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Extinction By David M. Raup

Extinction
by David M. Raup

In Stock
$16.49
+10% GST
A study which charts the history of evolution from the dawn of life on Earth to the present day. Physical causes of the extinction of numerous species, such as global cooling, volcanism, meteors and the fall of the sea level, are assessed in terms of their plausibility.
5 in stock

Extinction Summary


Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck? by David M. Raup

What brings about the extinction of a species? Is it a genetic flaw or a run of really bad luck? All scientists agree on the fact of extinction, but science has never agreed on its physical causes. From the traditional theory of climatic change to the controversial theory of meteorites, this book investigates each possibility and puts the arguments for and against. Questioning much of the conventional wisdom, this book makes a number of claims, including a theory that blames all significant extinctions on falling meteorites.

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Table of Contents


Part 1 Almost all species are extinct: is extinction important? bad genes or bad luck? the nature of extinction; who studies extinction? a word about the word; species defined; the purpose of extinction, if any. Part 2 A brief history of life: origin of life; complex life; the quality of the fossil record; 600 million years of fussing; a stock market analogy; trilobite eyes; tropical reefs; flying reptiles; human evolution; living fossils. Part 3 Gambler's ruin and other problems: gambling; concepts of randomness; gambling for survival; differing extinction and speciation rates; skewed histograms; other models; a note on extinction of surnames. Part 4 Mass extinctions: the K-T mass extinction; measuring extinction; a note on killing; duration of mass extinctions; do mass extinctions differ from background; the kill curve. Part 5 Selectivity of extinction: Ice Age Blitzkrieg; selectivity of the Blitzkrieg; body size and the K-T extinction; other examples of bias; other examples of selectivity; the Trilobites' bad genes; some implications; summary. Part 6 The search for causes: the rarity of extinction; just so stories; beware of anthropomorphism!; the kill curve revisited. Part 7 Biological causes of extinction: are species and ecosystems fragile? the case of the heath hen; importance of the first strike; problems of small populations; competition; species-area effects; species-area and past extinctions; the great American interchange; the history of tropical rain forests. Part 8 Physical causes of extinction: traditional favourites; sea level and climate; species-area effects; testing sea level and climate; the Pleistocene experience; exotic physical causes; unheard-of volcanism; cosmic causes. Part 9 Rocks falling out of the sky: cratering rates; destructive power; Alvarez and the K-T extinction; periodicity of extinction and nemesis. Part 10 Could all the extinctions be caused by meteorite impact? plausibility arguments; arguments from observation; extinctions are linked to craters; extinctions are not linked to craters; assessment. Part 11 Perspectives on extinction: how to become extinct; wanton extinction; the role of extinction in evolution; bad genes or bad luck?; a note on extinctions today. Epilogue: did we choose a safe planet?.

Additional information

GOR003347277
Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck? by David M. Raup
David M. Raup
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Oxford University Press
1993-02-18
227
0192861581
9780192861580
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.