Search results for: amphibians-a-very-short-introduction

Amphibians

Author : T. S. Kemp
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"From frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders, to the lesser-known caecilians, there are over 8,000 species of amphibians alive today. Characterized by their moist, naked skin and the tadpole phase of their lives, they are uniquely adapted to occupy the interphase habitat between freshwater and land. This Very Short Introduction looks at amphibian evolution, adaptations, and biology. Exploring topics from their complex courtship behaviour to how their permeable skin enables them to thrive in their habitat, T. S. Kemp covers the whole history of amphibians, from their origins 360 million years ago to the extinction threat they face from humans today." --

Amphibians A Very Short Introduction

Author : T. S. Kemp
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Very Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring From frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders, to the lesser-known caecilians, there are over 8,000 species of amphibians alive today. Characterised by their moist, naked skin and the tadpole phase of their lives, they are uniquely adapted to occupy the interphase habitat between freshwater and land. This Very Short Introduction explores amphibians' evolution, adaptations, and biology, from the first emergence of tetrapods onto land 370 million years ago, to how their permeable skin enables them to thrive in their habitat today. T. S. Kemp describes how different amphibians go about their lives, looking in particular at their complex courtship behaviour and their extraordinary means of providing care for their eggs and larvae. Finally, he considers amphibians' relationship to humans, and the ways in which they have been exploited as food, folk medicine, and pets, as well as used in many areas of scientific research. Today amphibians face a serious threat, with almost half of species judged to be at risk of extinction. As the causes include habitat destruction, pollution, and disease, mostly resulting from human activity, T. S. Kemp shows that the conservation of amphibians is very much in our hands. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Animal Kingdom A Very Short Introduction

Author : Peter Holland
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The animal world is immensely diverse, and our understanding of it has been greatly enhanced by analysis of DNA and the study of evolution and development ('evo-devo'). In this Very Short Introduction Peter Holland presents a modern tour of the animal kingdom. Beginning with the definition of animals (not obvious in biological terms), he takes the reader through the high-level groupings of animals (phyla) and new views on their evolutionary relationships based on molecular data, together with an overview of the biology of each group of animals. The phylogenetic view is central to zoology today and the volume will be of great value to all students of the life sciences, as well as providing a concise summary for the interested general reader. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The History of Life A Very Short Introduction

Author : Michael J. Benton
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This Very Short Introduction presents a succinct and accessible guide to the key episodes in the story of life on earth - from the very origins of life four million years ago to the extraordinary diversity of species around the globe today.

Teeth A Very Short Introduction

Author : Peter S. Ungar
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Teeth are a vital component of vertebrate anatomy and a fundamental part of the fossil record. It was the evolution of teeth, associated with predation, that drove the evolution of the wide array of fish, amphibians, reptiles, and then mammals. Peter S. Ungar looks at how, without teeth, none of these developments could have occurred.

Sleep A Very Short Introduction

Author : Steven W. Lockley
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Explores sleep disorders, describes breakthroughs in the study of sleep, and considers the impact of modern society on it.

Mountains A Very Short Introduction

Author : Martin Price
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Mountains cover a quarter of the Earth's land surface and are home to about 12 percent of the global population. They are the sources of all the world's major rivers, affect regional weather patterns, provide centres of biological and cultural diversity, hold deposits of minerals, and provide both active and contemplative recreation. Yet mountains are also significantly affected by climate change; as melting and retreating glaciers show. Given the manifold goods and services which mountains provide to the world, such changes are of global importance. In this Very Short Introduction, Martin Price outlines why mountains matter at the global level, and addresses the existing and likely impacts of climate change on mountain, hydrological and ecological systems. Considering the risks associated with the increasing frequency of extreme events and 'natural hazards' caused by climate change, he discusses the implications for both mountain societies and wider populations, and concludes by emphasizing the need for greater cooperation in order to adapt to climate change in our increasingly globalized world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Infectious Disease A Very Short Introduction

Author : Marta Wayne
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As doctors and biologists have learned, to their dismay, infectious disease is a moving target: new diseases emerge every year, old diseases evolve into new forms, and ecological and socioeconomic upheavals change the transmission pathways by which disease spread. By taking an approach focused on the general evolutionary and ecological dynamics of disease, this Very Short Introduction provides a general conceptual framework for thinking about disease. Ecology and evolution provide the keys to answering the 'where', 'why', 'how', and 'what' questions about any particular infectious disease: where did it come from? How is it transmitted from one person to another, and why are some individuals more susceptible than others? What biochemical, ecological, and evolutionary strategies can be used to combat the disease? Is it more effective to block transmission at the population level, or to block infection at the individual level? Through a series of case studies, Benjamin Bolker and Marta L. Wayne introduce the major ideas of infectious disease in a clear and thoughtful way, emphasising the general principles of infection, the management of outbreaks, and the evolutionary and ecological approaches that are now central to much research about infectious disease. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Complexity A Very Short Introduction

Author : John H. Holland
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The importance of complexity is well-captured by Hawking's comment: "Complexity is the science of the 21st century". From the movement of flocks of birds to the Internet, environmental sustainability, and market regulation, the study and understanding of complex non-linear systems has become highly influential over the last 30 years. In this Very Short Introduction, one of the leading figures in the field, John Holland, introduces the key elements and conceptual framework of complexity. From complex physical systems such as fluid flow and the difficulties of predicting weather, to complex adaptive systems such as the highly diverse and interdependent ecosystems of rainforests, he combines simple, well-known examples — Adam Smith's pin factory, Darwin's comet orchid, and Simon's 'watchmaker' — with an account of the approaches, involving agents and urn models, taken by complexity theory. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Evolution A Very Short Introduction

Author : Brian Charlesworth
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Less than 450 years ago, all European scholars believed that the Earth was at the centre of a Universe that was at most a few million miles in extent, and that the planets, sun, and stars all rotated around this centre. Less than 250 years ago, they believed that the Universe was created essentially in its present state about 6000 years ago. Even less than 150 years ago, the view that living species were the result of special creation by God was still dominant. The recognition by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace of the mechanism of evolution by natural selection has completely transformed our understanding of the living world, including our own origins. In this Very Short Introduction Brian and Deborah Charlesworth provide a clear and concise summary of the process of evolution by natural selection, and how natural selection gives rise to adaptations and eventually, over many generations, to new species. They introduce the central concepts of the field of evolutionary biology, as they have developed since Darwin and Wallace on the subject, over 140 years ago, and discuss some of the remaining questions regarding processes. They highlight the wide range of evidence for evolution, and the importance of an evolutionary understanding for instance in combating the rapid evolution of resistance by bacteria to antibiotics and of HIV to antiviral drugs. This reissue includes some key updates to the main text and a completely updated Further Reading section. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.