After Man: A Zoology of the Future by Dougal Dixon (1982-11-04) Paperback – January 1, 1856
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There was one questionable incident though. It said that it was being shipped from the UK, so the higher shipping price didn't bother me. But when I received it, it very clearly had been shipped to me from Michigan (I am in CA). I don't know what that was all about- if it was an honest mistake, or a ruse to collect more $ via shipping.
I'm just happy with the book & am excitedly waiting for my friend to receive it in the mail as a gift. I know he will love it.
I love the drawings, particular of naked Sandsharks that look like something from the spice worms of Dune, Striger cats that have prehensile tails and grasping paws, Predator Rats, Swimming Monkeys, the penguin become 12 meter whale-like plankton-eating Vortex, Slobbers who catch insects with their slobber, and look like a marsupial bundle of moss, and bipedal walking screaming 1.5m tall bats, the Night Stalkers. Some of these ideas may sound outlandish- a good number of them certainly are. But the best part is Dixon gives solid evolutionary theory for how each would evolve, dictated by a changing environment and the raw material of previous genetic code. So we get classic island giganticism and the freedom of evolution on islands. We get the foreseeable continual development of symbiosis between antelopes and tick birds, such that now the tick birds nest in a special dorsal cleft on the antelope. And those animals that are the most successful today, such as the rodents, insectivores, and lagomorphs (especially rats and rabbits) are the ones with the greatest opportunity for diversity in the future.
I would highly recommend this book for any student of evolution. It's not fact; it's simply based on sound theory. It's the best kind of science fiction, as it all could happen. It's certainly fiction, but more than fiction, as it will help you contemplate the foundational truths of evolution.
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.
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.