why size matters from bacteria to blue whales

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Why Size Matters

Author : John Tyler Bonner
ISBN : 9781400837557
Genre : Science
File Size : 32. 75 MB
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John Tyler Bonner, one of our most distinguished and creative biologists, here offers a completely new perspective on the role of size in biology. In his hallmark friendly style, he explores the universal impact of being the right size. By examining stories ranging from Alice in Wonderland to Gulliver's Travels, he shows that humans have always been fascinated by things big and small. Why then does size always reside on the fringes of science and never on the center stage? Why do biologists and others ponder size only when studying something else--running speed, life span, or metabolism? Why Size Matters, a pioneering book of big ideas in a compact size, gives size its due by presenting a profound yet lucid overview of what we know about its role in the living world. Bonner argues that size really does matter--that it is the supreme and universal determinant of what any organism can be and do. For example, because tiny creatures are subject primarily to forces of cohesion and larger beasts to gravity, a fly can easily walk up a wall, something we humans cannot even begin to imagine doing. Bonner introduces us to size through the giants and dwarfs of human, animal, and plant history and then explores questions including the physics of size as it affects biology, the evolution of size over geological time, and the role of size in the function and longevity of living things. As this elegantly written book shows, size affects life in its every aspect. It is a universal frame from which nothing escapes.

Randomness In Evolution

Author : John Tyler Bonner
ISBN : 9781400846429
Genre : Science
File Size : 28. 20 MB
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John Tyler Bonner, one of our most distinguished and insightful biologists, here challenges a central tenet of evolutionary biology. In this concise, elegantly written book, he makes the bold and provocative claim that some biological diversity may be explained by something other than natural selection. With his customary wit and accessible style, Bonner makes an argument for the underappreciated role that randomness--or chance--plays in evolution. Due to the tremendous and enduring influence of Darwin's natural selection, the importance of randomness has been to some extent overshadowed. Bonner shows how the effects of randomness differ for organisms of different sizes, and how the smaller an organism is, the more likely it is that morphological differences will be random and selection may not be involved to any degree. He traces the increase in size and complexity of organisms over geological time, and looks at the varying significance of randomness at different size levels, from microorganisms to large mammals. Bonner also discusses how sexual cycles vary depending on size and complexity, and how the trend away from randomness in higher forms has even been reversed in some social organisms. Certain to provoke lively discussion, Randomness in Evolution is a book that may fundamentally change our understanding of evolution and the history of life.

The Social Amoebae

Author : John Tyler Bonner
ISBN : 0691139393
Genre : Science
File Size : 40. 12 MB
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Noted biologist and author John Tyler Bonner has experimented with cellular slime molds for more than sixty years, and he has done more than anyone else to raise these peculiar collections of amoebae from a minor biological curiosity to a major model organism--one that is widely studied for clues to the development and evolution of all living things. Now, five decades after he published his first pioneering book on cellular slime molds, Bonner steps back from the proliferating and increasingly specialized knowledge about the organism to provide a broad, nontechnical picture of its whole biology, including its evolution, sociobiology, ecology, behavior, and development. The Social Amoebae draws the big lessons from decades of research, and shows how slime molds fit into and illuminate biology as a whole. Slime molds are very different from other organisms; they feed as individual amoebae before coming together to form a multicellular organism that has a remarkable ability to move and orient itself in its environment. Furthermore, these social amoebae display a sophisticated division of labor; within each organism, some cells form the stalk and others become the spores that will seed the next generation. In The Social Amoebae, Bonner examines all these parts together, giving a balanced, concise, and clear overview of slime mold biology, from molecules to cells to multicells, as he advances some unconventional and unexpected insights.

The Evolution Of Complexity By Means Of Natural Selection

Author : John Tyler Bonner
ISBN : 0691084947
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 50. 36 MB
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John Tyler Bonner makes a new attack on an old problem: the question of how progressive increase in the size and complexity of animals and plants has occurred. "How is it," he inquires, "that an egg turns into an elaborate adult? How is it that a bacterium, given many millions of years, could have evolved into an elephant?" The author argues that we can understand this progression in terms of natural selection, but that in order to do so we must consider the role of development--or more precisely the role of life cycles--in evolutionary change. In a lively writing style that will be familiar to readers of his work The Evolution of Culture in Animals (Princeton, 1980), Bonner addresses a general audience interested in biology, as well as specialists in all areas of evolutionary biology. What is novel in the approach used here is the comparison of complexity inside the organism (especially cell differentiation) with the complexity outside (that is, within an ecological community). Matters of size at both these levels are closely related to complexity. The book shows how an understanding of the grand course of evolution can come from combining our knowledge of genetics, development, ecology, and even behavior.

