LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Evolution

See below for a selection of the latest books from Evolution category. Presented with a red border are the Evolution books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Evolution books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Phylogenetic Ecology A History, Critique, and Remodeling

Phylogenetic Ecology A History, Critique, and Remodeling

Author: Nathan G Swenson Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/11/2019

Over the past decade, ecologists have increasingly embraced phylogenetics, the study of evolutionary relationships among species. As a result, they have come to discover the field's power to illuminate present ecological patterns and processes. Ecologists are now investigating whether phylogenetic diversity is a better measure of ecosystem health than more traditional metrics like species diversity, whether it can predict the future structure and function of communities and ecosystems, and whether conservationists might prioritize it when formulating conservation plans. In Phylogenetic Ecology, Nathan G. Swenson synthesizes this nascent field's major conceptual, methodological, and empirical developments to provide students and practicing ecologists with a foundational overview. Along the way, he highlights those realms of phylogenetic ecology that will likely increase in relevance--such as the burgeoning subfield of phylogenomics--and shows how ecologists might lean on these new perspectives to inform their research programs.

Phylogenetic Ecology A History, Critique, and Remodeling

Phylogenetic Ecology A History, Critique, and Remodeling

Author: Nathan G Swenson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/11/2019

Over the past decade, ecologists have increasingly embraced phylogenetics, the study of evolutionary relationships among species. As a result, they have come to discover the field's power to illuminate present ecological patterns and processes. Ecologists are now investigating whether phylogenetic diversity is a better measure of ecosystem health than more traditional metrics like species diversity, whether it can predict the future structure and function of communities and ecosystems, and whether conservationists might prioritize it when formulating conservation plans. In Phylogenetic Ecology, Nathan G. Swenson synthesizes this nascent field's major conceptual, methodological, and empirical developments to provide students and practicing ecologists with a foundational overview. Along the way, he highlights those realms of phylogenetic ecology that will likely increase in relevance--such as the burgeoning subfield of phylogenomics--and shows how ecologists might lean on these new perspectives to inform their research programs.

Why We Believe Evolution and the Human Way of Being

Why We Believe Evolution and the Human Way of Being

Author: Agustin Fuentes Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/11/2019

A wide-ranging argument by a renowned anthropologist that the capacity to believe is what makes us human Why are so many humans religious? Why do we daydream, imagine, and hope? Philosophers, theologians, social scientists, and historians have offered explanations for centuries, but their accounts often ignore or even avoid human evolution. Evolutionary scientists answer with proposals for why ritual, religion, and faith make sense as adaptations to past challenges or as by-products of our hyper-complex cognitive capacities. But what if the focus on religion is too narrow? Renowned anthropologist Agustin Fuentes argues that the capacity to be religious is actually a small part of a larger and deeper human capacity to believe. Why believe in religion, economies, love? A fascinating intervention into some of the most common misconceptions about human nature, this book employs evolutionary, neurobiological, and anthropological evidence to argue that belief-the ability to commit passionately and wholeheartedly to an idea-is central to the human way of being in the world.

Conceptual Breakthroughs in Evolutionary Ecology

Conceptual Breakthroughs in Evolutionary Ecology

Conceptual Breakthroughs in Evolutionary Ecology covers major advances and breakthroughs in evolutionary ecology, from its beginning stages, to present-day. Although biologists recognize this field by name, many only have a limited understanding of its conceptual roots. Following an easily-accessible structure, it encapsulates and chronicles the history behind evolutionary ecology since the 1970s. Written by a world-renowned evolutionary ecologist, this book embodies a unique blend of expertise in combining theory and experiment, population genetics and ecology, and the integration of age-structure and density-dependent selection into an understanding of life-history evolution. While the book presents a wonderful springboard for discussions in undergraduate or graduate seminars in evolutionary biology and ecology, it will also appeal to researchers and professionals looking for insights into the field's history.

Nature Strange and Beautiful How Living Beings Evolved and Made the Earth a Home

Nature Strange and Beautiful How Living Beings Evolved and Made the Earth a Home

Author: Egbert Giles, Jr. Leigh, Christian Ziegler Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/10/2019

In this rich, wide-ranging, beautifully illustrated volume, Egbert Leigh explores the results of billions of years of evolution at work. Leigh, who has spent five decades on Panama's Barro Colorado Island reflecting on the organization of various amazingly diverse tropical ecosystems, now shows how selection on selfish genes gives rise to complex modes of cooperation and interdependence. With the help of such artists as the celebrated nature photographer Christian Ziegler, natural history illustrator Deborah Miriam Kaspari, and Damond Kyllo, Leigh explains basic concepts of evolutionary biology, ranging from life's single-celled beginnings to the complex societies humans have formed today. The book covers a range of topics, including adaptation, competition, mutualism, heredity, natural selection, sexual selection, genetics, and language. Leigh's reflections on evolution, competition, and cooperation show how the natural world becomes even more beautiful when viewed in the light of evolution.

Convergent Evolution on Earth Lessons for the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Convergent Evolution on Earth Lessons for the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Author: George R McGhee (Rutgers University) Jr. Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/10/2019

An analysis of patterns of convergent evolution on Earth that suggests where we might look for similar convergent forms on other planets. Why does a sea lily look like a palm tree? And why is a sea lily called a lily when it is a marine animal and not a plant? Many marine animals bear a noticeable similarity in form to land-dwelling plants. And yet these marine animal forms evolved in the oceans first; land plants independently and convergently evolved similar forms much later in geologic time. In this book, George McGhee analyzes patterns of convergent evolution on Earth and argues that these patterns offer lessons for the search for life elsewhere in the universe. Our Earth is a water world; 71 percent of the earth's surface is covered by water. The fossil record shows that multicellular life on dry land is a new phenomenon; for the vast majority of the earth's history-3,500 million years of its 4,560 million years of existence-complex life existed only in the oceans. Explaining that convergent biological evolution occurs because of limited evolutionary pathways, McGhee examines examples of convergent evolution in forms of feeding, immobility and mobility, defense, and organ systems. McGhee suggests that the patterns of convergent evolution that we see in our own water world indicate the potential for similar convergent forms in other water worlds. We should search for extraterrestrial life on water worlds, and for technological life on water worlds with continental landmasses.

Evolutionary Causation Biological and Philosophical Reflections

Evolutionary Causation Biological and Philosophical Reflections

A comprehensive treatment of the concept of causation in evolutionary biology that makes clear its central role in both historical and contemporary debates. Most scientific explanations are causal. This is certainly the case in evolutionary biology, which seeks to explain the diversity of life and the adaptive fit between organisms and their surroundings. The nature of causation in evolutionary biology, however, is contentious. How causation is understood shapes the structure of evolutionary theory, and historical and contemporary debates in evolutionary biology have revolved around the nature of causation. Despite its centrality, and differing views on the subject, the major conceptual issues regarding the nature of causation in evolutionary biology are rarely addressed. This volume fills the gap, bringing together biologists and philosophers to offer a comprehensive, interdisciplinary treatment of evolutionary causation. Contributors first address biological motivations for rethinking evolutionary causation, considering the ways in which development, extra-genetic inheritance, and niche construction challenge notions of cause and process in evolution, and describing how alternative representations of evolutionary causation can shed light on a range of evolutionary problems. Contributors then analyze evolutionary causation from a philosophical perspective, considering such topics as causal entanglement, the commingling of organism and environment, and the relationship between causation and information. Contributors John A. Baker, Lynn Chiu, David I. Dayan, Renee A. Duckworth, Marcus W Feldman, Susan A. Foster, Melissa A. Graham, Heikki Helantera, Kevin N. Laland, Armin P. Moczek, John Odling-Smee, Jun Otsuka, Massimo Pigliucci, Arnaud Pocheville, Arlin Stoltzfus, Karola Stotz, Sonia E. Sultan, Christoph Thies, Tobias Uller, Denis M. Walsh, Richard A. Watson

A Different Kind of Animal How Culture Transformed Our Species

A Different Kind of Animal How Culture Transformed Our Species

Author: Robert Boyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2019

How our ability to learn from each other has been the essential ingredient to our remarkable success as a species Human beings have evolved to become the most dominant species on Earth. This astonishing transformation is usually explained in terms of cognitive ability-people are just smarter than all the rest. But Robert Boyd argues that culture-our ability to learn from each other-has been the essential ingredient of our remarkable success. He shows how a unique combination of cultural adaptation and large-scale cooperation has transformed our species and assured our survival-making us the different kind of animal we are today. Based on the Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University, A Different Kind of Animal features challenging responses by biologist H. Allen Orr, philosopher Kim Sterelny, economist Paul Seabright, and evolutionary anthropologist Ruth Mace, as well as an introduction by Stephen Macedo.

Cambridge Astrobiology The Quest for a Universal Theory of Life: Searching for Life As We Don't Know It

Cambridge Astrobiology The Quest for a Universal Theory of Life: Searching for Life As We Don't Know It

Author: Carol E. (University of Colorado Boulder) Cleland Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/09/2019

Integrating both scientific and philosophical perspectives, this book provides an informed analysis of the challenges of formulating a universal theory of life. Among the issues discussed are crucial differences between definitions and scientific theories and, in the context of examples from the history of science, how successful general theories develop. The central problem discussed is two-fold: first, our understanding of life is still tacitly wedded to an antiquated Aristotelian framework for biology; and second, there are compelling reasons for considering that familiar Earth life, which descends from a last universal common ancestor, is unrepresentative. What is needed are examples of life as we don't know it. Potential sources are evaluated, including artificial life, extraterrestrial life, and a shadow biosphere right here on Earth, and a novel strategy for searching for unfamiliar life in the absence of a definition or general theory is developed. The book is a valuable resource for graduate students and researchers studying the nature, origins, and extent of life in the universe.

