The Darwinian Tourist: Viewing the world through evolutionary eyes

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OUP Oxford, Oct 28, 2010 - Science - 368 pages
In this magnificently illustrated book, Christopher Wills takes us on a series of adventures. From the underwater life of Indonesia's Lambeh Strait to a little valley in northern Israel, to an earthquake in the coral reef off the island of Yap and the dry valleys of western Mongolia, Wills demonstrates how ecology and evolution have interacted to yield the world we live in. Each chapter features a different location and brings out a different and important message. With the author's own stunning photographs of the wildlife he discovered on his travels, he draws out the evolutionary stories behind the wildlife and shows how our understanding of the living world can be deepened by a Darwinian perspective. Wills demonstrates how looking at the world with evolutionary eyes leaves us with a renewed sense of wonder about life's astounding present-day diversity, along with an appreciation of our evolutionary history.
 

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Contents

2The Inner Workings of Evolution
17
3The Shifting Earth
40
4Crucibles of Speciation
53
5Rainforests Diseases and Speciation
74
PART IIThe Human Story
91
6How Domesticated Animals Changed the World
91
7The Great Migration
105
8The San and the Hobbits
126
A Final Postcard
157
Notes
159
Index
171
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About the author (2010)

Christopher Wills is Professor of Biological Sciences and member of the Center for Molecular Genetics at the University of California. He received the Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1999. His research interests include the maintenance of genetic variability in human populations, the forces that maintain variation in complex ecosystems such as rainforests and coral reefs, the evolution of diseases, and the evolution of our species.

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