Bloomsbury £9.99 (468pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
What on Earth Evolved? by Christopher Lloyd
Friday 18 June 2010
There's an SF story in which aliens study Earth and decide what's really in charge there: grass. In fact, poa pratensis and its cousins comes in only at number 24 in this addictive guide to the 100 species that have had the greatest impact on the planet over its evolutionary history.
Stretching via bite-sized essays up a chain of being from Anthrax to Rabbit, Herpes to Whale, the book finds a bewitchingly fresh way to present the greatest show on earth. Given all his variables, you can argue with Lloyd's order. But here's (most of) his Top Ten: 10/ Penicillium; 9/ Influenza; 8/ Yeast; 7/ Stony Coral; 6/ Homo sapiens (well done us!); 5/ Lactobacillus; 4/ Rhizobia... for the rest, use those over-developed brains, or buy a copy yourself.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
- 2 Novel Scarlett Johansson tried to ban, Grégoire Delacourt’s The First Thing You See, to be published in UK
- 3 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 4 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
- 5 Carol Vorderman reveals she is 'covered in burns' after she fell off her treadmill while running naked
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs