Named the Most Important Science Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly
Pels Fishing Owl (Scotopelia peli) taking a fish at night.
The same insults in microcosmencroaching agriculture, water diversion, disease, and pollutionthreaten the Okavango that in macrocosm threaten the entire planet. Starting with a sensual journey by plane and boat, Niles Eldredge leads a reader first to the very heart of the Okavango. It is a journey that reveals the twin faces of biodiversity (the 13 million extant species and the myriad ecosystems through which these species transform and exchange the Sun's energy) and the value of biodiversity to our own continued existence. There are a number of difficult actions we must take as a global society if we are to stem an impending Sixth Extinction, and Eldredge outlines these steps in detail in what has been hailed as the most important science book of the year. We have imagined ourselves out-sideabove and beyondnature. Through this book we see how our own fate is inextricably bound with the riotously diverse environment of Earth.
Niles Eldredge is curator in the Department of Invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the author of numerous books, including Fossils: The Evolution and Extinction of Species; Dominion; Time Frames: The Evolution of Punctuated Equilibrium; The Miner's Canary; The Patterns of Evolution; and The Triumph of Evolution ( and the failure of creationism).
The Chambered Nautilus (Nautilus pompilius).
The Duck-Billed Platypus
This is a book for the general reader who wants to
understand what the mysterious notion of biodiversity comprises
and to appreciate the damage we are doing to our life-support systems
on a daily basis.
Like the Bible, Koran and Talmud, this book praises
the act of creative evolution and sets out a code of behavior for humanity.
It is a natural history of the world seen through the eyes of a modern-day
prophet....The text is a delight, written as if the story in all its intricate
detail has been bottled up and is bursting to get out. This is such a
strong impression that I had the feeling that once the author had his
fingers on the keyboard, the book just had to happen.
An eloquent and passionate account by one of today's
leading scientists, Life in the Balance will draw new attention
to one of the most pressing problems now facing the world.
For anyone puzzled by the recent concern over rapid
disappearance of many of the planet's species, this book is a superb primer
on why we should worry about biodiversity.... Eldredge's book offers readers
a clear, concise and beautifully illustrated tour of modern biology.
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