‘Mesmerising … an arresting vision … Darwin, who did so much to kick-start the process, would surely have approved’
– The Daily Telegraph
‘… may be rooted in science
but its pages hold a visual asceticism that makes it meditative and mysterious … this book tells us why we’re alive’
This is an unprecedented and completely original project.
Spectacular, mysterious, elegant or grotesque, the skeletons of vertebrates provide a fascinating sight. They arrange themselves into forms which seem easy to decipher. Shaped by evolution, they testify to their distant pasts.
Despite the book's rigorous treatment, the aim is accessibility and it relies on many examples of living animals to visualize – and to interpret – the principal mechanisms of evolution.
The approach and nature of its subject-matter, the number and diversity of the species selected and the scope and quality of the photographs are unparalleled.
Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu is a Professor of Natural Sciences and a Doctor of Biological Oceanography. He has published a number of popular scientific works, and has also written and directed numerous documentary films for television.
Patrick Gries is a renowned French photographer. Among his most notable projects is his collaboration with the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris.