Thursday 2 July 2015

In the Blink of an Eye: How Vision kick-started the big bang of evolution

This is a fascinating book about how light has guided the evolution of life on earth, focussing on the big bang of evolution that happened during the Cambrian period (543 - 490 million years ago).

It is full of fascinating details including:

* how angel fish can use their silver scales as mirrors to blind their predators;

* how the camouflage of both predators (such as lions) and their prey (including wildebeeste) is an adaptation guided by light;

* how the cave fish has developed different forms depending on where it lives, such that those that live in caves have lost both their eyes and their silver colouration.

The book is as simply written as the subject matter allows and goes into detail about how light stimulated the development of vision which stimulated the course of evolution itself. It also details the physics that lies behind the production of colour in animals and the pre-historic development of functional eyes as evidenced from the fossil record. 

In the Blink of an Eye: How Vision Kick-started the big bang of evolution by Andrew Parker, published by The Free Press.


Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Gotta love it!
:) m & jb who, being a tortoiseshell, has a pretty interesting coloration story herself!

RG said...

I see! (Sorry - sounds interesting and informative.)

Bill said...

It does sound fascinating.