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After Man: A Zoology of the Future [Paperback]

by Dougal Dixon
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 15, 1998 0312194331 978-0312194338 1st
What exotic creatures does tomorrow hold? Dougal Dixon's classic work of speculative anthropology blends science and fantasy in a stunning zoology of the future.

Editorial Reviews


"Uncannily believable. Dixon's invented animals, some of them beautiful enough to live, engender reflection about the mysterious forces at work beneath the skin of real animals." --The New York Times Book Review

"A fascinating, elegant fantasy." --Boston Globe

"After Man is grand fun and marvelously imaginative." --The Los Angeles Times Book Review

"[Dixon's] brief explanation of the principles of evolution is so lucid, and the detailed illustrations of futuristic beasts are so charming, that After Man is bound to captivate readers of all ages." --Chicago Sun-Times

"An extraordinary book! There are wonders on every page. After Man is an extrapolative tour de force." --Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

"Stunning in execution and implication, this will be a decided treat for futurist biology student or enthusiast, science fiction fan and general reader." --Booklist

About the Author

Dougal Dixon studied geology and paleontology at the University of St. Andrews, where he continued as a research student to revise the standard work on the palaeogeography of the British Isles. In recent years he has worked in publishing and has contributed numerous articles about earth science and evolution to encyclopedias and popular science books.

Model making and the creation of animated films occupy much of his spare time.

The idea of writing about evolution looking forwards rather than backwards was not a sudden inspiration but has been evolving in the author's mind ever since his college days.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (September 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312194331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312194338
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 9.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost like a science book... March 14, 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What would happen if mankind disappeared and the animals of Earth went back to following the rules of evolution? This book will show you. Each part of the book deals with another region of the Earth; deserts, glasslands, polar regions and so on. See meat-eating predators evolved from rats and bats, large grazers and browsers developed from fast breeding rabbits and the sea going creatures descended from penguins.
Like the book 'Man After Man', the book starts off with science chapters that in this case do their best to explain evolution, the food chain and the history of life on Earth.
Unlike 'Man After Man' it is not set up like a story, but a true non-fiction text book, like one you might have in a class room or while out camping. It also has maps and gives you information on the environments and what changes have happened to the Earth during the 50 million years. With just over 120 pages and full of color pictures, I wish there had been more! 'Man After Man' felt longer because it had more text and less pictures.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative, educational, and just plain fun! November 20, 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"After Man" is one of the most engaging, creative books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. While one might think from its outlandish illustrations that it is a book for children, this is simply not the case. That's not to say a ten or eleven year old wouldn't enjoy this book, but there's plenty an adult can take away from it as well.
Beginning with a basic review of the principles of biology and evolution, Dixon proceeds to apply them across a range of environments on an Earth 50 million years removed from mankind. The result is a menagerie of remarkable creatures. Remarkable in that they are frequently unique, even bizarre, but even more remarkable because they represent the result of a familiar creature's evolution. Dixon's world isn't a fantasyland, every creature in it holds true to the principles he so effectively explains in the first chapter. Moreover, they all fill an important ecological niche; he hasn't created 150 pages of carnivores. Rather, he presents a balanced, albeit limited, ecosystem that sheds light on the state of our own environment today.
Beautifully illustrated and highly engaging, "After Man" is a must read for anyone interested in evolution and anthropology. Furthermore, this book is educational without being heavy handed. One by no means needs to be an expert to learn from and enjoy this very unique work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best "future evolution" book along with TFIW!!! January 30, 2004
This Dougal Dixon guy knows his stuff. I really enjoyed this book because the creatures in it could easily evolve alongside the ones from "The Future is Wild." Sure, they may look like Pokemon, but there'd be no reason or method for most Pokemon to actually evolve. These creatures actually *could* very well exist one day, if the Earth changes the way science predicts it will. There really isn't much to say except: 1) Good pictures, lousy cursive captions. They're tiny and hard to read. 2) IT'S A GOOD BOOK! You should read it.

