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The living world today contains all kinds of creatures that do unexpected things - we have come to expect that there were complex and unusual ways of life in the past, and that evolution took some unexpected turns at times. Entertainingly written for students, History of Life, 4th Edition takes you to the edge of current knowledge. This text is aimed at students and anyone interested in the history of life on our planet. It explores the "whys" of events that occurred and, in this newest edition, it takes a closer look at the evolution of the physical earth and the strong interactions between organisms and environment. The books coverage includes geography, climate, atmosphere, ocean, and land (a changing stage) while following the interplay between organisms. Also new to this edition is a devoted website, which explores additional environmental factors and supplemental topics, and provides key links and additional student and instructor assistance. Covers the field succinctly with the appropriate depth for the undergraduate market. Examines vertebrates in depth, the easiest group of organisms for students to focus on. Draws examples from both vertebrate and invertebrate fossil record. Focuses more on the evolution of the physical earth and the influences of environmental conditions on evolution.
Richard Cowen learned how to write and think critically at Cambridge University, and how to teach and think creatively at the University of California, Davis. He received a campus Distinguished Teaching Award in 1993 and designed the course “History of Life” there. The book was written specifically for that course, and has gone on to become a best-selling textbook.