The Monkey's Voyage by Alan de Queiroz

The Monkey's Voyage

Throughout the world, closely related species are found on landmasses separated by wide stretches of ocean. What explains these far-flung distributions? Why are species found where they are across the Earth?Since the discovery of plate tectonics, scientists have long conjectured that plants and animals were scattered over the globe by riding pieces of ancient supercontinents as they broke up. In the past decade, however, that theory has foundered...


Details The Monkey's Voyage

TitleThe Monkey's Voyage
ISBN9780465020515
Author
Release DateJan 7th, 2014
PublisherBasic Books
LanguageEnglish
GenreScience, Nonfiction, History, Natural History, Biology, Environment, Nature, Evolution
Rating

Reviews The Monkey's Voyage

  • Mya
    1970-01-01
    I had to read this book for my evolutionary biology class. I have to say as a person new to the field, this book provided wonderful insight to understand the basics. I would say the book is bias in many cases and the beginning was kinda dull, but that could be a bias opinion of my own. I have to say the author is wonderful with lightening the mood and has done a very good job providing support for his claim.
  • Ben Babcock
    1970-01-01
    So, there are monkeys in South America and in Africa. How did they get there? That’s essentially what Alan de Queiroz wants to answer in The Monkey’s Voyage: How Improbable Journeys Shaped the History of Life, albeit in a roundabout way.If you’re a creationist, especially a young-Earth creationist, you don’t have to worry too much about this. The answer is “God did it!” (Or possibly, “God did it, praise Jesus!” if you are feeling ...
  • Michael Crawford
    1970-01-01
    This book had much less monkey than I was expecting. The monkey doesn't appear until 200+ pages into the book. Then the bomb drops, a small bomb IMO. Our family of monkey likes to take cruises. As do many other animals. The big point her is that the earth is rediculously old. The evolution of its life forms takes time and includes many extinctions. The second big point is that maybe the crust plates shifting separated animal species, but those an...
  • Louise
    1970-01-01
    4 StarsA lot more heavy on the scientific theory and history of science than I was expecting. I guess I thought it would mostly be a collection of stories about remarkable animal/plant dispersals, but is actually more of a manifesto for the legitimacy of chance dispersal as the driving force behind the history of life with a few example case studies and lots of history on the scientific arguments for and against.Utterly fascinating, but then I am...
  • Phritz
    1970-01-01
    I enjoyed this book. I've never read anything about bio-geography before. The author spends ample time on field work, covering areas like New Caledonia, New Zealand, Madagascar, Hawaii, Central America, and many other locals. He dives into the details and taxonomy of numerous species and conveys the role of bio-geographical sleuth. All and all, this book is worth reading.My gripes with this book are secondary. To put it briefly, Alan de Queiroz' ...
  • Chris Branch
    1970-01-01
    A engagingly written discussion of the debate about whether the evidence favors vicariance or long distance dispersal as the explanation for the distribution of living things around the world.There may indeed have been some cases of vicariance, in which an ancient species was separated by continental drift and subsequently evolved into separate modern species. But de Queiroz makes a convincing argument that this is actually a more rare occurrence...
  • Rj
    1970-01-01
    A really dry book that sadly does not live up to the exciting title. De Queiroz looks at how biologists have arrived at explanations for populations of sameness and diversity across the planet and places them in historiographical context. In the end I skimmed it looking for anything interesting and found myself unable to finish the book.
  • Rossdavidh
    1970-01-01
    No matter what group of humans you wish to consider, it is virtually always the case that they will find a reason to split into two factions. This is true of religions, alternative music scenes, political parties, you name it. Perhaps you might think that scientists who study evolution would be different. You'd be wrong.Alan de Queiroz is an evolutionary biologist, and he's clearly taken sides along one of the many fault lines which divide biolog...
  • Last Ranger
    1970-01-01
    Life Finds a Way: If you've ever wondered why certain plants or animals live where they do, then this marvelous book may give you new insights on how, and when, they got there. In "The Monkey's Voyage" author Alan de Queiroz helps you explore the history and current theories in Biogeography and Evolutionary Biology. Although there are some technical parts the book, for the most part, is layman friendly for anyone who has, at least, high school Bi...
