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NEW PUBLICATION

Beyond Extinction, The Eternal Ocean: Climate change & the continuity of life

Product Code: MPBEX
Series: Miscellaneous titles
Author/Editor: By Wolfgang Grulke
Publication Date: 01 July 2019
There is 1 review for this product | Add a review

Description

Published by At One Communications.

Format: 252 x 297mm, landscape, hardback 

The ocean is the womb of all life on earth. It is beautiful and bizarre, violent and mysterious. Inhabited by a cast of characters stolen from fantasy, it’s a dystopian world where dragons are real, and monsters are commonplace. 
Today's spectacular marine life has an ancient history preserved in stone - fossil strata that read like dramatic pages from the longest story ever told: tales of evolution, extinction, and surprising continuity. 
Having thrived a tumultuous 500 million years, this marine kingdom is now challenged by a new, arrogant and domineering life form. 

This book looks beyond the media focus on climate change and extinction to celebrate the continuity of ocean life. The author takes you on a personal journey to explore origins and destinies, from primordial soup to today’s threatened oceans - towards a future we can influence. We always have a choice.

Sample pages

Beyond Extinction sample pages

Geoscientist book review



By the same author: Nautilus, Beautiful Survivor: 500 million years of evolutionary history

Nautilus

Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN:
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 9781916039407
Publisher: At One Communications
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 224
Weight: 2 kg

Contents

Reviews

Simon Kettle
19.06.2019

This visually stunning book is summarised superbly by the author: “This book is nothing more than an unbridled celebration of life, over time, in that eternal ocean”. The work explores, as discovered through the personal journey of the author, the history and evolution of life, its role in the Earth system and how we fit into it. The book successfully breaks down complex issues including the evolution of life and deep time into understandable bits.

We begin at Earth’s creation during the Hadean which, after a million-year downpour, resulted in a vast ocean filled with anaerobic marine life. Slowly but surely that life, fighting the rusting of Earth’s crust, altered the composition of the atmosphere to one rich in oxygen, leading to the dominance of aerobic life and ultimately us, Homo Sapiens.

The book continues with a chronology that tracks the evolution of life and Earth up to and including the brief evolution and history of Homo Sapiens, into the Enlightenment of the 18th Century. This section focusses on geology and fossils and how their discovery has ultimately led to enlightened rationalism and understanding of geologic time.

With this understanding of ancient life and the concept of deep time, it is possible for us to understand how the world was not all that different “back then” and in fact life’s story is more about continuity than extinction. The text investigates mass-extinction events and, with a focus on animals, uses examples, charts and beautiful images. A traffic light system of species extinction, biological/evolutionary innovation and species continuations are presented. These sections explore evolutionary innovations, including skeletons, eyes, the egg and the migration of animals from the oceans to land, as well as departures from the fossils record, like the Trilobites, Belemnites, Ammonites and “Sea Dragons”, amongst others.

However, the primary message of this book can be found in the chapter on Continuities, which, through a multitude of phyla (including Cnidaria, Mollusca, Echinodermata etc.), explores the idea that life tends towards continuity and not change. This message of continuity is described very well. When asked “How do you survive a catastrophe?” Just ask any Nautilus as they thrived for 500 million years, living through five mass-extinctions! The final chapter discusses our place in this world, considering what we have learnt about deep time and the continuity of life.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It is a strong story about where our species fits on Earth.

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