It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Kingdom of Plants by Will Benson

Kingdom of Plants. A Journey Through Their Evolution by Will Benson

In the last 500 million years, plants have undertaken an epic journey that has not only spanned the ages but has altered the very make-up of the planet. It was a journey that began in a dark and barren world, and has culminated in a planet that is draped in rich colours, and overflowing with a diversity of mystifying orchids, exploding seed pods and snapping carnivorous plants.
But plants are far more than just beautiful and bizarre. Through the chapters of this book we uncover how plants first began to live on land, how they have become linked with a multitude of animal and fungi partners, and how ultimately they have shaped both landscapes and cultures. The book also includes a chapter about Fungi  which are believed to be the first organisms to venture onto land in the form of lichens 1.3 billion years ago. There are believed to be up to 5.1 million different species of which only 5 % have been found.  And we are still discovering and naming some 2000 new species of plant on Earth each year.

The 256 pages includes the latest scientific insights, it is extremely well written and certainly proves that science does not necessarily need to be dry. Warmly recommended for everyone to read because without plants there wouldn't be humans. Just be careful when you start reading - you do not like to finish reading until you reach the last page. 
The book is published by HarperCollins Publishers, the accuracy of the information is checked by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The Foreword is by Professor Stephen Hopper, the director of Kew. Unfortunately it looks to me that Amazon is only planning to publish a kindle version of this great book.

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