Author: Alice Roberts
Publisher: Random House
**'A masterpiece of evocative scientific storytelling.' BRIAN COX** **'Will appeal to fans of Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens'. Mail on Sunday ** The extraordinary story of the species that became our allies. Dogs became our companions Wheat fed a booming population Cattle gave us meat and milk Maize fuelled the growth of empires Potatoes brought us feast and famine Chickens led us to wonder about tomorrow Rice promised us a golden future Horses gave us strength and speed Apples travelled with us HUMANS TAMED THEM ALL For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors depended on wild plants and animals to stay alive – until they began to tame them. Combining archaeology and cutting-edge genetics, Tamed tells the story of the greatest revolution in human history and reveals the fascinating origins of ten crucial domesticated species; and how they, in turn, transformed us. In a world creaking under the strain of human activity, Alice Roberts urges us to look again at our relationship with the natural world – and our huge influence upon it. AN ECONOMIST AND MAIL ON SUNDAY 'BOOK OF THE YEAR' 2017
Author: Alice Roberts
Publisher: Windmill Books
**'A masterpiece of evocative scientific storytelling.' BRIAN COX** **'Will appeal to fans of Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens'. Mail on Sunday ** The extraordinary story of the species that became our allies. Dogs became our companions Wheat fed a booming population Cattle gave us meat and milk Maize fuelled the growth of empires Potatoes brought us feast and famine Chickens led us to wonder about tomorrow Rice promised us a golden future Horses gave us strength and speed Apples travelled with us HUMANS TAMED THEM ALL For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors depended on wild plants and animals to stay alive - until they began to tame them. Combining archaeology and cutting-edge genetics, Tamed tells the story of the greatest revolution in human history and reveals the fascinating origins of ten crucial domesticated species; and how they, in turn, transformed us. In a world creaking under the strain of human activity, Alice Roberts urges us to look again at our relationship with the natural world - and our huge influence upon it. AN ECONOMIST AND MAIL ON SUNDAY 'BOOK OF THE YEAR' 2017
Author: Alice Roberts
Uncovers the history of ten species: dogs, apples and wheat; cattle; potatoes and chickens; rice, maize, horses, and humans. Alice Roberts reveals how becoming part of our world changed these animals and plants, how they became our allies, and essential to the survival and success of our own species - and to our future
Alice Roberts has been travelling the world - from Ethiopian desert to Malay peninsula and from Russian steppes to Amazon basin - in order to understand the challenges that early humans faced as they tried to settle continents. On her travels she has witnessed some of the daunting and brutal challenges our ancestors had to face: mountains, deserts, oceans, changing climates, terrifying giant beasts and volcanoes. But she discovers that perhaps the most serious threat of all came from other humans. When our ancestors set out from Africa there were already two other species of human on the planet: Neanderthal in Europe and Homo erectus in Asia. Both (contrary to popular perception) were intelligent, adept at making tools and weapons and were long adapted to their environments. So, Alice asks, why did only Homo sapiens survive? Part detective story, part travelogue, and drawing on the latest genetic and archaeological discoveries, Alice examines how our ancestors evolved physically in response to these challenges, finding out how our colour, shape, size, diet, disease resistance and even athletic ability have been shaped by the range of environments that our ancestors had to survive. She also relates how astonishingly closely related we all are. As a lecturer in Anatomy at Bristol University, Alice Roberts is eminently qualified to write this book. As a talented artist, she is perfectly qualified to illustrate it, and dotted throughout this lively book are many of the sketches and photographs from her travels.
Inheritors of the Earth
Author: Chris D. Thomas
Human activity has irreversibly changed the natural environment. But the news isn't all bad. It's accepted wisdom today that human beings have permanently damaged the natural world, causing extinction, deforestation, pollution, and of course climate change. But in Inheritors of the Earth, biologist Chris Thomas shows that this obscures a more hopeful truth--we're also helping nature grow and change. Human cities and mass agriculture have created new places for enterprising animals and plants to live, and our activities have stimulated evolutionary change in virtually every population of living species. Most remarkably, Thomas shows, humans may well have raised the rate at which new species are formed to the highest level in the history of our planet. Drawing on the success stories of diverse species, from the ochre-colored comma butterfly to the New Zealand pukeko, Thomas overturns the accepted story of declining biodiversity on Earth. In so doing, he questions why we resist new forms of life, and why we see ourselves as unnatural. Ultimately, he suggests that if life on Earth can recover from the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs, it can survive the onslaughts of the technological age. This eye-opening book is a profound reexamination of the relationship between humanity and the natural world.
