Preface: The Biodiversity CrisisCh. 1Tales from the SwampPt. IThe Biodiversity Crisis in Microcosm1Pt. IIThe Ok Avango as Primordial Eden24Ch. 2Biodiversity, Evolution, and Ecology49Ch. 3The Tree of Life67Ch. 4Ecosystem Panorama113Ch. 5Biodiversity - A Threatened Natural Treasure143Ch. 6Striking a Balance177App. IAnimal Species Extinct Since Circa 1600195App. IIEssential Microbes, Fungi, Animals, and Plants208Bibliography of Suggested Readings216Index219
Niles Eldredge is Curator in the Department of Invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the author of numerous books, including The Miner's Canary, Fossils, and Time Frames: The Evolution of Punctuated Equilibria (all Princeton).
"The most important science book of the year."--Publishers Weekly "[Life in the Balance] is a natural history of the world seen through the eyes of a latter-day prophet... The text is a delight, written as if the story in all its intricate detail has been bottled up and is bursting to get out."--David Bellamy, New Scientist "[Niles Eldredge] is at his best telling his readers about the rich web of life that exists in the Okavango Delta in Botswana... This remarkable area is one that he knows well and loves deeply."--Peter H. Raven, Scientific American "A graceful and scholarly account. In particular, Eldredge's passionate description of one of the few 'Edens' left to us ... is a damning chronicle of what our world should be but is not."--The Times Literary Supplement "The story of man's dominion over nature and his subsequent abuse of power cannot be told too often, and Eldredge...has provided one of the most succinct accounts yet."--Richard Fortey, The New York Times Book Review "...a superb primer on why we should worry about biodiversity ... a clear, concise and beautifully illustrated tour of modern biology..."--Susan Okie, The Washington Post Book World