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Nature's giants : the biology and evolution of the world's largest lifeforms

Author: Graeme D Ruxton; R Norman Owen-Smith
Publisher: New Haven ; London : Yale University Press, [2019] ©2019
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The colossal plants and animals of our world-dinosaurs, whales, and even trees-are a source of unending fascination, and their sheer scale can be truly impressive. Size is integral to the way that organisms experience the world: a puddle that a human being would step over without thinking is an entire world to thousands of microscopic rotifers. But why are creatures the size that they are? Why aren't bugs the size  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Popular works
Illustrated works
Pictorial works
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Graeme D Ruxton; R Norman Owen-Smith
ISBN: 9780300239881 0300239882
OCLC Number: 1046462480
Description: 224 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Contents: Foreword / by Norman Owen-Smith --
Introduction --
1. Life on a large scale --
2. Dinosaurs --
3. Massive mammals --
4. Giants of the deep --
5. Giants of the skies --
6. Giant insects --
7. Immense invertebrates --
8. Record reptiles and amphibians --
9. Green giants --
Final thoughts : being organized instead of being giant.
Responsibility: Graeme D. Ruxton ; foreword by Norman Owen-Smith.

Abstract:

The colossal plants and animals of our world-dinosaurs, whales, and even trees-are a source of unending fascination, and their sheer scale can be truly impressive. Size is integral to the way that organisms experience the world: a puddle that a human being would step over without thinking is an entire world to thousands of microscopic rotifers. But why are creatures the size that they are? Why aren't bugs the size of elephants, or whales the size of goldfish? In this lavishly illustrated new book, biologist Graeme Ruxton explains how and why nature's giants came to be so big-for example, how decreased oxygen levels limited the size of insects and how island isolation allowed small-bodied animals to evolve larger body sizes. Through a diverse array of examples, from huge butterflies to giant squid, Ruxton explores the physics, biology, and evolutionary drivers behind organism size, showing what it's like to live large.

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"Packed with glossy photos of stomping dinosaurs, belly-flopping whales, colossal squid and even prodigious pumpkins. Both fossils and modern species fill the gallery of giants, and while some Read more...

 
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