The Bare Bones

An Unconventional Evolutionary History of the Skeleton

by Matthew F. Bonnan

Published by: Indiana University Press

512 Pages, 7.00 x 10.00 x 0.00 in, 223 b&w illus., 26 color illus.

  • Hardcover
  • 9780253018328
  • Published: February 2016


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  • eBook
  • 9780253018410
  • Published: February 2016


What can we learn about the evolution of jaws from a pair of scissors? How does the flight of a tennis ball help explain how fish overcome drag? What do a spacesuit and a chicken egg have in common? Highlighting the fascinating twists and turns of evolution across more than 540 million years, paleobiologist Matthew Bonnan uses everyday objects to explain the emergence and adaptation of the vertebrate skeleton. What can camera lenses tell us about the eyes of marine reptiles? How does understanding what prevents a coffee mug from spilling help us understand the posture of dinosaurs? The answers to these and other intriguing questions illustrate how scientists have pieced together the history of vertebrates from their bare bones. With its engaging and informative text, plus more than 200 illustrative diagrams created by the author, The Bare Bones is an unconventional and reader-friendly introduction to the skeleton as an evolving machine.