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Freaks of Nature And What They Tell Us About Evolution and Development by Mark S. Blumberg
  

Freaks of Nature And What They Tell Us About Evolution and Development

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Synopsis

Freaks of Nature And What They Tell Us About Evolution and Development by Mark S. Blumberg

Two-legged goats, conjoined twins, 'Cyclops' infants with a single eye in the middle of their forehead, double-headed snakes, and Laloo, a man with a partially formed twin attached to his chest...In Freaks of Nature, Mark S. Blumberg turns a scientist's eye on these unusual examples of humans and other animals, showing how a subject once relegated to the sideshow can help explain some of the deepest complexities of biology. These examples of extreme bodily anomalies are in fact the natural products of development, and it is through such developmental mechanisms that evolution works. And Blumberg shows how 'freak' deformities can provide valuable windows on the intimate connections between genetics, development, the environment, and evolution. In taking seriously a subject that has often been shunned as discomfiting and embarrassing, Freaks of Nature takes the perspective of evolutionary developmental biology to shed new light on how individuals--and entire species--develop, survive, and evolve.

Reviews

A highly readable, entertaining, and informative introduction to the science and culture connected with freaks and monsters. Manfred D. Laubichler, Science A fascinating pop exegesis of evo devo. Steven Poole, The Guardian Blumberg imparts lessons that, although familiar to biologists, will be valuable to non-specialists. Jerry A. Coyne, Nature Blumberg illustrates his points with clear and intriguing examples. Jerry A. Coyne, Nature Compelling enough not to suffocate the interest of non-scientific readers. A stimulating read. Rob Hasting, Financial Times


About the Author

Mark Blumberg is Professor and Starch Faculty Fellow at the University of Iowa. The author of two books and more than eighty journal articles and chapters on a wide variety of subjects, he currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Behavioral Neuroscience and as President of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology.

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd January 2009

Author

Mark S. Blumberg

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Publisher

Oxford University Press
www.oup.com

Format

Hardback
352 pages

Categories

Popular science

ISBN

9780199213054

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