Evolution in Action

Evolution in Action

Natural History through Spectacular Skeletons

  1. Text by Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu
  2. Photographs by Patrick Gries
  • ISBN 9780500515983
  • 24.00 x 17.00 cm
  • Hardback
  • 424pp
  • 200 Illustrations, 0 in colour
  • First published 2011
‘So beautiful ... so dramatic ... so evocative of life’ – New Scientist
‘Fascinating … the restored skeletons of animals from natural history museums are lit to highlight their beauty and grace … compelling’ – The Financial Times
‘Exquisite’ – The Sunday Telegraph

Spectacular, mysterious, elegant or grotesque, the vertebrate skeletons of Earth’s fossil record carry within them the traces of several billion years of evolution.

Evolution in Action, a resounding success on its initial publication in 2007, is a unique and beautiful attempt to provide a map of those billion years in time. In this sublime mosaic of photographs and text, evolutionary biologist Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu and photographer Patrick Gries explore the skeletal record, showing through words and images the defining mechanics of all living vertebrates, including human beings.

Here is a powerful pairing: two hundred stark black-and-white photographs produced by Patrick Gries in collaboration with the Museum of Natural History in Paris are accompanied by text from scientist and documentarian Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu. The result is a revealing collection that profoundly illustrates the key themes of evolution – homology, convergence, adaptation, polymorphism and more.

Now updated and presented in a smaller format with fifteen new gorgeous photographs, Evolution in Action steps beyond the debate and presents the undeniable truth of Darwin’s theory, showing through skeletons both obscure and commonplace, but always intriguing, the process by which life has transformed itself, again and again.

Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu is a Professor of Natural Sciences and a Doctor of Biological Oceanography.
Patrick Gries is a noted photographer in the fields of design and contemporary art.

See other Thames & Hudson books on evolution