  • Henrique Maia
    1970-01-01
    I have to confess I was pleasantly surprised with this book. Judging only by the title, I read it thinking I was about to learn more about the evolution of our genus, and thus enhance my understanding or our own evolution. By reading it, I was taken into a completely different journey, one that took me to the heart of the complexities of life’s dispersion, challenging my many assumptions on the subject. And this makes the book interesting in tw...
  • Andy Janes
    1970-01-01
    Took away for me to get into this. Not the most engaging writing style, but it really picks up about half way in and becomes an easier read. A little bit more hard science-y/less pop-sci than I was expecting.
  • Kimberly Edwin
    1970-01-01
    I just finished this one and I enjoyed learning about vicariance vs. dispersal in evolutionary theory. I am on a serious science bender and have read numerous evolution books.
  • Maxine
    1970-01-01
    How is it that similar species can be found as far away as Africa and South America? This question has been raging at least since Charles Darwin. Until then, the generally accepted answer was God. Darwin, on the other hand, believed that it was caused by dispersal – seeds and insects carried on birds’ feet or on floating debris or even icebergs in the ocean – and experimented with radish seeds and sticks to prove his theory. That theory was...
  • Nola
    1970-01-01
    The premise is that dispersal was and is an important force behind the distribution of plants and animals throughout the history of living organisms. On the other hand, there is a belief that vicariance, or separation as tectonic plates move organisms apart, rather than more recent long distance dispersal, is mainly responsible for current plant and animal distributions. The author starts with a history of the development of concepts of evolution...
  • Alger
    1970-01-01
    This is a book with a purpose, a trait which it holds in common with all the best popular science books. Queiroz is on a mission here to explain to the layperson exactly what the state of the art is in biogeography and the evidence behind an emerging consensus on species dispersion. To do this he pulls in considerable history, a number of key personalities, and ties them together with personal anecdotes. The anecdotes nearly killed this book for ...
  • Cade
    1970-01-01
    This was a very interesting book. I primarily enjoyed this book because it gave me some interesting new (to me) information in a highly understandable and readable presentation. I liked the author's logical development of the evidence in favor of long distance dispersals, and I appreciated his attempts to consistently be frank about the relative strengths and weaknesses of evidence for his hypothesis. I found that the author seemed more reliable ...
  • Ryan
    1970-01-01
    A quite detailed discussion on the history of biogeography, from it's origins as a co-topic of evolution in the 19th century, through the important breakthrough given by the discovery of plate tectonics and finally to the recent advances in molecular 'time clock' techniques of constructing phylogenetic trees. It includes a large cast of scientists and thinkers, their debates and infighting within academia on the validity of vicariance biogeograph...
  • Louise
    1970-01-01
    I found The Monkey's Voyage surprisingly amusing; the narrative "feel" of it makes it appropriate for casual reading as well as academic. It reads as though one is having a nice discussion with someone who is clearly well-versed in his subject but who can't hide his amicable humor -- or, in some instances, his sharp snark. Alan de Queiroz's first full book serves as a kind of primer on biogeography, the study of the distribution of species across...
  • Steven
    1970-01-01
    De Queiroz writes a detailed and well thought out argument in support of the idea that much of our planet's biodiversity stems from transoceanic voyages. He outlines the various schools of thought, and through personal research and working closely with other biogeographers, he weighs the evidence for such journeys against the evidence for biodiversity as a function of continental fragmentation. Of course, views have changed over time as new tools...
  • Wayland Smith
    1970-01-01
    From the reviews, I had expected a book about how different animals ended up developing on different continents. This is sort of that, but with a lot of side-trips and digressions. The first section of the book is largely about continental drift and at times it feels like you need a geology degree to really understand it. A lot of the book is about arguments between factions of scientists. People didn't believe continental drift at first, and the...
