The Evolutionary Story of Life on the Wing
by Lev Parikian
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Pub Date 20 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 16 Jun 2023
‘This book soars… Parikian is a nature writer at the top of his game.’ Steve Brusatte, author of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs
‘I didn't want this flight to end.’ Jon Dunn, author of The Glitter in the Green
‘Magical and uplifting’ Ann Pettifor, author of The Case for the New Green Deal
This is the miracle of flight as you’ve never seen it before: the evolutionary story of life on the wing.
A bird flits overhead. It’s an everyday occurrence, repeated hundreds, thousands, millions of times daily by creatures across the world. It’s something so normal, so entirely taken for granted, that sometimes we forget how extraordinary it is. But take that in for a moment. This animal flies. It. Flies.
The miracle of flight has evolved in hugely diverse ways, with countless variations of flapping and gliding, hovering and diving, murmurating and migrating.
Conjuring lost worlds, ancient species and ever-shifting ecologies, this exhilarating new book is a mesmerising encounter with fourteen flying species: from the first fluttering insect of 300 million years ago to the crested pterosaurs of the Mesozoic Era, from hummingbirds that co-evolved with rainforest flowers to the wonders of dragonfly, albatross, pipistrelle and monarch butterfly with which we share the planet today.
Taking Flight is a mind-expanding feat of the imagination, a close encounter with flight in its myriad forms, urging us to look up and drink in the spectacle of these gravity-defying marvels that continue to shape life on Earth.
Praise for Lev Parikian – author of the Wainwright Prize-longlisted Into the Tangled Bank and Light Rains Sometimes Fall:
‘Funny, accessible and full of wonders’ Melissa Harrison
‘Humour, attention to detail and beautifully written prose.’ Stephen Moss