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The biggest mass extinction

in The History of Life

November 2008; p ublished online September 2013 .

Chapter. Subjects: Palaeontology; Biological Sciences. 5497 words.

‘The biggest mass extinction’ discusses the biggest of the five mass extinctions — the end-Permian mass extinction 251 million years ago when up to 96 per cent of species died out....

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Forests and flight

in The History of Life

November 2008; p ublished online September 2013 .

Chapter. Subjects: Palaeontology; Biological Sciences. 4096 words.

‘Forests and flight’ shows that in the Carboniferous Period, from 360 to 300 million years ago, plants and animals cemented their land-living adaptations and took on all habitats and all...

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The History of Life

Michael J. Benton.

November 2008; p ublished online September 2013 .

Book. Subjects: Palaeontology; Biological Sciences. 184 pages.

The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction introduces ideas from a range of scientific disciplines, from evolutionary biology and earth history, to geochemistry, palaeontology, and...

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Introduction

in The History of Life

November 2008; p ublished online September 2013 .

Chapter. Subjects: Palaeontology; Biological Sciences. 3790 words.

The ‘Introduction’ shows that the keys to understanding the history of life are fossils — the remains of plants, animals, or microbes that once existed. Sites of exceptional preservation...

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The origin of humans

in The History of Life

November 2008; p ublished online September 2013 .

Chapter. Subjects: Palaeontology; Biological Sciences. 6421 words.

‘The origin of humans’ begins by looking at the first primates and mammals and the three modern orders that originated in the Jurassic and Cretaceous — the monotremes, marsupials, and...

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The origin of life

Michael J. Benton.

in The History of Life

November 2008; p ublished online September 2013 .

Chapter. Subjects: Palaeontology; Biological Sciences. 4173 words.

‘The origin of life’ hows that from the earliest days people have wondered about the origins of life. The discovery of radioactivity and radioactive decay of elements paved the way for...

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The origin of life on land

in The History of Life

November 2008; p ublished online September 2013 .

Chapter. Subjects: Palaeontology; Biological Sciences. 4807 words.

‘The origin of life on land’ shows that life on land is significant for two reasons: firstly, life on land represents most of modern biodiversity and secondly, life has changed the face of...

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The origin of modern ecosystems

in The History of Life

November 2008; p ublished online September 2013 .

Chapter. Subjects: Palaeontology; Biological Sciences. 6691 words.

‘The origin of modern ecosystems’ is about the Mesozoic Era, the time from 251 to 65 million years ago, marked at each end by a mass extinction event, the end-Permian at the start, and the...

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The origin of sex

in The History of Life

November 2008; p ublished online September 2013 .

Chapter. Subjects: Palaeontology; Biological Sciences. 4585 words.

‘The origin of sex’ begins with John Maynard Smith who suggested that the advantage of sexual reproduction was that sex shuffles genes more effectively than parthenogenesis, introducing...

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The origin of skeletons

in The History of Life

November 2008; p ublished online September 2013 .

Chapter. Subjects: Palaeontology; Biological Sciences. 5208 words.

‘The origin of skeletons’ explores what skeletons are, what the fossil and rock record shows, new molecular evidence, and the heated debates about whether the Cambrian Explosion is real or...

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