Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Terra

Terra

Our 100-Million-Year-Old Ecosystem--and the Threats That Now Put It at Risk

Michael Novacek

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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"Terra is one of the important books of our time—and it will change the way you think about the world." —Neil Shubin, Provost, Field Museum of Natural History

The natural world as humans have always known it evolved close to 100 million years ago with the appearance of flowering plants and pollinating insects during the age of the dinosaurs. Its tremendous history is now in danger of profound, catastrophic disruption. In this brilliant synthesis of evolutionary biology, paleontology, and modern environmental science, Michael Novacek shows how we can understand and prevent what he and others call today's "mass extinction event."

EXCERPT

TERRA

Part One
THE WAY OF THE WORLD
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.


-William Shakespeare, Hamlet
1
A CREATURE IN THE FOREST
The...

Reviews

Praise for Terra

“This beautifully written volume draws on a lifetime of experience with fossil organisms to place the challenges of the present in context. Clearly written, and filled with wisdom and hope for the future, Terra should be read by everyone who cares about the future of our planet and wants to do something about it.” —Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden and George Engelmann Professor of Botany, Washington University in St. Louis

“This is a great read. Michael Novacek's book vividly portrays the human folly and cavalier disregard for Terra, our only home, and he puts the environmental crisis in its most profound context. This is a masterful hundred-million-year biography of our unique planet of life--how it came to be, how it works.” —Thomas Lovejoy, President, The Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

Terra is a much needed book on the human condition that could have been written only by a paleontologist with a thorough, field-based knowledge of evolutionary and environmental biology. Starting with the birth of Earth's modern ecosystems, in the Age of Dinosaurs, Novacek explains how the living environment came together in a way that yielded humanity, and why our careless destruction of it is a profound and eternal loss.” —Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University

Terra is one of the important books of our time--and it will change the way you think about the world around you. Novacek's coup is that he not only brings the past to life but shows how it holds the keys to our future. The extraordinary breadth of his accomplishments as a scientist gives his book a powerful combination of authority, wit, and humanity. Reading Terra, it is hard not to feel humbled being a steward of a planet so ancient, wondrous, and fragile as our own.” —Neil Shubin, Provost, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago

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About the author

Michael Novacek

Michael Novacek, Senior Vice President and Provost of Science at the American Museum of Natural History, is the author of Time Traveler (FSG, 2002) and Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs (1996). He lives in New York City.

Michael Novacek

Copyright Dennis Finnin

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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