The Earth

The Earth

A Biography of Life: The Story of Life On Our Planet through 47 Incredible Organisms

Dr Elsa Panciroli


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'An insightful book with sparkling wit and humour that will appeal to new and seasoned readers of palaeontology.'
Dr Anjana Khatwa, TV presenter and Earth Scientist

It is difficult to conceive of the vast scale of the history of life on Earth, from the very first living organisms sparking into life in hydrothermal deep-sea vents to the dizzying diversity of life today. The evolution of life is a sweeping epic of a tale, with twists and turns, surprising heroes and unlikely survivors.

The Earth beautifully distils this complex story into a meaningful scale. In taking a closer look at 47 carefully selected organisms over fifteen periods in our planetary history, this book tells the whole story of life on Earth, and the interconnectedness that unites us through our ecosystems and planetary history.

Prepare to be confounded by the ingenuity of evolutionary biologies, humbled by our own brief part in this epic history, and disquieted by our disproportionate impact on the world we call home.

'An extraordinarily accessible and informative biography of life seen through the many forms it has generated and preserved in stone, beautifully presented. From tales of the well-known stars of palaeontology like Archaeopteryx to the many-sided cultural stories of the earliest bee fossil, everyone will learn something new.'
Thomas Halliday, bestselling author of Otherlands: A World in the Making


Dr Elsa Panciroli:
Dr Elsa Panciroli is a Scottish palaeontologist and writer fascinated by the natural history of our planet. She studies Jurassic fossils from the Isle of Skye, and is especially interested in the origins and evolution of mammals. She is currently a research fellow at the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History, and associate researcher at National Museums Scotland. She gives regular public talks for all ages, and has written about science for The Guardian and BBC Science Focus among others, as well as appearing on podcasts, radio and television. She is the author of Beasts Before Us: The Untold Story of Mammal Origins and Evolution. Find her on twitter @gsciencelady