Holiday Gift Part 1

Santa brought me the book below, that I have found quite enjoyable.  It consists of a series of short vignettes that portray the more unusual and surprising mechanisms of evolution.   For example, there are a group of 'false' fishes:  fishes because they look very much like what a layperson would quickly identify as a fish, and yet they are more closely related to a cow than a salmon.  Come to find out, some of these false fishes were transitional actors to life's eventual movement onto land, and their skeletons provide the telltale signs of changes that would be required to do so.  

There are also discussions of five fingers, of large vs. small size, and body armor.  Having just come from a trip to the Galapagos last year I found the explanation of the land tortoises's skeletal anatomy fascinating.  

In 2006 Richard Dawkins published a book called The Ancestor's Tale, that follows along similar lines but in far greater detail, and with enough scientific nomenclature to give you the distinct impression you're back in an intermediate college biology course.  Equally as fascinating, but intimidating at times and not as accessible as de Panafieu's effort.  

Thank you, Santa!