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Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind
 
 
Author
Richard Fortey.
Publisher Vintage  
Format paperback
ISBN 9780307275530
Pages/Publication Date 332/2012
Daedalus Item Code 29378
This item is not available.
Description
A past president of the Geological Society of London and winner of the Michael Faraday Prize, the author of Life: A Natural History of Four Billion Years of Life on Earth and Dry Storeroom No. 1 here proves to be as engaging and inspiring when writing about earth's oldest surviving species as he is discussing the fossils of their contemporaries. Paleontologist Richard Fortey introduces us to remarkable plants and animals that form a living record of seminal events in geological time. Taking us from a moonlit beach in Delaware, where the hardy horseshoe crab shuffles its way to a frenzy of mass mating as it did 450 million years ago, to the dense rainforests of New Zealand, where the elusive velvet worm has burrowed deep into rotting timber since before the breakup of the ancient supercontinent, Fortey's infectious enthusiasm is "an inducement to be as awake and observant as possible," writes Dwight Garner in the New York Times. "Mr. Fortey is as vivid and charming about live things as he's long been about dead ones, perhaps even more so. Reading this book is like stepping into the field with a man who's equal parts naturalist and poet, let's say equal parts E.O. Wilson and Paul Muldoon. It's a bewitching combination.... His book is not only well built and witty but emotionally profound too."

"A lively writer with a penchant for slightly goofy jokes, a vast storehouse of arcane knowledge, and an inexhaustible fund of enthusiasm for his subject, Fortey is the perfect interpreter and guide to the marvels and mysteries of archaic existence."Boston Globe

 
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