Metamorphosis

Unmasking the Mystery of How Life Transforms

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About The Book

In this enchanting work of scientific exploration, acclaimed science author Frank Ryan explains how metamorphosis - the intricate trick of nature by which caterpillars transform into butterflies - reveals secrets that are shaking the scientific world. Ryan brings to life the work of pioneering naturalists who have traced metamorphosis in myriad species, from amphibians to marine creatures, even human puberty, to rewrite some of our longest-held beliefs about evolution. Lyrical and provocative, The Mystery of Metamorphosis offers a new understanding of some of the most ancient miracles of the nature.

About The Author

A biologist and consultant physician, Frank Ryan is the author of the critically acclaimed Virolution, Darwin's Blind Spot, and Virus X, among others. An Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, he lectures frequently on evolution and the role of viruses in life.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (August 4, 2011)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781851688623

Raves and Reviews

"A well-researched piece of popular science... Ryan successfully shows that a deeper knowledge of metamorphosis could have far-reaching consequences."

– The Big Issue

“A brilliant book…a superb story, some excellent scientific insights, and a fascinating theory. Recommended.” Brian Clegg

– PopularScience.co.uk

“The ideas that Frank Ryan describes – fusion between quite different creatures – at first seem ludicrous, but what great ideas in science do not? The more you think about them the more you feel, 'Yes, it must be so’. Metamorphosis has joined my shortlist of biological must-reads.”

– Colin Tudge - author of The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor and The Secret Life of Trees

“Ryan makes the beauty of metamorphosis palpable, and lays down the work of those variant personalities – by turns taciturn and gregarious, methodical and intuitive – who’ve attempted to wrest from nature the secrets of this transformation. He presents both an ethnography and a history, not only of science as it is believed and accepted to have happened after the fact, but also of science in medias res – science right now, before our eyes, forming.”

– Lynn Margulis - University Professor of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts

“Ryan makes the beauty of metamorphosis palpable, and lays down the work of those variant personalities – by turns taciturn and gregarious, methodical and intuitive – who’ve attempted to wrest from nature the secrets of this transformation…. He presents both an ethnography and a history, not only of science as it is believed and accepted to have happened after the fact, but also of science in medias res – science right now, before our eyes, forming.”

– Lynn Margulis - University Professor of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts

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