Date: 2011-08-15 05:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomdreams.livejournal.com
I'm just reading a book that is heavily influenced by/discussing Haeckel, as it happens.

Date: 2011-08-15 05:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eub.livejournal.com
Hey, did you see that Haeckel movie, Proteus? I am so bad at getting around to seeing movies, but I imagine this should be beautiful.

Date: 2011-08-15 02:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomdreams.livejournal.com
I didn't even know it existed!

Date: 2011-08-15 06:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eub.livejournal.com
(What I meant to ask before my tangent to it ate my comment: what book?)

Date: 2011-08-15 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomdreams.livejournal.com
"metamorphosis" by frank ryan. It's seriously one of the most amazing books I've read in years. It's written in a thriller/detective manner, and sensationalistic, but it's about the history of research into metamorphosis, from the obvious caterpiller/butterfly through the less obvious but much weirder motile/sessile forms of marine invertebrates, to some discussion of puberty. But the part that makes it amazing is the discussion of how metamorphosis started, esp. in the marine environment: at least one guy is claiming massive horizontal gene transfer a la Barbara McClintock, where external fertilization has gone awry and sperm from one *phylum* is semi-successfully fertilizing eggs from another phylum, leading to bizarre cross-breeds that have a larval form and an adult form that are almost totally different.

Date: 2011-08-16 09:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eub.livejournal.com
Ooh. I would love to know more both about cool examples of metamorphosis (starfish larvae bilaterally symmetric and wacky homeobox tricks!) and theory on why creatures *do* that. And, um, is the cross-phylum thing made plausible?

Crossing fingers, does the book have good footnotes to the literature?

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