Now, to comment on some of the animals depicted within its pages.
---In the future, I might want to get reincarnated as a Rabbuck. These tall giraffe/deer/rabbit cross-looking things are cool, especially the Arctic one, which looks like some kind of llama mixed with a sheepdog and an Afghan hound.
---The Falanx is a brutal predator with the legs of a hound dog and the body of a very large weasel.
---The reedstilt, seen on the cover, is one fantastically imagined animal: using its thin legs to stand in the water and fish, it catches prey by pretending its legs are simply reeds. An interesting body with many extra neck vertebrae make this one of my favorites in the book.
---Hornheads are moose/mammoth looking creatures with large bony growths on their heads.
---The pamthret looks like a pine marten or some other creature from that family, mixed with a lion.
---The chiselhead is a bizarre squirrel with enormous teeth and jaws.
The Truteal is an extremely cute little teal thing. A blind, nocturnal animal might not sound too adorable, but it is.

---My favorite animal in "After Man" is the Shurrack, which strikes me as a cheetah crossed with a Scottish Deerhound.
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly inspirational book! August 5, 2004
I bought my copy of this book in 1992 and not a day goes by since then that I haven't stopped imagining myself what the animals of the future world will look like. Unfortunately there aren't many scientists thinking about this side of zoology and evolution, so when I see a book about this kind of subject I snap it up like a flash! I was highly disappointed by Animal Planet's "The Future is Wild", but NOT this book! This book thrills me to no end. It only has a relatively few pages, but it has inspired a whole world of imagination for me! My favorite animals in this book is hands down the predatory rats. To look in this book is to view the "real" Age of Mammals in the way it should be. I refer everybody who views my webpage (about future mammal evolution) to this book, and I hope they enjoy it as much as I do.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most amazing books I have ever read! May 10, 1999
By A Customer
The first time I saw "After Man" was in sixth grade. Our science teacher used it for a project, where we designed a 'creature' of our own - however, it was returned to the library before I read it, and I thought I would never see it again - I was estactic when I found "After Man" in my public library. The book was much better than I had ever remembered, and besides being educational, it's beautifully illustrated and just plain fun! If this book can't spark your interest, you're in trouble. :) I also find it to be a good 'idea resource' for my fantasy writing - it gets me thinking and gives me seeds of ideas that I use to create plausible animals.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed the author's imagination
I really enjoyed the author's imagination, but even more appreciated the way it illustrated how adaptation works. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Edwin L. Powers
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy with my book
I was very pleased with my purchase, and the overall experience. I would defenetly recommend this to my friends and family
Published 1 month ago by Ricardo Rivera
5.0 out of 5 stars Son loves it
My eleven year old son actually asked for this book by name. So Santa had to buy it used because it is out of print. It came in great condition, I was surprised. He love it.
Published 3 months ago by maria mihailos
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book.
This book is amazing and it is out of print, so you should buy it if you find it. You can't have this one, though. I bought it and it's MINE. Yeah.
Published 4 months ago by Amoeba
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clever Bestiary of the Future
Dougal Dixon's book AFTER MAN is an "imaginary zoology" of the Earth 40 million years from now, after humanity dies out in a massive environmental disaster, and sits on the fine... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Greg Goebel
5.0 out of 5 stars My little brother loved it!
It was a bit expensive but he's spent the last two weeks drawing futuristic animals from the book and he can't stop talking about it, so it was well worth it :)
Published 13 months ago by Andréa
5.0 out of 5 stars An Educational Fantasy
Like many children, I was fascinated with prehistoric animals and animals of fantasy and science fiction. Read more
Published on February 8, 2012 by Steven L. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!
I never thought I'd see this book available anywhere as it is no longer in print. I first saw this book in my local library as a child back in the early 1980's!! Read more
Published on February 17, 2011 by JMM
4.0 out of 5 stars Hardly perfect, but this colorful, original book captures the...
50 Million years after the decline of man, the world's geography has changed and a whole new variety of animals have evolved to inhabit its ecosystems. Read more
Published on February 28, 2010 by Juushika
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, But Where's the Science?
The illustrations are nice, but After Man only touches on one period of time in the future. The books also doesn't explain the scientific basis for its speculations very well. Read more
Published on March 16, 2009 by Abyssal
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