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Plants: A Very Short Introduction

Plants: A Very Short Introduction PDF Author: Timothy Walker
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199584060
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 129
Book Description
Plants are a fundamental part of the biosphere and their evolution has directly affected animal life, and the Earth's climate. This Very Short Introduction provides a concise account of the nature of plants, their variety, their evolution, and their importance and uses, stressing the importance of conservation for the future.

Plants: A Very Short Introduction

Plants: A Very Short Introduction PDF Author: Timothy Walker
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199584060
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 129
Book Description
Plants are a fundamental part of the biosphere and their evolution has directly affected animal life, and the Earth's climate. This Very Short Introduction provides a concise account of the nature of plants, their variety, their evolution, and their importance and uses, stressing the importance of conservation for the future.

Plants: A Very Short Introduction

Plants: A Very Short Introduction PDF Author: Timothy Walker
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 019163400X
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 152
Book Description
Plants form a fundamental element of the biosphere, and the evolution of plants has directly affected the evolution of animal life and the evolution of the Earth's climate. Plants have also become essential to humans not only in the form of cereal crops, fruit, and vegetables, but in their many other uses in wood and paper, and in providing medicines. Their aesthetic importance too in our parks and gardens as well as in wildflower meadows and great forests should not be underestimated. In this Very Short Introduction Timothy Walker, Director of the Botanical Gardens in Oxford, provides a concise account of the nature of plants, their variety, their evolution, and their importance and uses, stressing the need and efforts for their conservation for future generations. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Isotopes: A Very Short Introduction

Isotopes: A Very Short Introduction PDF Author: Rob Ellam
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191035491
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 144
Book Description
An isotope is a variant form of a chemical element, containing a different number of neutrons in its nucleus. Most elements exist as several isotopes. Many are stable while others are radioactive, and some may only exist fleetingly before decaying into other elements. In this Very Short Introduction, Rob Ellam explains how isotopes have proved enormously important across all the sciences and in archaeology. Radioactive isotopes may be familiar from their use in nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and in medicine, as well as in carbon dating. They have been central to establishing the age of the Earth and the origins of the solar system. Combining previous and new research, Ellam provides an overview of the nature of stable and radioactive isotopes, and considers their wide range of modern applications. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Savannas: A Very Short Introduction

Savannas: A Very Short Introduction PDF Author: Peter A. Furley
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191026743
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 144
Book Description
Savannas form one of the largest and most important of the world's ecological zones. Covering one fifth of the Earth's land surface, they are home to some of the world's most iconic animals and form an extremely important global resource for plants and wildlife. However, increasing recognition of their land potential means that they are extremely vulnerable to accelerating pressures on usable land. This Very Short Introduction considers savannas as landscapes. Discussing their origin, topography, and global distribution, Peter A. Furley explores the dynamic nature of savannas and illustrates how they have shaped human evolution and movements. He goes on to discuss the unrelenting pressures that confront conservation and management and considers the future for savannas. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Smell: A Very Short Introduction

Smell: A Very Short Introduction PDF Author: Matthew Cobb
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019255901X
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 144
Book Description
Our sense of smell - or olfaction as it is technically known - is our most enigmatic sense. It can conjure up memories, taking us back to very specific places and emotions, whilst powerful smells can induce strong feelings of hunger or nausea. In the animal kingdom smell can be used to find food, a mate, or a home; to sense danger; and to send and receive complex messages with other members of a species. Yet despite its fundamental importance in our mental life and in the existence of all animals, our scientific understanding of how smell works is limited. In this Very Short Introduction, Matthew Cobb describes the latest scientific research on smell in humans and other mammals, in insects, and even in fish. He looks at how smell evolved, how animals use it to navigate and communicate, and disorders of smell in humans. Understanding smell, especially its neurobiology, has proved a big challenge, but olfactory science has revealed genetic factors that determine what we can and cannot smell, and why some people like a given smell while others find it unbearable. He ends by considering future treatments for smell disorders, and speculating on the role of smell in a world of robots. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction

