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For billions of years, Earth was an inhospitably alien place - covered with churning seas, slowly crafting its landscape by way of incessant volcanic eruptions, the atmosphere in a constant state of chemical flux. And yet, despite facing literally every conceivable setback that living organisms could encounter, life has been extinguished and picked itself up to evolve again. Life has learned and adapted and continued through the billions of years that followed. It has weathered fire and ice. Slimes begat sponges, who through billions of years of complex evolution and adaptation grew a backbone, braved the unknown of pitiless shores, and sought an existence beyond the sea.
From that first foray to the spread of early hominids, who later became Homo sapiens, life has persisted, undaunted. A (Very) Short History of Life is an enlightening story of survival, of persistence, illuminating the delicate balance within which life has always existed, and continues to exist today. It is our planet like you’ve never seen it before.
Life teems through Henry Gee’s lyrical prose - colossal supercontinents drift, collide and coalesce, fashioning the face of the planet as we know it today. Creatures are engagingly personified, from ‘gregarious’ bacteria populating the seas, to duelling dinosaurs in the Triassic period, to magnificent mammals with the future in their (newly evolved) grasp. Those long-extinct, almost alien early life forms are resurrected in evocative detail. Life’s evolutionary steps - from the development of a digestive system to the awe of creatures taking to the skies in flight - are conveyed with an alluring, up-close intimacy.
"A dazzling, beguiling story...told at an exhilarating pace." (Literary Review)
"Henry Gee makes the kaleidoscopically changing canvas of life understandable and exciting. Who will enjoy reading this book? - Everybody!" (Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel)
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- andrew james lilley
I absolutely loved this book .It places so much that I had already imbibed into perfect context and taught me so much more.
I will give this book to all my friends and family.
One criticism I have is the bizarre choice of incidental music and sound effects.But having said that the book itself is so fascinating and diverting that even that couldn't put me off.
I will listen to this again and again to.absorb more of the amazing facts .
In the face of my deepening sadness at the state of our planet I found this incredibly hopeful.and uplifting .
In short ILOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
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