old looking for some life forms on the planet
biology is the most complex of all sciences and touches us more closely, and natural history is the half of it, the mere observation of what is, what is, and what everything he does. Naturalists are humble good - very impressed with the nature and always remember that life in the end is beyond our comprehension. But the other half, more practical in biology - biotechnology, genetic engineering and all that - is flashy and more lucrative and therefore attracts all funds. Humility is gone. Biotechnologists tend to assume you already know everything there is to know, we can take the nature of the skin and reshape the creatures at will, just by fiddling with their DNA. The Greeks were right about the arrogance. We must restore the balance. Recovery of Natural History.
is a great strength of Richard Fortey. He is known as a paleontologist, a student of fossils, but it is, he says, "a first naturalist." His latest book is in the great tradition of natural history - the nature walk, led by the authority and wisdom of this world. He takes us on a ride that is not only comprehensive, but takes us through the eons, to search for the creatures that have not changed much to do for hundreds of millions and sometimes billions of years. Worldwide, there are a surprising number of old: it is a mistake to assume that the creatures that evolved later supplanted necessarily those who came before. Nature often come to good solutions for the problems of life long ago - and why change a winning formula? Natural selection can operate just as effectively to keep things the same, since obviously do not change.Take
Limulus - horseshoe crab in North America, with an armored shell and jointed legs of arthropods, which hatch in the bottom of the sea like a mechanical toy: it's not really a crab, but a very primitive spider, a relative of spiders and scorpions. It is very old indeed - very similar fossils are known from the Ordovician, 450 years ago, but emerged in the Cambrian, at least 500 years. For hundreds of millions of years who shared the seas with the trilobites, which were superficially similar, and perhaps distantly related. The trilobites were much more numerous than earlier horseshoes, and much more varied: some predators, mud tighten the nutrients, and some freestyle. But, as the fossils clearly show the trilobites disappeared as most animals do in the greatest of all mass extinctions at the end of the Permian, about 255 million years.The tour continues in New Zealand seeking to velvet onychophorans. On the west coast of Australia is the stromatolites, built from layers of minerals and photosynthetic bacteria (bacteria invented the photosynthesis of plants and catches of them). They are still strong despite dating from about 3000 m. years North America's Grand Teton National Park Fortey has to confront the microbes that live in water superheated hot water, if necessary, the conditions under which life began on Earth. He likes plants, too, and meets the lycopods, parents with huge old trees and abundant ferns, and ginkgo biloba, the only survivor of the tribe, once the Ginkgoales large and diverse. And much more.
survivors Natural History is excellent, though. And as the science of finance must remember, the questions of natural history.
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