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By Christopher Wills

During this magnificently illustrated publication, Christopher Wills takes us on a chain of adventures. From the underwater lifetime of Indonesia's Lambeh Strait to a bit valley in northern Israel, to an earthquake within the coral reef off the island of Yap and the dry valleys of western Mongolia, Wills demonstrates how ecology and evolution have interacted to yield the realm we are living in.

Each bankruptcy contains a assorted position and brings out a unique and significant message. With the author's personal lovely pictures of the natural world he came across on his travels, he attracts out the evolutionary tales at the back of the flora and fauna and indicates how our figuring out of the dwelling global should be deepened by way of a Darwinian standpoint. Wills demonstrates how the realm with evolutionary eyes leaves us with a renewed feel of ask yourself approximately life's stunning present-day variety, along
with an appreciation of our evolutionary background.

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A few of them do spend a part of their time within the wealthy and numerous forests that lie simply inland of the mangroves, the place many various different types of fruit are ample. yet they generally tend to devour in basic terms unripe end result, ignoring the ripe and sugary fruit that abound within the wooded area. The sour, tannin-rich mangrove leaves are their leader resource of meals, other than in the course of seasons whilst fruit is ample. 7 Why do those monkeys confine themselves to this kind of monotonous and— not less than to an omnivorous primate like myself—apparently unappealing vitamin, determine 27 (opposite) This male proboscis monkey, Nasalis larvatus, is at the Kinabatangan River in Sabah, Borneo. detect his fermentation-swollen belly. sixty four THE internal WORKINGS OF EVOLUTION sixty five THE dwelling global determine 28 A second later he sucked in his abdominal and erupted in rage at our boat. while the considerable riches of the rainforest lie throughout them? a possible rationalization is that proboscis monkeys cut up from different colobus monkey lineages basically simply because they got the power to devour mangrove leaves. This gave them particular entry to the titanic source of the mangrove forests, which lined a miles higher zone than they do this day. as soon as this monkey lineage used to be in a position to circulation into the mangrove forest’s maze of swamps and streams it was once additionally principally protected against predators corresponding to the clouded leopard. those monkeys have a spectrum of abilities that let them to flee any predators that do be capable to penetrate the mangrove swamps. As we watched, the troop confirmed off its natatorial ability. one after the other the monkeys dived gracefully from excessive branches, springing as a long way out as they can to land in the course of the river. as soon as within the water they surfaced and swam speedily to the sixty six THE internal WORKINGS OF EVOLUTION determine 29 In a picture captured via my daughter, a proboscis monkey dives into Kalimantan’s Sekonyer River. one can find one other monkey ready its activate the department. (Photograph via Anne-Marie Wills Rivera. ) different financial institution. Their swimming kind was once remarkable, a speedy puppy paddle with an occasional overhand stroke that jogged my memory of the Australian move slowly. Swimming pace is vital for those monkeys, as the rivers of Kalimantan are filled with crocodiles. And their skill to swim is greater than a few frantic splashy try and break out risk. it's been refined via an extended interval of typical choice. The webs among their fingers and ft are extra broad than these of the other primate. just like the hoatzins, the proboscis monkeys have hugely really expert digestive platforms. Fermentation starts off of their foregut chambers from the very second the foodstuff is swallowed. As with different fermenters, a small swap of their vitamin can result in a variety of difficulties. they need to restrict their consumption of sugar-rich end result, simply because an influx of sugar will be adequate to disturb the bacterial environment on which the fermentation relies. comparable disturbances in bacterial ecology can result in the usually deadly stipulations of acidosis and bloat in family livestock. those monkeys’ really expert nutrition should be why they can't be raised in captivity.

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