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Fish with Fingers,
Whales with Legs, and
How Life Came Ashore but Then Went Back To The Sea

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About the Book:

"It is wicked, I know, but I have the habit of turning over the corners of pages whenever I chance upon something unexpectedly interesting, exciting, or informative. Zimmer's At the Water's Edge quickly became the most dog-eared book on my shelves."
The Times (London)

How did our fishy ancestors climb out of the water, onto dry land? How did whales dive back in? These twin puzzles, two of the most remarkable transformations in the history of life, are the subject of At the Water's Edge. Until recently, these transitions remained major gaps in the record of evolution. Biologists could only speculate on the intermediate forms that took vertebrates from water onto land and back. But in a remarkable series of discoveries, in places like Greenland, Pakistan, Russia, as well as the United States, paleontologists have found fish with fingers and whales with legs. They been able to document the ecological forces that drove the rise of these new body plans, and geneticists have been able to find the underlying genetic changes that were at work. In solving these twin puzzles of transformation, scientists have found models for understanding how evolution works on its grandest scale, creating new forms of life that can colonize new habitats.