- ISBN 9780500251430
- 26.00 x 20.00 cm
- 368 Illustrations, 338 in colour
- First published 2008
‘A treasure trove of wonders … absolutely fabulous … a triumph of simply told stories … a superb source of cutting-edge ideas’ – BBC Wildlife Magazine
'… wonderfully illustrated short essays by a galaxy of scientists … with a good mixture of the profound … and pub-quiz facts … there is an enjoyable mystery for everyone' – New Scientist
Visually stunning and highly topical, this is a book of the utmost relevance to the future of our species and our planet.
See the Complete Contents page
• Why do mammals rule the world?
• How did the eye evolve?
• What is the largest living organism?
• Why do we have five fingers and toes?
• Has there always been ice at the poles?
• Are humans the only animals with consciousness?
• What will Earth's climate be like in the future?
What do we really know about the functioning of the Earth and of life? What do we still have to learn? Here, more than sixty eminent scientists from all over the world give us privileged insights into their cutting-edge research and findings into:
• Biogeography and Environments
• Plants and Animals
• Animal Behaviour
• Global Warming and the Future
Journey from the core of the Earth to the top of Mount Everest, from microbes living without oxygen in the deepest oceans to the remarkable ways in which bees communicate. Investigate the secrets of animal movement and migration, the rigours of life in the desert and how many species there may be in existence.
See a video interview with the author
Michael J. Benton is Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology and was formerly Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol. He has written over 180 scientific articles and over 50 books, many of them standard reference works and textbooks, as well as popular books about dinosaurs and the history of life, including When Life Nearly Died, published by Thames & Hudson. See more about Michael J. Benton in our authors section.