The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction PDF Author: Michael J. Benton
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191578789
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 184
Book Description
There are few stories more remarkable than the evolution of life on earth. This Very Short Introduction presents a succinct guide to the key episodes in that story - from the very origins of life four million years ago to the extraordinary diversity of species around the globe today. Beginning with an explanation of the controversies surrounding the birth of life itself, each following chapter tells of a major breakthrough that made new forms of life possible: including sex and multicellularity, hard skeletons, and the move to land. Along the way, we witness the greatest mass extinction, the first forests, the rise of modern ecosystems, and, most recently, conscious humans. Introducing ideas from a range of scientific disciplines, from evolutionary biology and earth history, to geochemistry, palaeontology, and systematics, Michael Benton explains how modern science pieces the evidence in this vast evolutionary puzzle together, to build up an accessible and up-to-date picture of the key developments in the history of life on earth. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Dinosaurs: A Very Short Introduction

Dinosaurs: A Very Short Introduction PDF Author: David Norman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192515640
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 193
Book Description
Dinosaurs are fascinating creatures and their popularity seems never ending, fuelled by films such as Jurassic Park and documentaries such as Walking with Dinosaurs. Yet dinosaurs (or more precisely non-avian dinosaurs) last trod the Earth 65 million years ago. All we know of them today are their fossilised bones, the tracks and traces that they left behind and, in very rare instances, some of the soft tissues or even traces of their chemistry. In many respects dinosaurs present us with one of the ultimate forensic challenges: they comprise the fragmentary remains of creatures that died many tens of millions of years ago, rather than just recently, or a few tens of years ago, which is the problem usually faced by forensic pathologists. How much do we really know about them, and to what extent can their remains inform us about ancient worlds, and indeed about the history of our planet? In this Very Short Introduction David Norman discusses how dinosaurs were first discovered and interpreted, and how our understanding of them has changed over the past 200 years. He looks at some of the amazing discoveries that have enabled us to gain new and unexpected insights into dinosaurs as animals with natural histories and behaviours, and considers some of the biggest questions in dinosaur biology, such as the implications of them having warm blood. Norman also shows how research upon dinosaurs has been enriched, particularly in recent decades, by technological break-throughs, which complement the informed speculation and luck which have played a part in many of the major discoveries. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Evolution: A Very Short Introduction

Evolution: A Very Short Introduction PDF Author: Brian Charlesworth
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192526537
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 160
Book Description
Less than 450 years ago, all European scholars believed that the Earth was at the centre of a Universe that was at most a few million miles in extent, and that the planets, sun, and stars all rotated around this centre. Less than 250 years ago, they believed that the Universe was created essentially in its present state about 6000 years ago. Even less than 150 years ago, the view that living species were the result of special creation by God was still dominant. The recognition by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace of the mechanism of evolution by natural selection has completely transformed our understanding of the living world, including our own origins. In this Very Short Introduction Brian and Deborah Charlesworth provide a clear and concise summary of the process of evolution by natural selection, and how natural selection gives rise to adaptations and eventually, over many generations, to new species. They introduce the central concepts of the field of evolutionary biology, as they have developed since Darwin and Wallace on the subject, over 140 years ago, and discuss some of the remaining questions regarding processes. They highlight the wide range of evidence for evolution, and the importance of an evolutionary understanding for instance in combating the rapid evolution of resistance by bacteria to antibiotics and of HIV to antiviral drugs. This reissue includes some key updates to the main text and a completely updated Further Reading section. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Insects: a Very Short Introduction

Insects: a Very Short Introduction PDF Author: Simon R. Leather
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198847041
Category :
Languages : en
Pages : 152
Book Description
This book explores the extraordinarily diverse and beautiful world of insects, from tiny wasps to giant beetles. It analyses insect evolution, and describes their behaviour, their environments, and the interactions they have with other animals. It also discusses their vital role in all land ecosystems, and their importance for our own survival.

Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction

Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction PDF Author: Jonathan Barnes
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191540358
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 176
Book Description
The influence of Aristotle, the prince of philosophers, on the intellectual history of the West is second to none. In this book Jonathan Barnes examines Aristotle's scientific researches, his discoveries in logic and his metaphysical theories, his work in psychology and in ethics and politics, and his ideas about art and poetry, placing his teachings in their historical context. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.