LIFE IN COLD BLOOD: A Natural History

Book number: 91372 Product format: Hardback Author: DAVID ATTENBOROUGH

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Bibliophile price £3.50
Published price £25

Amphibians and reptiles were the first vertebrates to venture forth from the seas some 300 million years ago. Exactly when and which kind of fish was the first to make the move is not known with any degree of precision, but this was one pioneering piscean! As well as being the first vertebrates to leave the water, they were also the first to mate without using water to transport gametes, colonise the deserts, burrow into the ground, take to the air and, critically, the first to get their oxygen from the air rather than the water. Yet today, having walked the Earth for so long, there are a great many of their species at critical risk of extinction. Here, in this companion book to his 2008 BBCTV series the world's greatest natural history broadcaster travels the world to tell their epic story - their astounding past success and the profound implications of their uncertain future. Having once ruled the planet, their descendants today exhibit some of the most colourful variety, bizarre form and peculiar behaviour in all the animal kingdom. Sumptuously illus in colour throughout, Sir David gets up close and personal with those descendants and through them traces the fascinating history their pioneering ancestors. He explains in his inimitable manner how it is that some of today's amphibians and reptiles have changed little from their prehistoric forebears yet, as we know, some evolved into dinosaurs, then birds and mammals and his eye for the unusual and quirky is as sharp as ever, with hundreds of examples of amazing physiological and behavioural adaptations featured throughout. The camerawork is second to none, with incredible shots of impossibly photogenic crocodiles, axolotls, salamanders, the cutest frogs imaginable and the most threatening snakes, especially the King Cobra which appears to be about to launch itself at you from the page! The finest natural history in 288pp.

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ISBN 9780691137186

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