In this compulsively readable book, Dr. Alice Roberts lays out the miraculously strange way in which the human body grows from a chemical (DNA) into a living, sentient being. A longtime professor and well-known TV presenter, Dr. Roberts is also an author of unusual ability, capable of synthesizing complex ideas and packing dense scientific information into lucid, beautiful prose. Bringing together the latest scientific discoveries and drawing on interviews with scientists from around the world, Dr. Roberts illustrates that our evolution has resulted in something that is awe-inspiring yet far from perfect. Our embryonic development is a quirky mix of new and old, with strokes of genius alongside accommodated glitches and imperfections that are all inherited from distant ancestors. For instance, our development and evolutionary past explains why, as embryos, we have what look like gills, and as adults we suffer from back pain. This is a tale of discovery, about ourselves and our environment, that explores why and how we have developed as we have, looking at the development of human physiognomy through the various lenses of embryology, genetics, anatomy, evolution, and zoology. It combines the remarkable set of skills Alice Roberts possesses as a medical doctor, anatomist, osteoarchaeologist, and writer. As Richard Dawkins put it, the reader emerges from her book "entertained and with a deeper understanding of yourself."
Author: Alice Roberts
Publisher: Heron Books
'Informed, impeccably researched and written' Neil Oliver The Celts are one of the world's most mysterious ancient people. In this compelling account, Alice Roberts takes us on a journey across Europe, uncovering the truth about this engimatic tribe: their origins, their treasure and their enduring legacy today. What emerges is not a wild people, but a highly sophisticated tribal culture that influenced the ancient world - and even Rome. It is the story of a multicultural civilization, linked by a common language. It is the story of how ideas travelled in prehistory, how technology and art spread across the continent. It is the story of a five-hundred year fight between two civilizations that came to define the world we live in today. It is the story of a culture that changed Europe forever. 'Roberts's lightness of touch is joyous, and celebratory' Observer 'Clear-spoken and enthusiastic' Telegraph
Author: Antoine Laurain
Publisher: Gallic Books
How far would you go to enjoy a cigarette? When headhunter Fabrice Valentine faces a smoking ban at work, he decides to undertake a course of hypnotherapy to rid himself of the habit. At first the treatment works, but his stress levels begin to rise when he is passed over for an important promotion and he finds himself lighting up again - but with none of his previous enjoyment. Then he discovers something terrible: he accidentally causes a mans death, and needing a cigarette to calm his nerves, he enjoys it more than any other previous smoke. What if he now needs to kill someone every time he wants to properly appreciate his next Benson and Hedges? An original and totally French black comedy from bestselling author, Antoine Laurain.
A New York Times bestseller about how cats conquered the world and our hearts in this “deep and illuminating perspective on our favorite household companion” (Huffington Post). House cats rule bedrooms and back alleys, deserted Antarctic islands, even cyberspace. And unlike dogs, cats offer humans no practical benefit. The truth is they are sadly incompetent mouse-catchers and now pose a threat to many ecosystems. Yet, we love them still. In the “eminently readable and gently funny” (Library Journal, starred review) The Lion in the Living Room, Abigail Tucker travels through world history, natural science, and pop culture to meet breeders, activists, and scientists who’ve dedicated their lives to cats. She visits the labs where people sort through feline bones unearthed from the first human settlements, treks through the Floridian wilderness in search of house cats-turned-hunters on the loose, and hangs out with Lil Bub, one of the world’s biggest celebrities—who just happens to be a cat. “Fascinating” (Richmond Times-Dispatch) and “lighthearted” (The Seattle Times), Tucker shows how these tiny felines have used their relationship with humans to become one of the most powerful animals on the planet. A “lively read that pounces back and forth between evolutionary science and popular culture” (The Baltimore Sun), The Lion in the Living Room suggests that we learn that the appropriate reaction to a house cat, it seems, might not be aww but awe.
The Complete Human Body, 2nd Edition is the definitive illustrated guide to the human body as we know it today, from its development and form to its functions and disorders. Mysteries remain, but we have come a long way since the sketches and diagrams of the first anatomists in Ancient Greece. Now updated and expanded to include more information than before, The Complete Human Body, 2nd Edition explores the body's forms and functions in greater depth than any other popular reference, from muscle structure and activity to motor pathways within the brain. Illustrated with unprecedented clarity by computer-generated artworks and the latest medical and microscopic imaging, this comprehensive reference shows anatomical structures and bodily processes in incredible detail. We inhabit it, we are it, and we are surrounded by 7.2 billion examples of it on the planet - the human body. The Complete Human Body, 2nd Edition is your "access all areas" pass.
