontologists find fossils, and explore quirky, but fascinating questions, such as: Is a penguin a dinosaur? How are the tiny arms of T. rex the key to its power and ferocity? In this revealing book, Dr Lacovara offers the latest ideas about the shocking and calamitous death of the dinosaurs and ties their vulnerabilities to our own. Why Dinosaurs Matter is compelling and engaging - a reminder that our place on this planet is both precarious and potentially fleeting. As we move into an uncertain environmental future, it has never been more important to understand the past.
Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. We have hunted them for thousands of years and scratched their icons into our mythologies. They simultaneously fill us with waves of terror, awe and affection - yet we know hardly anything about them. Whales tend to only enter our awareness when they die, struck by a ship or stranded in the surf. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-like creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and roam entire ocean basins. Yet despite centuries of observing whales, we know little about their evolutionary past. Palaeontologist Nick Pyenson takes us to the ends of the earth and to the cutting edge of whale research as he searches for the answers to some of our biggest questions about these graceful giants. His rich storytelling takes us deep inside the Smithsonian's unparalleled fossil collection, to frigid Antarctic waters, and to the arid desert of Chile, where scientists race against time to document the largest fossil whalebone site on earth. Spying on Whales is an illuminating story of scientific discovery that brings readers closer to the most enigmatic and beloved animals of all time.
Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. We have hunted them for thousands of years and scratched their icons into our mythologies. They simultaneously fill us with waves of terror, awe and affection - yet we know hardly anything about them. Whales tend to only enter our awareness when they die, struck by a ship or stranded in the surf. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-like creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and roam entire ocean basins. Yet despite centuries of observing whales, we know little about their evolutionary past. In this remarkable new book, the Smithsonian's star palaeontologist Nick Pyenson takes us to the ends of the earth and to the cutting edge of whale research as he searches for the answers to some of our biggest questions about these graceful giants. His rich storytelling takes us deep inside the Smithsonian's unparalleled fossil collection, to frigid Antarctic waters, and to the arid desert of Chile, where scientists race against time to document the largest fossil whalebone site on earth. Spying on Whales is an illuminating story of scientific discovery that brings readers closer to the most enigmatic and beloved animals of all time.
Trilobite! is an unashamedly trilobito-centric view of the world unravelling the history of the exotic, crustacean-like animals which dominated the seas for three hundred million years. These arthropods witnessed continents move, mountain chains elevated and eroded; they survived ice ages and volcanic eruptions, evolving and adapting exquisitely to their environment. They watched through their crystal eyes whilst life evolved. Their own evolution calibrated geological time itself.
Structured like a detective story, this is a light, but highly informative account of the wonders of scientific discovery.
A magisterial exploration of the natural history of the first four thousand million years of life on and in the earth, by one of Britain's most dazzling science writers. What do any of us know about the history of our planet before the arrival of man? Most of us have a dim impression of a swirling mass of dust solidifying to form a volcanic globe, briefly populated by dinosaurs, then by woolly mammoths and finally by our own hairy ancestors. This book, aimed at the curious and intelligent but perhaps mildly uninformed reader, brilliantly dispels such lingering notions forever. At the end of the book we understand the complexity of the history of life on earth, and the complexity of how it has come to be understood, as, perhaps, from no other single volume. The result is enthralling.
This book focuses on British fossils and the story of life on our islands, including details of the great fossil collections of Britain.
From the origin of life, through the age of dinosaurs stalked by the terrifying Tyrannosaurus rex, to the earliest humans, this book tells the story of life on Earth. Dinosaurs may be the stars of the show, but the book is truly comprehensive, with fossil plants, invertebrates, amphibians, fish, birds, reptiles, mammals, and even early bacteria conjuring up an entire past world. To put all of these extinct species in context, the book explores geological time and the way life-forms are classified. It also looks at how fossils preserve the story of evolution, and how it can be deciphered. The chapter on "Young Earth" explains how forces shaped Earth and steered the course of life. The main part of the book - "Life on Earth" - lays out and catalogues the rich story of life, from its beginnings 4 billion years ago, through each geological period, such as the Jurassic and Cretaceous, to the present. Combining stunning visuals and authoritative text, Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life is a fascinating and revealing encyclopedia that will appeal to the whole family.
Plant remains can preserve a critical part of history of life on Earth. While telling the fascinating evolutionary story of plants and vegetation across the last 500 million years, this book also crucially offers non-specialists a practical guide to studying, dealing with and interpreting plant fossils. It shows how various techniques can be used to reveal the secrets of plant fossils and how to identify common types, such as compressions and impressions. Incorporating the concepts of evolutionary floras, this second edition includes revised data on all main plant groups, the latest approaches to naming plant fossils using fossil-taxa and techniques such as tomography. With extensive illustrations of plant fossils and living plants, the book encourages readers to think of fossils as once-living organisms. It is written for students on introductory or intermediate courses in palaeobotany, palaeontology, plant evolutionary biology and plant science, and for amateurs interested in studying plant fossils.
