Every Living Thing: Man's Obsessive Quest to Catalog Life, from Nanobacteria to New Monkeys

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Harper Collins, 2009 - Science - 272 pages
13 Reviews

Biologists and laypeople alike have repeatedly claimed victory over life. A thousand years ago we thought we knew almost everything; a hundred years ago, too. But even today, Rob Dunn argues, discoveries we can't yet imagine still await.

In a series of vivid portraits of single-minded scientists, Dunn traces the history of human discovery, from the establishment of classification in the eighteenth century to today's attempts to find life in space. The narrative telescopes from a scientist's attempt to find one single thing (a rare ant-emulating beetle species) to another scientist's attempt to find everything in a small patch of jungle in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. With poetry and humor, Dunn reminds readers how tough and exhilarating it is to study the natural world, and why it matters.

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this book, which looks at scientists through the ages, many of whom are more than a little bit dotty. Especially Linnaeus, of course. I learned a lot about archaea and nanobacteria ... Read full review

Review: Every Living Thing: Man's Obsessive Quest to Catalog Life, from Nanobacteria to New Monkeys

User Review  - Michael Alexander Henke - Goodreads

Many people may remember hearing the name Carl Linnaeus from a biology class they took at one point time. He's the man who gave the binomial nomenclature system for classifying life. Unless you ... Read full review

Contents

Common Names
23
The Invisible World
40
Part II
57
Part III
131
Origin Stories
181
Looking Out
193
To Squeeze Life from a Stone
209
The Wrong Elephant?
224
What Remains
246
Endnotes
257
Index
265
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Rob Dunn is an assistant professor in the department of zoology at the North Carolina State University.

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