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Evolution Updated Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1609803681
ISBN-10: 160980368X
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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.

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 Victor Hugo, Georges Simenon, and Milan Kundera, among others.
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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: 7 x 1.6 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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This book is divided into 44 mini-articles about various topics in skeletal anatomy, then photographs of skeletons illustrating that topic. For example, Chapter 16 is "The Sparrow's Beak", and a brief amount of information relating to the diversity that sparrows beaks come in is given, followed by photos of various species of sparrow skulls.

The articles are a page or two long, informative without being too technical, and translated fluently (this was a concern of mine before buying it).

I ostensibly bought this book to share with my 6 yr old son, and he enjoys looking at the pictures with me, but the text is unmistakably geared to adults.

It is also not a treatise on proving that evolution occurred, it has a general assumption that the reader understands the concept of natural selection and the basic processes of evolution.

The only thing that I could see making this book bigger would be if it were larger - it is sized to fit on a standard bookshelf. If I found this book in a coffee-table sized edition, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Note: There is a larger previous edition from 2007 of this book, one that has a rattlesnake skeleton on the front. This version is apparently smaller, alas.
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