Animal Earth: The Amazing Diversity of Living Creatures par Ross Piper

August 23, 2019

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Animal Earth: The Amazing Diversity of Living Creatures par Ross Piper

Titre de livre: Animal Earth: The Amazing Diversity of Living Creatures

Auteur: Ross Piper

ISBN: 0500291659

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The animal kingdom is staggeringly diverse, but the animals that most easily spring to mind the tigers, elephants, eagles and crocodiles, or perhaps amphibians, fish, insects and even humans account for only a tiny proportion of known species. Whats more, there are estimated to be many tens of millions still unknown to science. Animal Earth is an unbiased tour of this world, highlighting the bizarre appearances, hidden lives and mostly small scale of the creatures with whom we share our planet. The bewildering number of animal species are all offshoots from a relatively small number of lineages, all sharing a common body plan and evolutionary history. This book provides a broadly equal summary of each of these thirty-five lineages, and is structured according to the latest research on the evolutionary relationships of the animals. Every species is an integral component of the ecosystem we live in, and as intelligent beings it is our duty to protect and understand animal diversity not only for its own sake but also to maintain the natural systems that keep us and everything else alive.

Table of Contents


Preface
Introduction: Animal Lineages

THE ANIMALS
Ctenophora (comb jellies)
Porifera (sponges)
Placozoa (placozoans)
Cnidaria (jelly fish etc)
Cephalochordata (lancelets)
Tunicata (sea squirts etc)
Craniata (vertebrates etc)
Hemichordata (acorn worms)
Echinodermata (sea stars etc)
Xenoturbellida (strange worms)
Acoelomorpha (acoelomorphs)
Chaetognatha (arrow worms)
Nematoda (nematodes)
Nematomorpha (horsehair worms)
Tardigrada (water bears)
Onychophora (velvet worms)
Arthropoda (arthropods)
Priapulida (penis worms)
Loricifera (brush-heads)
Kinorhyncha (mud-dragons)
Ectoprocta (bryozoans
Entoprocta (goblet animals)
Cycliophora (cycliophorans)
Dicyemida (dicyemids
Orthonectida (orthonectids)
Annelida (annelids)
Mollusca (molluscs)
Nemertea (ribbon worms)
Brachiopoda (lamp shells)
Phoronida (horseshoe worms)
Gastrotricha (gastrotrichs)
Platyhelminthes (flatworms etc)
Gnathostomulida (jaw worms)
Rotifera (rotifers)
Micrognathozoa (jaw animals)

Summary Table
Glossary
Further Reading
Acknowledgments
Index

Review
This is a fascinating book that will stir anyone's interest in nature's curiosities. --Outdoor Photography

From the Inside Flap
With vivid, prismatic photos, zoologist Piper offers encounters with dozens of improbable-looking but beautiful organisms you've never heard of." -Entertainment Weekly
What most think of as the animal kingdom-from elephants to amphibians-in fact accounts for only a tiny portion of the tens of millions of species that scientists speculate inhabit planet Earth. Animal Earth is an unbiased tour of this still largely undiscovered world, illuminating the bizarre appearances and hidden lives of the creatures that share our planet, but which we've rarely, if ever, seen.

What is perhaps more surprising is that this bewildering range of animal species can be traced to a small number of lineages, sharing a common body plan and evolutionary history. Animal Earth not only provides an evenhanded summary of each but also reflects the latest research on the evolutionary relationships between species. How they all fit in the tree of life is a topic that has been debated for decades, not least because new species are being discovered all the time; some lesser-known lineages, such as the Chaetognatha (arrow worms) and Xenoturbellida (strange worms) continue to defy classification.

Given our technological achievements, humans are in a uniquely privileged position to protect animal diversity. As Ross Piper makes clear, each species is an integral component of the ecosystem we live in, and we protect animal diversity not only for its own sake but to maintain the natural systems that keep us alive. 540 color illustrations


Ross Piper, PhD, is a zoologist and writer based in the United Kingdom.

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