How the Snake Lost its Legs : Curious Tales from the Frontier of Evo-Devo byHeld, Lewis I. Jr
Cambridge University Press,
01 May 2015 Paperback, 306 pages,
How did the zebra really get its stripes, and the giraffe its long neck? What is the science behind camel humps, leopard spots, and other animal oddities? Such questions have fascinated us for centuries, but the expanding field of evo-devo (evolutionary developmental biology) is now providing, for the first time, a wealth of insights and answers. Taking inspiration from Kipling's 'Just So Stories', this book weaves emerging insights from evo-devo into a narrative that provides startling explanations for the origin and evolution of traits across the animal kingdom. Held's unique and engaging style makes this narrative both enlightening and entertaining, guiding students and researchers through even complex concepts and encouraging a fuller understanding of the latest developments in the field. The first five chapters cover the first bilaterally symmetric animals, flies, butterflies, snakes, and cheetahs. A final chapter surveys recent results about a menagerie of other animals.