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Nature's giants : the biology and evolution of the world's largest lifeforms

Ruxton, Graeme D. (author.). Owen-Smith, R. Norman, (writer of foreword.).

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Fertile Public Library 591.41 RUX (Text) 33500013129218 Main Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 0300239882
  • ISBN: 9780300239881
  • Physical Description: 224 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
    print
  • Publisher: New Haven ; Yale University Press, [2019]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note: Foreword by Norman Owen-Smith -- Introduction -- 1. Life on a large scale -- 2. Dinosaurs -- 3. Massive mammals -- 4. Giants of the deep -- 5. Giants of the skies -- 6. Giant insects -- 7. Immense invertebrates -- 8. Record reptiles and amphibians -- 9. Green giants.
Summary, etc.: The colossal plants and animals of our world-dinosaurs, whales, and even trees-are a source of unending fascination, and their sheer scale can be truly impressive. Size is integral to the way that organisms experience the world: a puddle that a human being would step over without thinking is an entire world to thousands of microscopic rotifers. But why are creatures the size that they are? Why aren't bugs the size of elephants, or whales the size of goldfish? In this lavishly illustrated new book, biologist Graeme Ruxton explains how and why nature's giants came to be so big-for example, how decreased oxygen levels limited the size of insects and how island isolation allowed small-bodied animals to evolve larger body sizes. Through a diverse array of examples, from huge butterflies to giant squid, Ruxton explores the physics, biology, and evolutionary drivers behind organism size, showing what it's like to live large.
Reviews

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2019 August #1
    *Starred Review* Throughout the book, biologist Ruxton attempts to answer how and why the largest organisms grew to the size they did. The answers draw from physics (by looking at the mechanics of skeletal construction and movement), kinetics and thermodynamics of chemical processes, aerodynamics (for flying organisms), photosynthesis and light (for aquatic life), and the concurrent evolution of other organisms (especially predators and prey). Ruxton lays out how the effects studied in each of the various disciplines contributed to an organism's size. These cross-scientific principles are interwoven into subsequent chapters, each of which focuses on a specific type of organism. In addition to dinosaurs, mammals, aquatic creatures, and birds, the book also covers insects, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, and plants. The last chapter discusses socialization as a possible pathway to evolutionary success. Apart from its stunning pictures and collection of statistics, the book shines in outlining the biological causes and consequences of size. Most sections are no longer than a two-page spread, and the narrative is largely jargon-free. For its clear explanations, striking pictures, and breadth of coverage, this book is recommended for general readers from middle-school up. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.
  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2019 August #1
    *Starred Review* Throughout the book, biologist Ruxton attempts to answer how and why the largest organisms grew to the size they did. The answers draw from physics (by looking at the mechanics of skeletal construction and movement), kinetics and thermodynamics of chemical processes, aerodynamics (for flying organisms), photosynthesis and light (for aquatic life), and the concurrent evolution of other organisms (especially predators and prey). Ruxton lays out how the effects studied in each of the various disciplines contributed to an organism's size. These cross-scientific principles are interwoven into subsequent chapters, each of which focuses on a specific type of organism. In addition to dinosaurs, mammals, aquatic creatures, and birds, the book also covers insects, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, and plants. The last chapter discusses socialization as a possible pathway to evolutionary success. Apart from its stunning pictures and collection of statistics, the book shines in outlining the biological causes and consequences of size. Most sections are no longer than a two-page spread, and the narrative is largely jargon-free. For its clear explanations, striking pictures, and breadth of coverage, this book is recommended for general readers from middle-school up. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

Graeme D. Ruxton is professor of biology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Norman Owen-Smith is Emeritus Research Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand and fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.

Subject: Body size
Animals
Animals Pictorial works
Animals
Body size
Genre: Illustrated works.
Pictorial works.
Search Results Showing Item 1 of 1 Preferred library: Lake Agassiz Regional Library?

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