This book accompanies a three-part BBC series in which Richard Fortey traces the history of the planet’s early evolution using not just the fossil records, but also living organisms still inhabiting the Earth, who are almost unchanged from their ancient ancestors. Still following their genetic imprint, these organisms are to found all over the world; from plants, algae and mammals such as the Musk Ox, whose ancestors lived during the Ice Age, to horseshoe crabs, related to the ancient sea-dwelling trilobite – and looking almost the same as they did underwater some 450 million years ago. Written in Fortey’s customary accessible style, Survivors is an excellent, engrossing volume.
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Review by Johanna Mackin