Understanding Evo-Devo

Understanding Evo-Devo

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date of Publication:
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Product details:

No. of pages:206 pages
Size:178x127x11 mm
Weight:240 g
Short description:

A brief and accessible account of the new interdisciplinary science of evo-devo for a general audience.

Long description:
Why do the best-known examples of evolutionary change involve the alteration of one kind of animal into another very similar one, like the evolution of a bigger beak in a bird? Wouldn't it be much more interesting to understand how beaks originated? Most people would agree, but until recently we didn't know much about such origins. That is now changing, with the growth of the interdisciplinary field evo-devo, which deals with the relationship between how embryos develop in the short term and how they (and the adults they grow into) evolve in the long term. One of the key questions is: can the origins of structures such as beaks, eyes, and shells be explained within a Darwinian framework? The answer seems to be yes, but only by expanding that framework. This book discusses the required expansion, and the current state of play regarding our understanding of evolutionary and developmental origins.

'Wallace Arthur treats his readers to an eminently readable but still deeply rooted introduction into one of the most significant achievements of evolutionary biology: how evolutionary developmental biology put the organism back into the centre of evolutionary thinking.' G&&&252;nter P. Wagner, Yale University, USA
Table of Contents:
Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. What is evo-devo and why is it important?; 2. Antecedents of evo-devo; 3. Evolutionary and developmental essentials; 4. Evo-devo essentials; 5. The evolution of variations on a theme; 6. The evolutionary origins of themes and novelties; 7. The evolutionary origins of body plans; 8. Body plan features and toolkit genes; 9. Bringing it all together; Concluding remarks; Summary of common misunderstandings; References; Index.