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Sunday, 8 March 2020

Book Review - The Invertebrate Tree of Life - Princeton University Press

     It is a long time since I studied invertebrate zoology and even then it was not a favourite topic. A more enervated teacher would have helped, but a book like this would have spurred me on!



     I am not sure that a more comprehensive review of the origins and development of invertebrates could be assembled, dealing with morphology, ecology, and everything else, all grounded in the framework of geological time. It brings together so many disciplines, it is impossible not to be impressed with the level of research and the degree of scholarship involved in this work.
     It spans an audience from undergraduate students to seasoned professionals. For those passionate about the subject it will become a fixture on their desks, for those who take a course because they need a credit, an invaluable tool in their understanding of invertebrates and the extent to which current research is rooted in genomics. It may even encourage students with curious minds to want to know more, and to follow willingly what was initially a means to an end.
    The authors, Gonzalo Giribet and Gregory D. Edgecombe, have been in the forefront of research for over twenty years and a search of the literature reveals their imposing presence over this period. Indeed their names are peppered throughout a bibliography spanning a staggering one hundred and one pages!
     The book is organized in chapters reflecting the phylogenetic sequence of organisms and their relationships. In each case there is a section covering the fossil record. Controversies are frankly discussed and current debates explored fully.
     The book is illustrated with colour and black-and-white photographs, and with a range of charts and diagrams to complement a comprehensive text. 
     It is in all respects a work of great scholarship, a masterpiece of science, a book for its time. 

The Invertebrate Tree of Life
Gonzalo Giribet and Gregory D. Edgecombe
Hardcover - US$85.00 - 9780691170251 - 608 pages - 45 colour and 61 black-and-white illustrations - 8 in. x 10 in. (20 cm x 25 cm)
Publication date: 03 March 2020

30 comments:

  1. It sounds interesting but I agree it was not top of my list when I was doing Zoology. So many things though have changed in my life. Insects have become very interesting and in summer we have a good supply. At school I hated history, now it is all around me and I cannot get enough information.
    Have a good week, cheers Diane

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    1. I suspect it is true for many of us, Diane. We didn't relish certain topics when we had no choice, but later in life they become very interesting indeed.

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  2. A must-have book for biologists and anyone interested in invertebrates. Must be very interesting ...
    Thanks for recomendacion!

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  3. I must confess that this is a subject which I always managed to avoid, but your recommendations of a book which you found to be so good and comprehensive will perhaps encourage some students to take an interest it. Have a great day, regards, Valerie

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    1. I suspect many tried to avoid it, Valerie. It really is a fascinating world, however.

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  4. Wonderful book, David. I have never thought so much about them before.

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    1. And they will be a permanent feature in your garden, Marit.

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  5. How I would love to browse your bookshelves. Endless learning and fascination - which is true of most bookshelves to me.
    The invertebrates are intriguing critters and we still have a lot to learn about them, and their place in the world.

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  6. Your bookshelves and your books would be fascinating.

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  7. How on Earth am is supposed to save money when people keep posting things like this on-line! Looks great - off to Amazon I go!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  8. J'ai un vieux livres sur les invertébrés, insectes, il est assez complet mais depuis beaucoup de choses seraient à modifier je pense.
    Bonne journée

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  9. Hello David, A world I know not much about but so important!!
    Thank you for bringing this book to my atention.
    Regards,
    Roos

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  10. Nice review, David. Another wonderful book for your collection.

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  11. A fascinating book if it is a subject you wish to pursue. I love that first picture. I also love your picture of the red wing blackbird.

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  12. Det är en bok som jag skulle gilla, det vet jag. Ju mer jag lär mig om naturen, desto mer fascinerad blir jag över alla små varelser som är så viktiga för våra ekosystem. Detta att allt hänger ihop och har en betydelse även om vi inte äger full kunskap ännu.
    Jag ägnade mitt yrkesliv åt människor som lever under svåra omständigheter och min nyfikenhet på naturen uppstod sent i livet. Idag skulle jag göra ett annat val.

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  13. Al parecer por tu comentario amigo David es un gran libro para los amantes de tan maravilloso mundo. Como siempre muy buenas recomendaciones por tu parte.
    Un fuerte abrazo amigo y compadre David.

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  14. The cover image is very successful.

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  15. I've always been fascinated by invertebrates. Perhaps my experiences as a gardener have contributed to that. Invertebrates of many kinds are the friends of organic gardeners who seek to make their gardens welcoming habitats for wildlife.

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  16. This looks to be a productive and possibly fun read to understanding our world. Like all creatures, they play a significant role in nature’s balance. Without having one of their own, invertebrate are in some ways the backbone of a healthy environment.

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  17. It's been a pleasure being introduced to so many of these books I otherwise wouldn't notice. I went to ye olde Wiki to refresh my memory about what constitutes an invertebrate, and realized my understanding was limited at best. I wouldn't have naturally thought of fireflies or water striders as invertebrates, but of course they are. There are more than snakes and snails in that book!

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  18. Chances are I won't be buying this one but not because of your review -- just out of my wheelhouse! You do write very interesting reviews.

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    1. It's just like genealogy, Jeanie - right up your alley!

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  19. Very interesting book and review.
    I need to be interested in this topic.
    Hugs and greetings.
    Lucja

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  20. Hi David - sounds a brilliant book ... I bet it'll be in every university for research purposes and other similar institutions. I'd love to live in London or another large city, so I could get to spend an hour or two at a large library browsing through some of the books you mention - this is definitely one. Thanks ... Princeton are peer publishers ... cheers Hilary

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  21. Este libro me vendría muy bien. Besos.

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  22. On the first set of birds their breast feathers are incredible!

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  23. Querido David este libro me interesa mucho, muchas gracias. Besos.

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