The Origin of Animal Body Plans: A Study in Evolutionary Developmental Biology


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The Origin of Animal Body Plans: A Study in Evolutionary Developmental Biology Author: Format: Paperback / softback First Published: Published By: Cambridge University Press Pages: 360 Illustrations and other contents: 17 Tables, unspecified; 2 Halftones, unspecified; 83 Line drawings, unspecified Language: English ISBN: 9780521779289 Categories: , , , ,

Neo-Darwinism currently occupies a dominant position in evolutionary thought. While this theory has considerable explanatory power, it is widely recognized as being incomplete in that it lacks a component dealing with individual development, or ontogeny. This is particularly conspicuous in relation to attempts to explain the evolutionary origin of the 35 or so animal body plans, and of the developmental trajectories that generate them. This book examines both the origin of body plans in particular and the evolution of animal development in general. In doing so, it ranges widely, covering topics as diverse as comparative developmental genetics, selection theory and Vendian/Cambrian fossils. Particular emphasis is placed on gene duplication, changes in spatio-temporal gene-expression patterns, internal selection, coevolution of interacting genes, and coadaptation. The book will be of particular interest to students and researchers in evolutionary biology, genetics, paleontology and developmental biology.

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'... useful and thought provoking.' Michael K. Richardson, Heredity 'I strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in where evolutionary biology is going next.' John A. Lee, Biologist '... an interesting and intelligent book.' Anthony Graham, BSDB Newsletter ' ... a readable and enjoyable account of the current state of developmental genetics.' BioEssays "...excellent new book on evolution and development. He steers a pragmatic middle course between two complementary approaches to 'evo-devo'." Heredity "Arthur's book is an outstanding contribution to unifying developmental and evolutionary biology. The integration of popular genetics and ecology is particularly strong, and begins to fill a big gap in literature. Arthur does not shy away from making predictions, and rarely misses an opportunity to point out fruitful areas for future work. His writing is clear, concise, and insightful, making the book a delight to read. This book is required reading for anyone interested in the evolution of development." Gregory Wray, State University of New York, Stony Brook "The Origin of Animal Body Plans is an attractive, well-articulated and highly readable argument for expanding our current awareness of evolutionary processes. It helps to usher in a fully-fledged discipline of Evolutionary Developmental Biology which, among other things, emphasizes the importance of 'internal selection.'" Alessandro Minelli, University of Padua " takes a brave soul to tackle the subject. Authors venturing into this area must have a sound command of the breadth of several disciplines, combined with the depth that a historical perspective offers. They must be able to use language flawlessly...Wallace Arthur, though, scoops the pool...He sets out what he is going to say, says it with precision, and moves on. Concepts are summarized in handy tables and diagrams. No metaphysics, no sliding panels, Arthur just tells it like it is. For those who have found this subject daunting, this is the book for you." Biological Journal of the Linnean Society "Neo-Darwinism, to Arthur, is not 'wrong' but it is incomplete and 'horribly lopsided'. This book helps to remedy that situation." Reports