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Melanism: Evolution in Action


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgements 1: What is melanism? 2: The diversity of melanics 3: The principles of genetics 4: Evolutionary processes 5: The peppered moth story 6: The peppered moth story dissected 7: Melanism in the Lepidoptera 8: Melanism in conspicuous Lepidoptera 9: Melanism in ladybirds 10: The future of research into melanism Glossary References Index

About the Author

Michael Majerus began collecting butterflies and moths when he was four. His fascination with this group, and in particular their value in studying evolution, has spanned almost forty years, and dominated his professional career. He has written over 100 scientific papers and three books on these subjects, and regularly appears on television and radio. A fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, he currently works as a lecturer in the Department of Genetics at the University of Cambridge, where he is researching melanic polymorphism in moths and ladybirds. Michael Majerus, Department of Genetics, Downing St., Cambridge, CB2 3EH. Tel. 01223-333983; Fax. 01223-333992; email: menm@mole.bio.cam.ac.uk.


`'...Michael Majerus dissects the story in his book on melanism and shows that it is more complex and fascinating than most biologists will have realised...The book is,...very readable-something which cannot be said of many books containing so much interesting scientific material.'' Jack Windig, Heredity, 81, 468-472. `'...Occupying a quarter of the book, the Biston analysis is necessary reading for all evolutionists, as are the introductory chapters on the nature of melanis, its distribution among animals, and its proposed causes.'' Jerry A.Coyne, Nature, Vol. 396, November 1998. `'...The book is written for biologists, both professionals and amateurs with a special interest in entomology, and the presentation is very clear and straightforward...The book is attractively presented with plenty of useful illustrations...An up-to-date review of melanic polymorphism is provided, set in a context which is sufficiently jargon-free to appeal to the amateur entomologists...This should be the major work in the field for many years to come,'' laurence Cook, Manchester Museum, Univ of Manchester '...This work will be of considerable interest not only to geneticists and evolutionary biologists, but also to entomologists, ecologists and natural historians who wish to extend their understanding of Darwin's evolutionary theory, more particularly of natural selection.' MRDS, 1999

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