David A. Wharton (Author)

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (February 25, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0521782120
ISBN-13: 978-0521782128

Frogs that freeze solid, worms that dry out, and bacteria that survive temperatures over 100C are all organisms that have an extreme biology, which involves many aspects of their physiology, ecology, and evolution. These organisms live in seemingly impossible places and exhibit fascinating behavior. In this captivating account, the reader is taken on a tour of extreme environments, and shown the remarkable abilities of organisms to survive a range of extreme conditions, such as high and low temperatures and desiccation. Examples include:
Hydrothermal vents
Hot and cold deserts
Polar regions
hot springs
alpine and winter temperate environments
ocean depths, salt lakes, soda lakes, and estuarine muds, among other environments. Life at the Limits considers how organisms survive major stresses, and what extreme organisms can tell us about the origin of life and the possibilities of extraterrestrial life. David Wharton is a Senior Lecturer in Zoology at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. He has focused his research on the survival abilities of nematodes, resulting in the publication of over 75 research papers and one book, The Functional Biology of Nematodes (Croom Helm, 1986). His contribution to research was recognized by the award of the degree Doctor of Science by the University of Bristol in 1997. Recently, Wharton has become interested in the popularization of science through his involvement in the establishment of a Postgraduate Diploma in Natural History, Filmmaking and Communication, a collaboration between the University of Otago and Natural History New Zealand, a producer of natural history films based in Dunedin.

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