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

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

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.

Title:At the Water's Edge: Fish with Fingers, Whales with Legs, and How Life Came Ashore but Then Went Back to Sea
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780684856230
Format Type:

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

  • Melody

    Fabulous. This explication of macroevolution is dense but very clear. There are passages that simply sing. Zimmer is getting to be one of my very favorite science writers. If you have any interest in ...

  • No

    http://carlzimmer.com"They emitted high-pitched clicks from their foreheads and listened for the echoes. In their oversized brains the dolphins used the sound to build a picture more precise than thei...

  • Chris

    Some chapters in this book read easily and others require some persistence to get through the technical information. But what a fascinating story. Zimmer uses the evolution from aquatic animals to lan...

  • Tim Martin

    _At the Water's Edge_ by Carl Zimmer is a fascinating and well-written account of macroevolution, evolution outside of the "generation-by-generation" pace of microevolution. In microevolution, biologi...

  • Noreen

    Carl Zimmer is one of my favorite authors. He brings a freshness and clarity to evolutionary biology. Each time I pick up a general interest science book like this, I think this ground has already bee...

  • Catherine

    An elegant book that has helped me to understand how macroevolution happens. Fun facts: A blue whale's tongue weighs as much as an elephant. Hippos once climbed the Alps....

  • Darnell

    Odd mix. The beginning is very beginner-oriented but it also goes deep into some genetic science that was a bit dense for me, and it also has a strong historical/biographical thread. Solidly interesti...

  • Xander

    This was an interesting book, but at some moments I barely could follow Zimmer's story. This has undoubtedly to do with my lack of knowledge about paleontology and embryology, two fields of research t...

  • Martin

    This was a man's first book? Now that's impressive. However, this is most decidedly not for the layman, a lesson the author learned because his books that followed are much more readable. He's brave t...

  • Alessia

    Interesting enough, but very erratic at times, especially in the chapters dedicated to whales' evolution. Plus it's a bit outdated now, and doesn't take into consideration (at least not enough) the po...