Mammals A Very Short Introduction

Author: T. S. Kemp
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019107957X
File Size: 72,39 MB
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From a modest beginning in the form of a little shrew-like, nocturnal, insect eating ancestor that lived 200 million years ago, mammals evolved into the huge variety of different kinds of animals we see today. Many species are still small, and follow the lifestyle of the ancestor, but others have adapted to become large grazers and browsers, like the antelopes, cattle, rhinos, and elephants, or the lions, hyaenas, and wolves that prey upon them. Yet others evolved to be specialist termite eaters able to dig into the hardest mounds, or tunnel creating burrowers, and a few took to the skies as gliders and the bats. Many live partly in the water, such as otters, beavers, and hippos, while whales and dugongs remain permanently in the seas, incapable of ever emerging onto land. In this Very Short Introduction T. S. Kemp explains how it is a tenfold increase in metabolic rate - endothermy or "warm-bloodedness" - that lies behind the high levels of activity, and the relatively huge brain associated with complex, adaptable behaviour that epitomizes mammals. He describes the remarkable fossil record, revealing how and when the mammals gained their characteristics, and the tortuous course of their subsequent evolution, during which many bizarre forms such as sabre-toothed cats, and 30-tonne, 6-m high browsers arose and disappeared. Describing the wonderful adaptations that mammals evolved to suit their varied modes of life, he also looks at those of the mainly arboreal primates that culminated ultimately in Homo sapiens. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Teeth A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter S. Ungar
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199670595
File Size: 80,82 MB
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Teeth are amazing - the product of half a billion years of evolution. They provide fuel for the body by breaking apart other living things; and they must do it again and again over a lifetime without themselves being broken in the process. In this Very Short Introduction, Peter S. Ungar, an award-winning author and leading scientist, presents the story of teeth. Ungar outlines the key concepts, including insights into the origin of teeth and theirevolution. Considering why teeth are important, he describes how they are made, and how they work, including their fundamental importance in the fossil record. Ungar finishes with a review of mammal teeth, looking athow they evolved and how recent changes to our diet are now affecting dental health.

The Animal Kingdom A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter Holland
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199593213
File Size: 61,60 MB
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Molecular biology has revolutionized our understanding of animals and their evolution. In this Very Short Introduction, Peter Holland provides an authoritative summary of the modern view of animal life, its origins, and the new classification resulting from DNA studies.

Animal Behaviour

Author: Tristram D. Wyatt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198712154
File Size: 35,16 MB
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Animal behaviour is a central topic of zoology, and with the development of ideas concerning the role of genes as well as environment the subject has been transformed. Tristram Wyatt gives a modern view, including a sense of the power of gene knock-outs, computing and image analysis to enable detailed experiments and observations of behaviour.


Author: Christopher Cooper
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199581452
File Size: 61,33 MB
Format: PDF
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Le rabat de la couverture indique : Blood is a vital fluid with a profound cultural and historical significance. Long considered the essence of life, blood pumps through our language and religion, and is a major diagnostic tool in the doctor's armoury. This Very Short Introduction explores early views of blood, our modern understanding of its nature and components, and future possibilities, such as artificial blood. Chris Cooper gets to the heart of this fascinating topic, covering the basic biology of blood, and the role of blood transfusions, blood tests, and the treatment of blood-borne diseases in modern medicine.


Author: John H. Holland
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199662541
File Size: 60,47 MB
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In this Very Short Introduction, John Holland presents an introduction to the science of complexity. Using examples from biology and economics, he shows how complexity science models the behaviour of complex systems.

Marine Biology A Very Short Introduction

Author: Philip V. Mladenov
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199695059
File Size: 71,89 MB
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In this Very Short Introduction, Philip Mladenov provides a fascinating overview of marine biology. Including a tour of marine life and marine processes that ranges from the polar oceans to tropical coral reefs, he outlines the principles of marine biology whilst demonstrating the fundamental impact humans have on the oceans and their ecology.

The History Of Life A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michael J. Benton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199226326
File Size: 63,36 MB
Format: PDF
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This Very Short Introduction presents a succinct and accessible guide to the key episodes in the story of life on earth - from the very origins of life four million years ago to the extraordinary diversity of species around the globe today.

Animal Rights A Very Short Introduction

Author: David DeGrazia
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780192853608
File Size: 78,88 MB
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Do animals have moral rights? If so what does this mean? What sorts of mental lives do animals have, and how should we understand their welfare? This fascinating introduction to the rights of animals addresses these perplexing questions, and explores their implications in contexts such as food consumption, zoos, and research.

Darwin A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Howard
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 0192854542
File Size: 26,36 MB
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Arguments still rage about the implications of the evolutionary theory, and scepticism about Darwin's contribution to knowledge is widespread. This accessible study reasserts the importance of Darwin's work for the development of modern biology.