Subtitled “Viewing the World Through Evolutionary Eyes,” this intriguing book is the perfect holiday gift for your globetrotting friends.
Author and professor of biological sciences at UCSD, Christopher Wills has a stellar new travel book that takes readers on global adventures, revealing how ecology and evolution have interacted to create this wonderful world. Each chapter tells a real tale of his personal adventures, but his true brilliance emerges in his ability to find a deeper meaning to life by looking at our surroundings with a Darwinian perspective.
In each habitat, from the rainforests of Brazil and wilds of Madagascar, to the dry valleys of Mongolia and dark watery depths of Indonesia’s Lembeh straits, Wills explains how adaptation, competition, evolution and cooperation have shaped the existing flora and fauna and created the world that we live in.
He also reminds us how each time a species is lost, millions of years of evolutionary history disappear with it as well.
Wills explores some of our own distant relatives like fire urchins off the coast Sulawesi, pontificates on the brightly-colored mantis shrimp with claws so powerful they can crack a divers face mask or bust their way out of an aquarium, and laments the evolutionary mistake of certain mollusks being too delicious.
The book is dense with fascinating knowledge and laugh-out-loud moments, with his own pictures setting the scene.
As Wills says, “As we look at the world through evolutionary eyes, we come away with a renewed sense of wonder about life’s astounding present-day diversity, along with a new appreciation of that diversity’s fourth dimension –it’s long evolutionary history.”