The foods we eat have a deep and often surprising past. From almonds and apples to tea and rice, many foods that we consume today have histories that can be traced out of prehistoric Central Asia along the tracks of the Silk Road to kitchens in Europe, America, China, and elsewhere in East Asia. The exchange of goods, ideas, cultural practices, and genes along these ancient routes extends back five thousand years, and organized trade along the Silk Road dates to at least Han Dynasty China in the second century BC. Balancing a broad array of archaeological, botanical, and historical evidence, Fruit from the Sands presents the fascinating story of the origins and spread of agriculture across Inner Asia and into Europe and East Asia. Through the preserved remains of plants found in archaeological sites, Robert N. Spengler III identifies the regions where our most familiar crops were domesticated and follows their routes as people carried them around the world. With vivid examples, Fruit from the Sands explores how the foods we eat have shaped the course of human history and transformed cuisines all over the globe.
An illustrated guide to introduction to major fossil groups.
Most people are familiar with the dodo and the dinosaur, but extinction has occurred throughout the history of life, with the result that nearly all the species that have ever existed are now extinct. Today, species are disappearing at an ever increasing rate, whilst past losses have occurred during several great crises. Issues such as habitat destruction, conservation, climate change, and, during major crises, volacanism and meteorite impact, can all contribute towards the demise of a group. In this Very Short Introduction, Paul B. Wignall looks at the causes and nature of extinctions, past and present, and the factors that can make a species vulnerable. Summarising what we know about all of the major and minor exctinction events, he examines some of the greatest debates in modern science, such as the relative role of climate and humans in the death of the Pleistocene megafauna, including mammoths and giant ground sloths, and the roles that global warming, ocean acidification, and deforestation are playing in present-day extinctions ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
An illustrated guide to introduction to major fossil groups.
An illustrated guide to introduction to major fossil groups.
Reconstructing the paleobiology of fossil non-human primates, this book is intended as an exposition of non-human primate evolution that includes information about evolutionary theory and processes, paleobiology, paleoenvironment, how fossils are formed, how fossils illustrate evolutionary processes, the reconstruction of life from fossils, the formation of the primate fossil record, functional anatomy, and the genetic bases of anatomy. Throughout, the emphasis of the book is on the biology of fossil primates, not their taxonomic classification or systematics, or formal species descriptions. The author draws detailed pictures of the paleoenvironment of fossil primates, including contemporary animals and plants, and ancient primate communities, emphasizing our ability to reconstruct lifeways from fragmentary bones and teeth, using functional anatomy, stable isotopes from enamel and collagen, and high resolution CT-scans of the cranium. Fossil Primates will be essential reading for advanced undergraduates and graduate students in evolutionary anthropology, primatology and vertebrate paleobiology.
Our closest living relatives are the chimpanzee and bonobo. We share many characteristics with them, but our lineages diverged millions of years ago. Who in fact was our last common ancestor? Bringing together ecology, evolution, genetics, anatomy and geology, this book provides a new perspective on human evolution. What can fossil apes tell us about the origins of human evolution? Did the last common ancestor of apes and humans live in trees or on the ground? What did it eat, and how did it survive in a world full of large predators? Did it look anything like living apes? Andrews addresses these questions and more to reconstruct the common ancestor and its habitat. Synthesising thirty-five years of work on both ancient environments and fossil and modern ape anatomy, this book provides unique new insights into the evolutionary processes that led to the origins of the human lineage.
A Late Ordovician silicified brachiopod fauna from the White Mountain area, west-central Alaska is described and interpreted in a palaeoecological and biogeographical context. This area is situated within the Nixon Fork Subterrane of the Farewell Terrane, which origin and timing of final docking with Laurentia has been much debated. The current study adds new faunal data to the debate with nearly 100 species described, of these at least nine are new. The fauna is predominantly a deep-water autochthonous fauna that was mixed with an allochthonous fauna as a result of down-slope movement of turbidity currents. Biogeographically this study demonstrates close faunal affinities with Siberia.
Hans Thewissen, a leading researcher in the field of whale paleontology and anatomy, gives a sweeping first-person account of the discoveries that brought to light the early fossil record of whales. As evidenced in the record, whales evolved from herbivorous forest-dwelling ancestors that resembled tiny deer to carnivorous monsters stalking lakes and rivers and to serpentlike denizens of the coast. Thewissen reports on his discoveries in the wilds of India and Pakistan, weaving a narrative that reveals the day-to-day adventures of fossil collection, enriching it with local flavors from South Asian culture and society. The reader senses the excitement of the digs as well as the rigors faced by scientific researchers, for whom each new insight gives rise to even more questions, and for whom at times the logistics of just staying alive may trump all science. In his search for an understanding of how modern whales live their lives, Thewissen also journeys to Japan and Alaska to study whales and wild dolphins. He finds answers to his questions about fossils by studying the anatomy of otters and porpoises and examining whale embryos under the microscope. In the book's final chapter, Thewissen argues for approaching whale evolution with the most powerful tools we have and for combining all the fields of science in pursuit of knowledge.
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