“An essential read for anyone interested in the stories of the animals in our home or on our plate.”—BBC Focus Without our domesticated plants and animals, human civilization as we know it would not exist. We would still be living at subsistence level as hunter-gatherers if not for domestication. It is no accident that the cradle of civilization—the Middle East—is where sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, and cats commenced their fatefully intimate association with humans. Before the agricultural revolution, there were perhaps 10 million humans on earth. Now there are more than 7 billion of us. Our domesticated species have also thrived, in stark contrast to their wild ancestors. In a human-constructed environment—or man-made world—it pays to be domesticated. Domestication is an evolutionary process first and foremost. What most distinguishes domesticated animals from their wild ancestors are genetic alterations resulting in tameness, the capacity to tolerate close human proximity. But selection for tameness often results in a host of seemingly unrelated by-products, including floppy ears, skeletal alterations, reduced aggression, increased sociality, and reduced brain size. It's a package deal known as the domestication syndrome. Elements of the domestication syndrome can be found in every domesticated species—not only cats, dogs, pigs, sheep, cattle, and horses but also more recent human creations, such as domesticated camels, reindeer, and laboratory rats. That domestication results in this suite of changes in such a wide variety of mammals is a fascinating evolutionary story, one that sheds much light on the evolutionary process in general. We humans, too, show signs of the domestication syndrome, which some believe was key to our evolutionary success. By this view, human evolution parallels the evolution of dogs from wolves, in particular. A natural storyteller, Richard C. Francis weaves history, archaeology, and anthropology to create a fascinating narrative while seamlessly integrating the most cutting-edge ideas in twenty-first-century biology, from genomics to evo-devo.
Author: Alan Turner, Mauricio Antón
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Linking the evidence of the past with that of the present, this exquisitely illustrated guide examines the evolution of the mammalian fauna of Africa within the context of dramatic changes over the course of more than 30 million years of primate presence. The book covers such topics as dating, continental drift, climate change, and both the physical evolution of the African continent and the biological evolution of its mammalian fauna.Restorations of the musculature of mammals and their appearance take into account the affinities between fossil forms and extant species in order to make well-founded inferences about unpreserved animal attributes. Environmental reconstructions benefit from the authors' visits to more than a dozen wildlife preserves in five African countries as well as the use of an extensive database of published studies on the evolution of landscapes on the continent. A detailed and engaging volume, "Evolving Eden" discusses human evolution as a part of the larger pattern of mammalian evolution while responding to the unique interest that we have for our own past.
Who invented beds? When did we start cleaning our teeth? How old are wine and beer? Which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? What was the first clock? Every day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old. Structured around one ordinary day, A Million Years in a Day reveals the astonishing origins and development of the daily practices we take for granted. In this gloriously entertaining romp through human history, Greg Jenner explores the gradual—and often unexpected—evolution of our daily routines. This is not a story of wars, politics, or great events. Instead, Jenner has scoured Roman rubbish bins, Egyptian tombs, and Victorian sewers to bring us the most intriguing, surprising, and sometimes downright silly historical nuggets from our past. Drawn from across the world, spanning a million years of humanity, this book is a smorgasbord of historical delights. It is a history of all those things you always wondered about—and many you have never considered. It is the story of your life, one million years in the making.
The Art of Genes
Author: Enrico Coen
Publisher: OUP Oxford
'Coen's book is spiced with historic quotations and examples of plants' and animals' intriguing behaviour contains a wealth of interesting material Coen communicates his immense learning with a hundred appealing tales' Max Perutz How is a tiny fertilised egg able to turn itself into a human being? How can an acorn transform itself into an oak tree? Over the past twenty years there has been a revolution in biology. For the first time we have begun to understand how organisms make themselves. The Art of Genes gives an account of these new and exciting findings, and of their broader significance for how we view ourselves. Through a highly original synthesis of science and art, Enrico Coen vividly describes this revolution in our understanding of how plants and animals develop. Drawing on a wide range of examples–from flowers growing petals instead of sex organs, and flies that develop an extra pair of wings, to works of art by Leonardo and Magritte–he explains in lively, accessible prose the language and meaning of genes. 'I would have loved this book at 16, and so should anyone–aged 16 to 60–who really wants to understand development.' John Maynard Smith, Nature
Author: Paul Greenberg
"A necessary book for anyone truly interested in what we take from the sea to eat, and how, and why." -Sam Sifton, The New York Times Book Review. Acclaimed author of American Catch and The Omega Princple and life-long fisherman, Paul Greenberg takes us on a journey, examining the four fish that dominate our menus: salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna. Investigating the forces that get fish to our dinner tables, Greenberg reveals our damaged relationship with the ocean and its inhabitants. Just three decades ago, nearly everything we ate from the sea was wild. Today, rampant overfishing and an unprecedented biotech revolution have brought us to a point where wild and farmed fish occupy equal parts of a complex marketplace. Four Fish offers a way for us to move toward a future in which healthy and sustainable seafood is the rule rather than the exception.