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Summary

How does life work? How does nature produce the right numbers of zebras and lions on the African savanna, or fish in the ocean? How do our bodies produce the right numbers of cells in our organs and bloodstream? In The Serengeti Rules, award-winning biologist and author Sean B. Carroll tells the stories of the pioneering scientists who sought the answers to such simple yet profoundly important questions, and shows how their discoveries matter for our health and the health of the planet we depend upon. One of the most important revelations about the natural world is that everything is regulated - there are rules that regulate the amount of every molecule in our bodies and rules that govern the numbers of every animal and plant in the wild. And the most surprising revelation about the rules that regulate life at such different scales is that they are remarkably similar - there is a common underlying logic of life. Carroll recounts how our deep knowledge of the rules and logic of the human body has spurred the advent of revolutionary life-saving medicines, and makes the compelling case that it is now time to use the Serengeti Rules to heal our ailing planet.

©2016 Sean B. Carroll (P)2017 Tantor

Critic reviews

"A thought-provoking challenge to complacency." ( Kirkus)

What listeners say about The Serengeti Rules

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  • David
  • 14-08-18

Mind blown

As a biology teacher, this book hit key points from my class over and over and over. It was supported by data and presented anecdotally in a way that made it memorable. Time and again I would pause and rewind to listen to a section. This book has changed the way I think about the themes of regulation and how I present my classroom material. “What happens to E. coli, happens to an elephant” it seems so simple once presented, but my mind is blown!
Side note: If you are not a science enthusiast, this book may seem a little dry, but it is rich with history and context, so you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy.

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  • CCC
  • 09-10-21

Wanted to Love This

Having been fortunate enough to go on safari, I was looking forward to this book. I was disappointed. I was not expecting science lessons on everything outside of Africa for 75% of the book, It was only when it got to the last part of the book that it focused on Africa. I feel thae title is misleading. And in the COVID environment & an era where science is doubted, some of the rules aren't as firmly held as when the book was written. If you're looking for a broad view of scientific topics that relate to the Serengeti, this is your book. If you're looking for a book on the Serengeti alone, think twice.

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  • paul shire
  • 26-02-21

Extremely interesting in most chapters -

The insights and analogies between the workings of human body at the molecular level and how nature works in the ecology of the world outside the the body are simply beautiful. These ideas hint at what Einstein was looking for at the end of his life - a one inch equation that governs life.

The narrator is too much in your face and and tires the listener.

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  • Anrika Rupp
  • 13-04-20

indispensable for our future.

A very good, clear read that answered many questions I had. I recomend it much.

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  • Philip J. Kurle
  • 06-10-19

A compelling perspective on the "laws" of biology.

This is a very well written and sweeping overview outlining some of the recurring themes guiding biological nature, from the level of molecular biology, extending to analogous processes of large-scale ecology.

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  • Luan
  • 05-06-19

I wanted to love this book

And the content is great, but the narrator makes it so hard, not sure why. I love audiobooks and have never been annoyed by any other narrator.

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  • the wiseman
  • 24-09-18

great ecology book

goes right along with ecology units for biology or environmental science. hits the discovering of keystone species, trophic Cascade, carrying capacity, etc.