Welcome to the Kingfisher Encyclopedia of Life-a jaw-dropping look at 30,000 years of biological evolution organized through the lens of relative lifespan. Packed with the latest science, and created with today's highly visual reader in mind, this encyclopedia is designed to engage readers emotionally-from a sense of astonishment that the mayfly can enjoy a full life in less time than it takes to read the book, to the awe that is inspired by trees over a thousand years old, to a sense of humble self-reflection when encountering colonies of simple life forms which have existed since before recorded time. At the heart of the book is the human story: a central section looks at life expectancy among the human population today and historically through time, examining the many and varied factors which influence longevity. This is both an introduction to the variety of life on Earth, and a powerful educational tool, referencing science, biology, history, and geography. At the end, readers of all ages will emerge with a new sense of wonder at the natural world's amazing diversity, and a new appreciation for their own place among it.