Melanism: Evolution in Action

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9780198549826: Melanism: Evolution in Action
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"A general discussion of melanism, whose centerpiece is a reanalysis of the evolution of industrial melanism in Biston betularia. Majerus shows us that the textbook version is wrong in many respects..." --Evolution


"From time to time, evolutionists re-examine a classic experimental study and find, to their horror, that it is flawed or downright wrong. . . . Until now . . . the prize horse in our stable of examples has been the evolution of industrial melanism in the peppered moth, Biston betularia, presented by most teachers and textbooks as the paradigm of natural selection and evolution occurring within a human lifetime. The reexamination of this tale is the centrepiece of Michael Majerus's book . . . the Biston analysis is necessary reading for all evolutionists, as are the introductory chapters on the nature of melanism, its distribution among animals, and its proposed causes."--Nature


"The classical example of natural selection at work concerns melanism (the occurrence of dark forms). Probably all biologists have heard about 'the peppered moth story', first published by Kettlewell in Heredity. . . . Michael Majerus dissects the story in his book on melanism and shows that it is more complex and fascinating than most biologists will have realized. . . . The book is . . . very readableD Ssomething which cannot be said of many books containing so much interesting scientific material."--Heredity


"Placing melanism into its historical and scientific context, the author considers the diversity of melanism in the animal and plant worlds, and its physical and genetic properties. Examining melanism in moths and ladybeetles in detail, he explores the diversity of evolutionary reasons for melanism and the complexities underlying this phenomenon."--Entomological News


"[T]he classic example of natural selection in action: namely, the evolution of industrial melanism in the peppered moth (Biston betularia). . . . The familiarity of this example to

Rezension:

'...Michael Majerus dissects the story in his book on melanism and shows that it is more complex and fascinating than most biologists will have realised...The book is,...very readable-something which cannot be said of many books containing so much interesting scientific material.' ( Jack Windig, Heredity, 81, 468-472.)

'...Occupying a quarter of the book, the Biston analysis is necessary reading for all evolutionists, as are the introductory chapters on the nature of melanis, its distribution among animals, and its proposed causes.' ( Jerry A.Coyne, Nature, Vol. 396, November 1998.)

'...The book is written for biologists, both professionals and amateurs with a special interest in entomology, and the presentation is very clear and straightforward...The book is attractively presented with plenty of useful illustrations...An up-to-date review of melanic polymorphism is provided, set in a context which is sufficiently jargon-free to appeal to the amateur entomologists...This should be the major work in the field for many years to come,' ( laurence Cook, Manchester Museum, Univ of Manchester)

'...This work will be of considerable interest not only to geneticists and evolutionary biologists, but also to entomologists, ecologists and natural historians who wish to extend their understanding of Darwin's evolutionary theory, more particularly of natural selection.' MRDS, 1999

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