• Life on a Young Planet

  • The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth
  • By: Andrew H. Knoll
  • Narrated by: Eric Jason Martin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (72 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Australopithecines, dinosaurs, trilobites - such fossils conjure up images of lost worlds filled with vanished organisms. But in the full history of life, ancient animals, even the trilobites, form only the half-billion-year tip of a nearly four-billion-year iceberg. Andrew Knoll explores the deep history of life from its origins on a young planet to the incredible Cambrian explosion, presenting a compelling new explanation for the emergence of biological novelty. 

The very latest discoveries in paleontology - many of them made by the author and his students - are integrated with emerging insights from molecular biology and earth system science to forge a broad understanding of how the biological diversity that surrounds us came to be. Moving from Siberia to Namibia to the Bahamas, Knoll shows how life and environment have evolved together through Earth's history. 

Listeners go into the field to confront fossils, enter the lab to discern the inner workings of cells, and alight on Mars to ask how our terrestrial experience can guide exploration for life beyond our planet. Along the way, Knoll brings us up-to-date on some of science's hottest questions, from the oldest fossils and claims of life beyond the Earth to the hypothesis of global glaciation and Knoll's own unifying concept of "permissive ecology." 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2003 Princeton University Press (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Life on a Young Planet

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The Earliest Life

I enjoyed this book about the very first life on earth. I wanted to learn about the single-celled organisms that were the life-forms that populated the earth for billions of years, and this book presented that information in a way I could understand.

14 people found this helpful

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A bit mixed ...

The content is good, the narration annoying. I really liked the depth into life before the Cambrian.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Enunciation perfected

The reader clearly adores the sound of his own voice. It becomes outright pretentious at times, when he adds extra syllables, like clumsy grace notes in a musical composition. I read it on Kindle after giving up on the Audible version.

1 person found this helpful

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bad narration

a b c d e f . . . . . . . .

1 person found this helpful

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Voice acting is fine

Voice acting is fine, but it may annoy some. I found it was clear and good to fall asleep to in any case! Subject dealt with well with an insight to the field and fieldwork, not just facts and discoveries.
I will be listening to this book again.