Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Three hundred million years ago, in Carboniferous times, dragonflies grew as big as seagulls, with wingspans of nearly a meter. Researchers claim they could have flown only if the air had contained more oxygen than today - probably as much as 35 percent. Giant spiders, tree ferns, marine rock formations, and fossil charcoals all tell the same story. High oxygen levels may also explain the global firestorm that contributed to the demise of the dinosaurs after the asteroid impact.

The strange and profound effects that oxygen has had on the evolution of life pose a riddle that this audiobook sets out to answer. Oxygen is a toxic gas. Divers breathing pure oxygen at depth suffer from convulsions and lung injury. Fruit flies raised at twice the normal atmospheric levels of oxygen live half as long as their siblings. Reactive forms of oxygen, known as free radicals, are thought to cause aging in people. Yet if atmospheric oxygen reached 35 percent in the Carboniferous, why did it promote exuberant growth instead of rapid aging and death?

Oxygen takes the listener on an enthralling journey, as gripping as a thriller, as it unravels the unexpected ways in which oxygen spurred the evolution of life and death.

©2002 Nick Lane (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about Oxygen

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    13
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    13
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Oxygen and its entwined history with the evolution of life.

Nick Lane once again writes a popular science book for both scientists and the general public eager to learn more about life as we know it, it’s complex relation with oxygen and the implications for longevity.

Access able to most and yet stimulating enough for those scientist from all disciplines of science and science educators.

I thought the narration was clear and compelling.

I can’t wait to read/ listen to another book by Nick Lane as he write so well and there are many to choose from.

5🌟 rating from me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Oxygen

Outstanding concepts some overall technical for a no biologist but raises fascinating questions and great insights, dispelling many myths.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

incredibly interesting

so much more interesting than I could of imagined. Fairly academic in places but 100% worth reading

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great

Far more interesting than a book of such subject deserved to be. I enjoyed from start to finish.