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  • Published: 30 September 2014
  • ISBN: 9781473521834
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 480

Eight Little Piggies

Reflections in Natural History

This is the sixth in the great series of essays that the world's best science writer has produced. They range over a vast field, from history to the latest theories in biology, from controversies over palaeontology to the origins of language.

No one illuminates the wonderful workings of the natural world as perceptively and enjoyably as Stephen Jay Gould. In this volume of reflections on biology, history and culture, Gould addresses the burning issues of ecological crisis and contemporary species extinctions as well as giving us fascinating insights into evolution - such as the fact that the first land vertebrates had up to eight toes on each foot, and that the ichthyosaur had a very significant kink in its tail.

  • Published: 30 September 2014
  • ISBN: 9781473521834
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 480

About the author

Stephen Jay Gould

Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Geology at Harvard University and the curator for invertebrate palaeontology in the University's Museum of Comparative Zoology. He is the author of over twenty books, and received the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the MacArthur Fellowship. He died in May 2002.

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Praise for Eight Little Piggies

Few writers of popular science have given more pelasure to more readers than Stephen Jay Gould...He packs a clout few science writers can match

New York Times Book Review

Who could resist a title like that - and knowing the author, who wouldn't surmise that Gould...demonstrat that five fingers and five toes are not the primordial/canonical mammalian standard...Essays that reveal Gould in midlife, as passionate and articulate as ever, but older and wiser

Kirkus Reviews

Like the master, Darwin, [Gould] has a gift for metaphor


Miraculously good

The Times

Remarkable... Gould takes his readers on tough-minded rambles across the visible surface of things... extraordinary


Gould has a talent for making the scientific, and particularly the revolutionary, interesting and striking

Sunday Times

A lovely mixture of bizarre facts, nice arguments, clever insights into the workings of evolution and a quality of writing that can make your skin prickle... Gould has given us a feast


Rather than serving up his science cold, Gould invariably puts a spin on it, taking his readers down the innumerable byways of history, literature and personal anecdote along the route to his theoretical conclusions

Independent on Sunday

Reading Gould is not merely a pleasure but an education and a chronicle of the times


The most readable of scientists

Financial Times

One of the best essayists in the business. He uses his wide background knowledge as a bridge to entice non-scientists into sharing the excitement of scientific discovery and the curious, convoluted path of new ideas through history


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