Title: Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The Science of Evo Devo
Author: Sean B Carrol
Fun Fact: It has been estimated that the millions of animals alive today represent only 1 percent of the animals that have existed at various times in the past 500 million years.
Review Summary: An interesting topic discussed by an enthusiastic author, but kept from being really engaging by the author’s verbosity, excessive attention to detail, and inclusion of some very basic biology.
Evo Devo stands for Evolutionary Developmental Biology and is a field which looks at both the way a fertilized egg becomes a living creature and the way changes in that process drive evolution. In Endless Forms Most Beautiful, the author/scientist Sean Carrol describes exciting new developments in the field (as of 2005), starting with clear, illustrated explanations of some basic concepts necessary to understand the rest of the book. As someone who does at least know the basics, this made the book drag (even more) for me, but I think it would be really helpful to someone with little to no background in biology. The second half of the book was by far my favorite part and focused on some pretty cool examples of the concepts explained in the first half of the book. Continue reading