At the Water's Edge: Fish with Fingers, Whales with Legs, and How Life Came Ashore But Then Went Back to Sea: Fish with

by Carl Zimmer


Macroevolution is the interesting part of evolution: the rise and fall of major groups like dinosaurs or horses, the development of whole new organs (like eyes) and ways of life (like pollination). Such changes are difficult to study, and harder still to prove. Carl Zimmer looks at metamorphoses across the boundary between land and sea: how fish learned to walk on land, and how whales went back to the ocean. "The story of each of these transformations hides its own unexpected details, as startling as the skyward eyes that sat on top of our ancestors' heads or the delicate toes that turned up in the equation of a whale." Zimmer's account is accurate yet lively, covering recent discoveries in taxonomy and dolphin intelligence, embryology and eight-toed fossil fish. --Mary Ellen Curtin

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