Life Cycles

Author : John Tyler Bonner
ISBN : 9781400872770
Genre : Science
File Size : 37. 15 MB
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Within a single captivating narrative, John Bonner combines an intensely personal memoir of scientific progress and an overview of what we now know about living things. Bonner, a major participant in the development of biology as an experimental science, draws on his life-long study of slime molds for an understanding of the life cycle-the foundation of all biology. In an age of increasing specialization and fragmentation among subfields of biology, this is a unique work of reflection and integration. Originally published in 1993. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

On Size And Life

Author : Thomas A. McMahon
ISBN : 0716750007
Genre : Body size.
File Size : 82. 91 MB
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Considers the role of shape and size in natural selection, looks at growth, biological structure, and locomotion, and discusses the effect of scale on living organisms

Nine In One Grr Grr

Author : Blia Xiong
ISBN : 0892391103
Genre : Juvenile Fiction
File Size : 26. 91 MB
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When the great god Shao promises Tiger nine cubs each year, Bird comes up with a clever trick to prevent the land from being overrun by tigers.

How Evolution Shapes Our Lives

Author : Jonathan B. Losos
ISBN : 9781400881383
Genre : Science
File Size : 54. 6 MB
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It is easy to think of evolution as something that happened long ago, or that occurs only in "nature," or that is so slow that its ongoing impact is virtually nonexistent when viewed from the perspective of a single human lifetime. But we now know that when natural selection is strong, evolutionary change can be very rapid. In this book, some of the world's leading scientists explore the implications of this reality for human life and society. With some twenty-three essays, this volume provides authoritative yet accessible explorations of why understanding evolution is crucial to human life—from dealing with climate change and ensuring our food supply, health, and economic survival to developing a richer and more accurate comprehension of society, culture, and even what it means to be human itself. Combining new essays with essays revised and updated from the acclaimed Princeton Guide to Evolution, this collection addresses the role of evolution in aging, cognition, cooperation, religion, the media, engineering, computer science, and many other areas. The result is a compelling and important book about how evolution matters to humans today. The contributors are Dan I. Andersson, Francisco J. Ayala, Amy Cavanaugh, Cameron R. Currie, Dieter Ebert, Andrew D. Ellington, Elizabeth Hannon, John Hawks, Paul Keim, Richard E. Lenski, Tim Lewens, Jonathan B. Losos, Virpi Lummaa, Jacob A. Moorad, Craig Moritz, Martha M. Muñoz, Mark Pagel, Talima Pearson, Robert T. Pennock, Daniel E. L. Promislow, Erik M. Quandt, David C. Queller, Robert C. Richardson, Eugenie C. Scott, H. Bradley Shaffer, Joan E. Strassmann, Alan R. Templeton, Paul E. Turner, and Carl Zimmer.

Spying On Whales

Author : Nick Pyenson
ISBN : 9780735224575
Genre : Nature
File Size : 90. 72 MB
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A dive into the secret lives of whales, from their evolutionary past to today's cutting edge of science Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-sized creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and travel entire ocean basins. Whales fill us with terror, awe, and affection--yet there is still so much we don't know about them. Why did it take whales over 50 million years to evolve to such big sizes, and how do they eat enough to stay that big? How did their ancestors return from land to the sea--and what can their lives tell us about evolution as a whole? Importantly, in the sweepstakes of human-driven habitat and climate change, will whales survive? Nick Pyenson's research has given us the answers to some of our biggest questions about whales. He takes us deep inside the Smithsonian's unparalleled fossil collections, to frigid Antarctic waters, and to the arid desert in Chile, where scientists race against time to document the largest fossil whale site ever found. Full of rich storytelling and scientific discovery, Spying on Whales spans the ancient past to an uncertain future--all to better understand the most enigmatic creatures on Earth.

Strickberger S Evolution

Author : Brian Hall
ISBN : 9780763700669
Genre : Medical
File Size : 35. 60 MB
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Thoroughly updated and reorganized, Strickberger's Evolution, Fourth Edition, presents biology students with a basic introduction to prevailing knowledge and ideas about evolution, discussing how, why, and where the world and its organisms changed throughout history. Keeping consistent with Strickberger's engaging writing style, the authors carefully unfold a broad range of philosophical and historical topics that frame the theories of today including cosmological and geological evolution and its impact on life, the origins of life on earth, the development of molecular pathways from genetic systems to organismic morphology and function, the evolutionary history of organisms from microbes to animals, and the numerous molecular and populational concepts thatexplain the earth's dynamic evolution.

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