Posted 20 hours ago

A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth: 4.6 Billion Years in 12 Pithy Chapters

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This book gives a fascinating and easily understandable overview of the rise and progress of life on Earth. It's a must-read for anyone interested in this topic. Schade, dass es außer den schematischen Karten der Erdzeitalter keine Illustrationen gibt, die diese Vielfalt auch optisch verdeutlichen, obwohl die für ein Sachbuch durchaus bildhafte Schreibweise doch die Vorstellungskraft anregt. Wer als Kind mit Dinosauriern auf du und du war, ist hier klar im Vorteil. Der Anspruch, das zeigt schon der Titel, ist nicht, das endgültige Buch über die Geschichte des Lebens auf der Erde zu schreiben, sondern einen Abriss in für Laien verständlicher Form zu geben und eine Einordnung zu versuchen.

Exhilaratingly whizzes through billions of years . . . Gee is a marvellously engaging writer' - The Timesthis book is like a tldr of earths history - geological history, evolutionary history. the concepts can be so difficult to grasp at times, I felt like wanting to know why a certain thing happened a little bit more, not just read in a sentence. The Earth’s heat, radiating outward from the molten core, keeps the planet forever on the boil, just like a pan of water simmering on a stove. Heat rising to the surface softens the overlying layers, breaking up the less dense but more solid crust into pieces and, forcing them apart, creates new oceans between. These pieces, the tectonic plates, are forever in motion. They bump against, slide past, or burrow beneath one another. This movement carves deep trenches in the ocean floor and raises mountains high above it. It causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. It builds new land. definitely feels rushed at several chapters (especially chapter 3, 4), with a lot of facts that fit well into the bigger picture, but many of those facts are well forgotten.

The Times This is now the best book available about the huge changes in our planet and its living creatures, over the billions of years of the Earth’s existence . . . Henry Gee makes this kaleidoscopically changing canvas of life understandable and exciting. Who will enjoy reading this book? Everybody! 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. A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth: 4.6 Billion Years in 12 Pithy Chapters, by Henry Gee, is an interesting little book on the history of life on Earth. Of course, a small book such as this will not, in any way, exhaustively cover any of the topics or lifeforms contained within. It does, however, give a very approachable overview of the subject, and with an extensive source list, and further reading list within, it also gives the reader next steps if they wish to drill down on any one topic. This book examines life as we know it so far, from its earliest theorized state, with cells beginning to cooperate and form more complex structures, to the advent of single cell, and multicellular life, and its slow evolution into more complex and specialized forms. The pursuit of nutrients, and the need to survive both the harsh radiation from the sun, and the changing climate of the Earth, led to numerous innovations for protection, efficient use and storage of energy, and reproduction, amongst other needs. Gee has captivated my attention with this book, giving brief tidbits of information on life from the earliest points in their history, up to the present day.Skipping ahead, we go through time, from one great extinction to another, and we learn of some of the fantastic beasts and creatures that lived in-between them. Their rise and fall. We discuss the dinosaurs, these amazing creatures, and how they evolved into the titans that they were. We explore ideas and continue on through time, viewing it all like a window passing by, we see the dinosaurs die. We see the world go through the tumult as it had never been through before. The asteroid that wiped the earth out, would be the key in setting up our deep ancestors for success, which eventually would lead to us. Some hundreds of million years from now, Earth will become uninhabitable to even the hardiest organ isms, spelling the final doom for Earth-evolved life—unless, perhaps, some earthlings manage to escape into space first. Meanwhile, the reader is rewarded with a deeper appreciation of our own place in the grand scheme of life, where even the best-adapted species disappear within a time that is minute on the scale of evolution.

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