- Provides a summary of the modern understanding of the animal world and its evolution
- Shows how DNA studies have revolutionized the classification of animals
- Discusses key topics in zoology such as modern evolutionary trees and the origin of animals
- Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over three million copies sold worldwide
The animal world is immensely diverse, and our understanding of it has been greatly enhanced by analysis of DNA and the study of evolution and development ('evo-devo'). In this Very Short Introduction Peter Holland presents a modern tour of the animal kingdom. Beginning with the definition of animals (not obvious in biological terms), he takes the reader through the high-level groupings of animals (phyla) and new views on their evolutionary relationships based on molecular data, together with an overview of the biology of each group of animals. The phylogenetic view is central to zoology today and the volume will be of great value to all students of the life sciences, as well as providing a concise summary for the interested general reader.
Peter Holland, Linacre Professor of Zoology, The University of Oxford
Peter Holland is Linacre Professor of Zoology and Head of the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. After a degree in Zoology and a PhD in Genetics he has spent the last 20 years undertaking research into the evolution of the animal kingdom, focussing primarily on the genetic and developmental differences between animal groups. He has published over 150 research papers on animal development and evolution.