COVID-19 Update: We are currently shipping orders daily. However, due to transit disruptions in some geographies, deliveries may be delayed. To provide all customers with timely access to content, we are offering 50% off Science and Technology Print & eBook bundle options. Terms & conditions.
Evolution of Living Organisms - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780122955501, 9781483274096

Evolution of Living Organisms

1st Edition

Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation

Author: Pierre-P. Grassé
eBook ISBN: 9781483274096
Paperback ISBN: 9781483239736
Hardcover ISBN: 9780122955501
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th January 1978
Page Count: 308
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out Price includes VAT/GST
Price includes VAT/GST

Institutional Subscription

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.


Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation discusses traditional interpretations of evolution with a new assumption. The book presents a rational and general account of real evolutionary phenomena based on paleontology and molecular biological data. The text reviews biological evolution from the simple to the complex or progressive and regressive evolution. The author explains the appearance of types of organization from Captorhinomorphs to Pelycosaurs to the Theriodonts— from which the mammals arose. He also explains that in the evolution to mammals, the transformation of the Theriodonts concerned only the skeleton, muscles, dentition, and not the brain. He cites the case of the Perissodactyls as an example. The author also asserts that paleontology and molecular biology can explain the mechanism of evolution without even detailing the causes of orientations of lineages, of the finalities of structures, of living functions, and of cycles. But this approach will involve metaphysics. This book can be appreciated by anthropologists, researcher and scientists involved in zoology, paleontology, genetics and biochemistry.

Table of Contents


An Introduction to the Study of Evolution

General Observations on the Living World

Biological Evolution and Its Occurrences

Interpretation of Evolutionary Facts

I From the Simple to the Complex—Progressive Evolution, Regressive Evolution

Increasing Complexity as a Function of Time

Chronological Order of Appearance

Regressive Evolution

The Limits of Evolution

II Creative Evolution, or the Appearance of Types of Organization

General Remarks

The Appearance of a Major Pattern of Organization: The Mammals

From Captorhinomorphs to Pelycosaurs

Theriodonts: Mammalian Ancestors

The Cynodont Line

"Premammalian" Reptiles Derived from the Cynodonts

The Therocephalia-Bauriamorpha

Ictidosaurs, Other "Premammalian" Reptiles

The Evolution of the Jaw Musculature

Summary of the Mammalian Characters of Therapsids and of Their Ancestors, The Pelycosaurs

A Comparison of the Respective Characters of Mammalian Reptiles and Early Mammals: Gradual Transition from One Class to the Other

The Characteristics of Creative Evolution in Theraspid Reptiles

The Mammals: A Homogeneous or a Heterogeneous Class?


III Evolution—A Discontinuous Historical Phenomenon

Evolutionary Discontinuity

The Miocene: An Epoch of Reference

The Dampening of Evolution

The Genealogical Tree of the Animal Kingdom

The Parent Forms and the Creation of Novelties

Panchronic Forms and Arrested Evolution

Persistence of Evolution

Speciation, the Only Present Form of Evolution

Evolution Is the Real History of Life


IV Evolution and Chance

The Lottery of Life

Chance and Its Instrument, Mutation, or the Errors of the Genetic Code

Biological Order and Antichance

Random Preadaptation

Chance and Evolutionary Trends

Chance and Organic Complexity

V Evolution and Natural Selection

The Notion of Selection

Selection during Ontogeny

Selection and Accident

Selective Elimination

Is Competition Universal?

Selection and Demography

Artificial Selection by Man (Cultivation and Domestication)

Errors or Inabilities of Selection

Natural Selection, or Finality in Action


VI Evolution and Adaptation

General Remarks

Relation of Adaptation to Selection

The Limits of Adaptation

Not All Is for the Best in Living Things

Faulty Evolution

Indifferent or Useless Organs

Unfavorable Characteristics and Hypertelies

Equilibrium of Organism with Environment and Adaptation

Variations Caused by the Environment and the Action of the Genes according to the Environment

Preadaptation and Selection in Closed Environments

Preadaptation and Its Role

Coaptation and Adaptation of Unlike Parts

Finality and Adaptation

VII Evolution and Necessity

What Biological Necessity Is: Confusion with Usefulness

Necessity and Persistence of "Stock Forms"

Necessity, Selection, and Heterogeneous Populations

Necessity and the Genesis of the Major Types of Organization

The Animal Creates Its Own Necessity

Necessity-Utility: Not the Prime Motive of Biological Evolution

VIII Activities of the Genes in Relation to Evolution


Exploring the Genome

Genesis of New Species through Recombinations of Genes

IX A New Introduction of Evolutionary Phenomena


Internal Factors in Evolution and the Creative Reactivity of Living Things

The Creation of the New

Size and New Characteristics

Independence and Preeminence of DNA

The Intangibility of DNA and the Central Dogma

Acquisition of the Information by the Organism

Repetition of the Same Gene, and Redundancy

Formation of New Genes and Problems It Raises

Synthesis of Nucleic Acids and Molecular Acquisition of Information

Viral Transduction and Transfer of Alien Information

Novelty by Emergence



Appendix I "Natural" Classification of the Animal Kingdom

Appendix II Geological Time Scale, Including Geological Eras and Periods

Appendix III Glossary

Author Index

Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1978
28th January 1978
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Author

Pierre-P. Grassé

Ratings and Reviews