We not only share nearly 99% of our genes with chimps, we also have some 35% in common with daffodils. Throughout much of the animal and even plant kingdoms, almost the same ancient genes code for almost the same proteins. And further, to everyone's astonishment, the genes involved in making the complex eyes of fruitflies are close matches to those involved in making the very different eyes of octopuses and people. So what leads to the nature's 'endless forms most beautiful'? bThe key to this mystery is being unravelled by 'Evo Devo' or the new science of evolutionary development biology. By looking at how a single-celled egg gives rise to a complex, multi-billion celled animal, Evo Devo is illuminating exactly how new species - butterflies and zebras, trilobites and dinosaurs, apes and humans - are made and evolved. The key, it turns out, is all about location and timing... bFor anyone who has ever pondered 'where did I come from', Endless Forms Most Beautiful explores our history, both the journey we have all made from egg to adult, and the long trek from the origin of life to the very recent origin of our species.
In 1809, when Darwin was born, much of the world was an unexplored wilderness. Our knowledge of the past was nonexistent, and our picture of our species' history little more than a set of fantastic myths and fairytales. But a new era was dawning. Five decades later, On the Origin of the Species was able to draw on the pioneering work of explorers and naturalists to produce a theory that revolutionized our conception of our world. And the revolution didn't stop with the publication of Darwin's masterwork. 150 years later, his 'dangerous idea' is still headline news, denied by many, capable of enraging and dividing, even as biologists decipher the 3-billion-year history of life as written in our very DNA.
/> This book tells the stories of the most dramatic adventures and important discoveries in two centuries of natural history - from Alexander von Humboldt's epic journeys in South America to the hi-tech genome-reading projects making headlines today - and how they gave birth to and have nourished the evolution revolution.