The Monkey's Voyage

The Monkey's Voyage

How Improbable Journeys Shaped the History of Life

Book - 2013
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How did species wind up where they are today? Scientists have long conjectured that plants and animals dispersed throughout the world by drifting on large landmasses as they broke up, but in The Monkey's Voyage , biologist Alan de Queiroz offers a radical new theory that displaces this passive view. He describes how species as diverse as monkeys, baobab trees, and burrowing lizards made incredible long-distance ocean crossings: pregnant animals and wind-blown plants rode rafts and icebergs and even stowed away on the legs of sea-going birds to create the map of life we see today. In the tradition of John McPhee's Basin and Range and David Quammen's The Song of the Dodo , The Monkey's Voyage is a beautifully told narrative of a profound investigation into the importance of contingency in history and the nature of scientific discovery.
Publisher: New York :, Basic Books,, '2013.
ISBN: 9780465069767
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file,rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor


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Mar 09, 2016

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It's well- written, and appropriate for anyone with an interest in evolutionary biology from high school age onward, although the science gets a bit intricate at times.
The author is primarily concerned with the spread of organisms to now-isolated land masses, such as islands, and how it occurred. He finds some surprising evidence for long ocean voyages by unexpected types.
I thought that the strongest part of the book was the portrayal of how science actually works, with different ideas becoming popular or unpopular as evidence is gathered, sometimes from unexpected sources. Some of the cover blurbs had me concerned that it might be merely an exposition of the author's pet theory, but he gave good references, and was fair and courteous to those he disagreed with.

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Mar 09, 2016

JohnAPollack thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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