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Evolution Hardcover – November 15, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1609803681 ISBN-10: 160980368X Edition: Updated

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; Updated edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160980368X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609803681
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 7 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JEAN-BAPTISTE DE PANAFIEU is a professor of natural sciences and a doctor of biological oceanography, as well as a documentarian and author. Photographer PATRICK GRIES has photographed over two thousand artworks for the Quai Branly Museum and collaborated with the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art. LINDA ASHER is a former fiction editor at the New Yorker and the translator of works by writers such as Victor Hugo, Georges Simenon, and Milan Kundera.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 19 customer reviews
Very cool book.
Chris Crescioli
There are plenty of glossy, coffee table books out there, but while many are filled with beautiful photography very few offer anything of value in the text.
Brian Switek
Thsi book made the day for our daughter, who is a biological anthropologist.
Cabrina G. Moran

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Brian Switek on November 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
There are plenty of glossy, coffee table books out there, but while many are filled with beautiful photography very few offer anything of value in the text. Evolution by Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu (text) and Patrick Gries (photography) is a striking exception, however, the informative prose wonderfully framing some of the best black and white photography that I've seen.

There is something strangely alluring about skeletons; they are not only the functional architecture of the bodies of vertebrates, but also have a strange aesthetic charm, hundreds of millions of years of evolution creating forms that even the most imaginative among us could not dream up. For some creatures, all that we have are bones, the great fossil halls of the world's museums featuring creatures that we are only familiar with due to occasions when taphonomy smiled upon the fortunes of paleontologists that would not be born for millions of years later, themselves creatures that did not have to come into existence had evolution taken a different turn. Indeed, when we want to understand evolution through the mysteries of osteology it is often to fossils that we turn, but evolution is not a directional process with a beginning and an end, the impressiveness of fossils sometimes overshadowing what the bones of living creatures can tell us about evolution. This is the domain of the new book be de Panafieu and Gries, peeling back the layers of flesh that cover bones that will one day be relics of an inaccessible past themselves, and the result is nothing short of impressive.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon mom on December 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Terrific text and wonderful pictures, but I have to say that if you've seen the older, larger version of this book, you may be disappointed. I bought this for my 8 year old who loves animal skeletons. It's sized right for him, but we'd previously had the coffee table book from the library and I wish I'd bought that instead (As I write this, it's still available, used, at less than fifty dollars from third party sellers here on Amazon). It's huge and a little unwieldy, but with that larger version, the pictures take your breath away. Here, well...not so much. In fact, when they're spread over two pages in this smaller version it's actually hard to see what's missing deep in the binding. I recommend that you look for a good used copy of the larger, older edition. This smaller format just doesn't do the photos justice.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chris Crescioli on February 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
My 5 year old daughter, who has declared she wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up, loves this book! We paged through and looked at many skeletons and compared differences. Then the next night we watched a Planet Earth segment and related the living animal to the skeleton. Very cool book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By atahan zugul on September 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just got this today. I bought it as an illustrator and concept artist to be used primarily for reference. The photos are nothing short of brilliant. However the relatively small physical size of the book is a little disappointing and makes the photos difficult to really appreciate - its smaller than a standard A4 page. In addition there are some photos that are double page - however the seam of the book cuts these photos in two - straight through the middle - and with the additional bulk of the book seeing these photos completely is next to impossible. Making it even more painful to use this book for reference. Had the publisher merely printed this book in a larger format - it would be an indispensable source of reference and its photos might have been fully appreciated. Ive yet to read the book - but this wasnt the reason i bought it - i havent seen too many books that show full skeletons of animals and this was why i bought this book - hence the three stars. If anyone knows of any books that have great and extensive pictures of animal bones plz do msg me. Cheers.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Daly on December 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is simply gorgeous, skeletons as art objects, interesting to everyone including young boys. The best coffee table book of the year, except maybe for the U of Chicago's book on deep sea creatures that is just as beautiful. A tie for best of the year.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Shortlidge on December 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is easy to spend hours with this book. The amazing b&w photographs are spare and beautiful, and invite the reader/viewer to look for similarities and differences in all sorts of vertebrates (and a few invertebrates too!)

I think what I did not expect (and which is explained in the text), is that I got a real sense of all of these skeletons as once belonging to individuals; my cousins in the animal kingdom and not just the apes, either. Although, there's one frontal picture of the skull of a small ape/monkey/tree-dweller that looks just like a modern human skull. I mean *just like!*

The text includes rational discussion about evolution and the teaching thereof, plus introduced this American reader to some French scientists and naturalists from the 18th century who were arriving at various non-theological answers to questions about life on earth.

Really, really good. I have seldom encountered a "coffee table" book that offered so much intellectual and visual stimulation.
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