  • Beverly
    1970-01-01
    DeQueiroz is a wonderful writer, and his skill makes his thesis compelling: that Darwin was more right than wrong about the chance dispersal of species. A stumbling block to this idea is that long distance dispersal over oceans is unlikely, so the idea of vicariance, the breaking apart of a large landmass into fragments (which happened), or movement over land bridges, now submerged, seemed better explanations. But guess what? Breakthroughs in DNA...
  • Peter Mcloughlin
    1970-01-01
    The Hawaiian Islands are 2400 miles from north America the nearest continent to this Pacific Chain. The Islands emerged from the sea only a few million years ago. They are full of plants and animals that have been there for millions of years as well. How did the animals and plants get there? To travel across 2400 miles of pacific ocean to colonize a pacific island may be easily imaginable for a bird but what about a rabbit. How about the recently...
  • Phair
    1970-01-01
    I think someone studying biology would get more out of this than the average reader. It wasn't exactly scholarly but definitely had a more academic bent. I kept wondering when he was going to get around to the monkeys of the title which made the run-up to that section feel like a VERY long preface. What I enjoyed most were the parts that were more personal and anecdotal rather than the dry descriptions of various theories and schools of thought o...
  • Just A. Bean
    1970-01-01
    I'll admit to not having a dog in the scientific debate as to the means of species distribution, though I know the basics from hanging around biologists, but found this book to be a very engaging read.The science was clearly explained and relatively easy for a lay person to follow (though I found some of the DNA extraction section slightly confusing), and the author holds the book together with clear examples and amusing stories and personalities...
  • Tad Richards
    1970-01-01
    Ultimately, this book told me more about biogeography than I really wanted to know. And I would guess I'm the book's target audience -- a nonscientist who's never heard of biogeography before, but has a lively curiosity, and is a sucker for good, lively writing on arcane subjects.So yeah, I skipped over some parts. And de Queiroz sometimes forgets to be a good, lively writer and falls back into scientific jargon. But for all that, I loved the boo...
  • Mark
    1970-01-01
    This book discusses how plants and animals came to evolve in places where they had not lived before. For example, how did monkeys come to South America? From North America by land bridge? From Africa by raft? Or? Although the conversation is highly speculative and in many places reads more like a scientific paper than a book for the average person, the author helped me to weigh two scientific theories I had never really previously paused to consi...
  • Andreu Escrivà
    1970-01-01
    Un llibre magnífic sobre la història de la biogeografia, una ciència sovint oblidada tot i que un dels pares fundadors n'és Darwin. La pregunta de "per què està aquesta estpècie ací?" és una de les més interessants que es poden fer en biologia, i Queiroz fa un repàs de com han evolucionat les nostres respostes, desmitifica mites i ens mostra com la dispersió arran dels oceans ha jugat un paper clau. Es llig bé i està ben escrit (ll...
  • JQAdams
    1970-01-01
    This is a reasonably lively telling of an academic debate in biogeography, and why the author thinks his side is right and the other side is wrong. As a description, I imagine that sounds like a deeply unpromising subject, and by the second half of the book I did somewhat think the author had already established his point and reached dead-horse territory. Still, it was a window to a corner of science I didn't know much about, and the end-of-chapt...
  • Alex
    1970-01-01
    Ever since taking a Primatology class in college I have been fascinated by the conundrum of how who got where. I was very excited to receive this book as a first read giveaway. As a biologist, I enjoyed the biogeography aspects, where I could see someone not interested in this subject easily could get bored. But I find this subject very interesting, and I think that he did a excellent job covering his ideas enough to give the reader a sense of wh...
  • Noah
    1970-01-01
    Until recently, odd distributions of related animals across the globe were generally attributed to gradual mechanisms like continental drift. New data indicates that a lot of this distribution can be explained by actual ocean crossings by animals and other abrupt dispersal events. The theory is interesting and mildly surprising but I feel like Queiroz puffed up conventional wisdom so that his deflation of it could be more dramatic. I'm not sure a...