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