On the Origin of Species

On the Origin of Species

Author: Charles Darwin, Dr Peter Garratt Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/09/2019

Initially received with muted applause Darwin's The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was soon recognised as the breakthrough scientific advance that explained the evidence of the world around us, the place and history of humans, the connections between environment and evolution. Still regarded by some as radical Darwin's contribution to world knowledge is immeasurable. FLAME TREE's Great Works That Shape Our World is a new series of definitive books drawing on ancient, medieval and modern writing. Offering a fund of essential knowledge, and spell-binding stories it satisfies every facet of human interest: scientific, philosophical, sociological, romantic, dramatic and mysterious. From the ancient wisdom of the Mahabharata to the curious power of Don Quixote, Boccaccio's Decameron and Melville's classic Moby Dick, from the scientific wonders of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein to the great thinkers of Western and Asian philosophy. Created to entertain, inform and enrich, the new series brings infinite variety to refresh the mind, presented in beautiful editions for the modern market. Each book features a new, accessible introduction, specially written for these editions, placing the book in context both as part of the new series, and highlighting its special contribution to the advancement of human understanding; they examine the significance of each work, their impact at time of publication, and their influence today.

Spinal Evolution Morphology, Function, and Pathology of the Spine in Hominoid Evolution

Spinal Evolution Morphology, Function, and Pathology of the Spine in Hominoid Evolution

Author: Ella Been Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/09/2019

The vertebral spine is a key element of the human anatomy. Its main role is to protect the spinal cord and the main blood vessels. The axial skeleton, with its muscles and joints, provides stability for the attachment of the head, tail and limbs and, at the same time, enables the mobility required for breathing and for locomotion. Despite its great importance, the vertebral spine is often over looked by researchers because: a) vertebrae are fragile in nature, which makes their fossilization a rare event; b) they are metameric (seriated and repeated elements) that make their anatomical determination and, thus, their subsequent study difficult; and c) the plethora of bones and joints involved in every movement or function of the axial skeleton makes the reconstruction of posture, breathing mechanics and locomotion extremely difficult. It is well established that the spine has changed dramatically during human evolution. Spinal curvatures, spinal load transmission, and thoracic shape of bipedal humans are derived among hominoids. Yet, there are many debates as to how and when these changes occurred and to their phylogenetic, functional, and pathological implications. In recent years, renewed interest arose in the axial skeleton. New and exciting finds, mostly from Europe and Africa, as well as new methods for reconstructing the spine, have been introduced to the research community. New methodologies such as Finite Element Analysis, trabecular bone analysis, Geometric Morphometric analysis, and gait analysis have been applied to the spines of primates and humans. These provide a new and refreshing look into the evolution of the spine. Advanced biomechanical research regarding posture, range of motion, stability, and attenuation of the human spine has interesting evolutionary implications. Until now, no book that summarizes the updated research and knowledge regarding spinal evolution in hominoids has been available. The present book explores both these new methodologies and new data, including recent fossil, morphological, biomechanical, and theoretical advances regarding vertebral column evolution. In order to cover all of that data, we divide the book into four parts: 1) the spine of hominoids; 2) the vertebral spine of extinct hominins; 3) ontogeny, biomechanics and pathology of the human spine; and 4) new methodologies of spinal research. These parts complement each other and provide a wide and comprehensive examination of spinal evolution.

The Masterpiece of Nature The Evolution and Genetics of Sexuality

The Masterpiece of Nature The Evolution and Genetics of Sexuality

Author: Graham Bell Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/09/2019

Originally published in 1982, The Masterpiece of Nature examines sex as representative of the most important challenge to the modern theory of evolution. The book suggests that sex evolved, not as the result of normal Darwinian processes of natural selection, but through competition between populations or species - a hypothesis elsewhere almost universally discredited. The book also discusses the nature of sex and its consequences for the individual and for the population, as well as various other theories of sex. Since the value of these theories is held to reside wholly in their ability to predict the patterns of sexuality observed in nature, the book seeks to provide an extensive review of the circumstances in which sexuality is attenuated or lost throughout the animal kingdom, and these facts are then used to weigh up the merits of the rival theories. This book will be of interest to researchers in the area of genetics, ecology and evolutionary biology.