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Diversity of Life: The Illustrated Guide to Five Kingdoms, Second Edition

Author(s): Lynn Margulis, PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts
Karlene Schwartz, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts
Michael Dolan, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts
  • ISBN-13: 9780763708627
  • ISBN-10:0763708623
  • Spiral/paperback    248 pages      © 1999
Price: $161.95 US List
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This sophisticated coloring book is a beautifully detailed illustration of the world's living diversity. It is written for science students, teachers, and anyone else who is curious about the extraordinary variety of living things that inhabit this planet. It opens with an introduction to the classification systems, distinctions between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, an introduction to life cycles, Earth history, and an explanation of how to best use this coloring book. The next section is organized by communities in which the organisms live. The final section details the variety of major groupings - phyla - within each kingdom and shows how the organisms in each are distinguished from one other. This coloring book gives a visual understanding of the enormous diversity of life on this planet and will be an enlightening and educational resource for students from a variety of backgrounds.

Features & Benefits

A detailed full page illustration, ideal for coloring, depicts representative organisms for each phylum.  An identical but smaller illustration labels the organisms.
In addition to introducing and describing familiar and unfamiliar plants, animals, and microorganisms, the text introduces current topics of interest, such as the relation of archaebacteria to other bacteria and the eukaryotes.
Diversity of Life also contains handy learning guides: an introduction to classification systems and life cycles, cell movement, modes of nutrition, a brief geological history of the Earth, and a glossary of terms.
Unique, magnified sections of the art present a wide variety of organisms displayed within their own specific niches of shared habitats.

Applicable Courses

Designed for teachers and students, as well as the interested public, the book has a spiral binding that allows this book to lie flat for coloring and labeling. This text is perfect for the first year biology student.

  • Biology
  • Introduction to Biology

Note to the Reader

Chapter 1. Bacteria
Chapter 2. Protoctista
Chapter 3. Fungi
Chapter 4. Animalia
Chapter 5. Plantae

Appendix: Classification

Lynn Margulis, PhD-University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

Lynn Margulis is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is widely recognized for her theories on the symbiotic origin of eukaryotic cells, her development of the Five Kingdom classification scheme, and her role, with James Lovelock, in developing the Gaia Hypothesis. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and recent recipient of the National Medal of Science.

Additional Titles by this Author

Karlene Schwartz-University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts

Michael Dolan-University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

Michael Dolan is adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. An expert on anaerobic protists of termites, he also teaches the class “Environmental Evolution” to advanced undergraduate and graduate students in biology, chemistry, and astronomy with Dr. Lynn Margulis.

  • "DIVERSITY has surprising success in being all things (well almost all) to all people. It's about equally divided between fact-packed technical writing, full of Latin names, and line drawings of them. The intro is convincingly authoritative. And TEN pages of further resources are provided.
    At first, I thought this is not a book for me, a novice, But Latin names are coupled with common ones. The fifty-page glossary is nicely written in everyday language. And the line drawings are tantalizing. I am invited to color the drawings! 
              The cover shows the beauty of color and design that the authors contemplate. Spiral binding lies flat for coloring. I wonder what medium works best. Colored pencils? How would the paper take to water color or acrylic? The authors urge me to photocopy the drawings. I might enlarge one, use good art paper and create something worth framing!
             There's no clue as to what colors are right. Shall I create my own color scheme, or go to the zoo or a swamp for real-life colors? I think fantasy will be more fun. 
             DIVERSITY does assume some knowledge of biology. I'd call it an expansion of knowledge for those who like knowledge for its own sake, and certainly a well-organized reference book. It could also work as a student-friendly text for a sophisticated high school or beginning college level classroom.
              Just learning that there are five kingdoms staggered me because I studied biology before 1960, when there were just two. The animal Kingdom is now "animalia" and the vegetable kingdom is now "plantae." Modern biologists distinguish bacteria and fungi as numbers three and four. The fifth is really unnerving: something called Protoctista -- very close to the medical words that start out Procto --.
             This adds up to more diversity of life than I've ever thought about. On page 21 I find the first creative drawing/learning project: two cows in a field. One has its digestive tract outlined, with magnified drawings of six kinds of bacteria that populate its gut. Further along I find a pretty little drawing of the notorious E. coli. schematically resident in a fisherman's stomach. What wonderful colors shall I choose?

           I think I shall use DIVERSITY as my Field Guide to the Minuscule as I color with my grandchildren. And somewhere I will find out what a Proctoct-- really is."

    J. Jill Coleman
    Copyright 2000,, Inc.

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