At the Water's Edge: Fish with Fingers, Whales with Legs, and How Life Came Ashore But Then Went Back to Sea

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Simon and Schuster, Sep 8, 1999 - Science - 290 pages
12 Reviews
Everybody Out of the Pond
At the Water's Edge will change the way you think about your place in the world. The awesome journey of life's transformation from the first microbes 4 billion years ago to Homo sapiens today is an epic that we are only now beginning to grasp. Magnificent and bizarre, it is the story of how we got here, what we left behind, and what we brought with us.
We all know about evolution, but it still seems absurd that our ancestors were fish. Darwin's idea of natural selection was the key to solving generation-to-generation evolution -- microevolution -- but it could only point us toward a complete explanation, still to come, of the engines of macroevolution, the transformation of body shapes across millions of years. Now, drawing on the latest fossil discoveries and breakthrough scientific analysis, Carl Zimmer reveals how macroevolution works. Escorting us along the trail of discovery up to the current dramatic research in paleontology, ecology, genetics, and embryology, Zimmer shows how scientists today are unveiling the secrets of life that biologists struggled with two centuries ago.
In this book, you will find a dazzling, brash literary talent and a rigorous scientific sensibility gracefully brought together. Carl Zimmer provides a comprehensive, lucid, and authoritative answer to the mystery of how nature actually made itself.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - setnahkt - LibraryThing

A popular-level book covering two evolutionary events: water to land by tetrapods, and land to water by whales. The first half covers the same transition as Gaining Ground, but in much less technical ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cheryl_in_CC_NV - LibraryThing

Too much about the history of the investigations, including all the dead ends of thought, biographies of the authors of discredited theories, and so too confusing for me. All I want is a focus on the ... Read full review


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About the author (1999)

Carl Zimmer writes for National Geographic, Natural History, Science, Nature, Audubon, and National Wildlife. A former senior editor at Discover, he has won the American Institute of Biological Sciences Media Award and the Evert Clark Media Award. At the Water's Edge is his first book. He lives in New York City.

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