Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ten must-read books to understand the Earth's history

At io9 Annalee Newitz tagged "ten books you must read if you want to understand [the Earth's] transformation, from the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere to the mass deaths of the dinosaurs," including:
Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Evolution from Our Microbial Ancestors, by Lynne Margulis and Dorion Sagan

Famed evolutionary biologist Lynne Margulis is known for demonstrating that bacteria should be classified as their own branch on the tree of life, and her classification of these tiny species is now part of every school kid's biology lessons. She was also an expert on symbiosis, the process by which two species form a mutually beneficial unit — and also, many believe, a process that was integral to the evolution of cells and multicellular life. So she's the perfect person to give you a tour of how life evolved on Earth from the first scribbles of chemicals in the global ocean. Readable and fascinating, Microcosmos will help you understand what it really means when scientists say that all life evolved from bacterial slime.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue