A billion-year history of movement, from bacteria to Olympic athletes.
'Packed with revelations, scholarly but clear, Restless Creatures carries you from the kinetics of the amoeba to that of the blue whale, from the swim-cycle of spermatozoa, to why skipping works best on the moon. A pop-science treat.' Gavin Francis, author of Adventures in Human Being
Despite the overwhelming diversity of life on earth, one theme has dominated its evolution: the apparently simple act of moving from one place to another. Restless Creatures is the first book for a general audience telling the incredible story of locomotion in human and animal evolution.
Evolutionary biologist Matt Wilkinson traces this 4-billion-year history, showing why our ancestors became two-legged, how movement explains why we have opposable thumbs and a backbone, how fish fins became limbs, how even trees are locomotion-obsessed, and how movement has shaped our minds as well as our bodies. He explains why there are no flying monkeys or biological wheels, how dinosaurs took to the air, how Mexican waves were the making of the animal kingdom, and why moving can make us feel good.
Restless Creatures opens up an astonishing new perspective – that little in evolution makes sense unless in the light of movement.