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Melanism: Evolution in Action

by Majerus, M.

  • Paperback £37.00
  • New Book Availability : Usually available within 4 day(s)
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  • Catalogue No : 13524
  • ISBN : 9780198549826
  • Published : 1998
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 364

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Description:

describes investigations into a ubiquitous biological phenomenon, the existence of dark, or melanic, forms of many species of mammals, insects, and some plants. Melanism is a particularly exciting phenomenon in terms of our understanding of evolution. Unlike many other polymorphisms, the rise of a melanic population within a species is a visible alteration. Not only this, but melanism may sometimes occur dramatically quickly compared to other evolutionary change. Examples of melanism include one of the most famous illustrations of Darwinian natural selection, the peppered moth. This book, the first written on melanism since 1973, gives a lucid and up-to-date appraisal of the subject. The book is divided into ten chapters. The first four chapters place melanism into its historical and scientific context, with illustrations of its occurrence, and physical and genetic properties. Chapters 5-9 look in more detail at melanism in moths and ladybirds, explaining the diversity of evolutionary reasons for melanism, and the complexities underlying this apparently simple phenomenon. The final chapter shows how the study of melanism has contibuted to our understanding of biological evolution as a whole. Written in an engaging and readable style, by an author whose enthusiasm and depth of knowledge is apparent throughout, this book will be welcomed by all students and researchers in the fields of evolution, ecology, entomology, and genetics. It will also be of relevance to professional and amateur entomologists and lepidopterists alike

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