Endowed with abundant water, extraordinary ecoystems, varied climates and biomes, our planet is teeming with creatures, great and small. What produced this rich diversity?
How have so many species formed, evolved and adapted? What effects are humans having on the rest of the animal kingdom and on the natural environment we share?
30-Second Zoology explains the diversification process of evolution, then introduces the main groups of invertebrates and vertebrates. Breathing, seeing, communicating and other key features of animal physiology and behaviour are explored, as are the ecological relationships between Earth's myriad species - the predators, the prey, the parasites and the positively poisonous - before assessing the anthropogenic effects of pollution, over-harvesting and a changing climate.
Covering everything from the origins of life and the most basic of organisms, all the way through to the more complex creatures that we recognise today, 30-Second Zoology aims to showcase the most fantastic examples of life on our earth, all in 300 words and one stunning illustration per topic.
Mark Fellowes has been passionate about wildlife from an early age, spending his formative years in the wilds of the west of Ireland surveying birds and bringing bits of the countryside into his home. He is now Professor of Ecology at the University of Reading, working on species as diverse as aphids and ants, red kites and sloth bears. With current projects on five continents, his research explores the connections between people and animals, trying to understand how we can live alongside wildlife for the benefit of biodiversity. He lives in the UK.