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Tears of the Cheetah: The Genetic Secrets of Our Animal Ancestors
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Tears of the Cheetah: The Genetic Secrets of Our Animal Ancestors

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  102 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The history of life on Earth is dominated by extinction events so numerous that over 99.9% of the species ever to have existed are gone forever. If animals could talk, we would ask them to recall their own ancestries, in particular the secrets as to how they avoided almost inevitable annihilation in the face of daily assaults by predators, climactic cataclysms, deadly infe ...more
Paperback, 287 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin's Press) (first published 2003)
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This is the kind of book that your friends can't wait for you to finish, so that they can get some peace. Because you can't stop texting, emailing, calling, and interrupting conversations to share the newest, coolest thing this book told you. It is so cool that you physically cannot stop yourself sharing and trying to talk other people into reading it immediately.

It's that good.

It should be required reading for anyone interested in conservation science, especially anyone interested in conservat
Hosam Diab
الكتاب جيد، الترجمة غير موفقة. كتاب للتسالي، ولو إنه بحاجة إلى قراءات سابقة في هذا الموضوع. يُنصح وبشدة قراءته باللغة الإنجليزية.
Elizabeth McDonald
Feb 15, 2015 Elizabeth McDonald rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: science buffs, conservationy types, people who like Dawkins and the like
I am actually reading the hardcover edition, which, oddly, has a different subtitle ("And Other Tales From the Genetic Frontier"). I can't figure out why they changed that between editions, and I actually feel that the original subtitle captured the essence of the book more. Each chapter is indeed a story from O'Brien's adventures in genetic research, from working with large cats conservation projects to solving a murder case with DNA from a housecat. The adventure is mixed with solid scientific ...more
Very much enjoyed this book. Contains very interesting profiles in each chapter, of examples of great strides and interesting areas of science, and the sometimes messy ethical and real life consequences of that. Gives a broad view into genetics/evolutionary science, which covers many different areas and shows the diversity of the field, but also shows the emotional turmoil often accompanied with study of these areas.
Although dated (published in 2003), Dr. O'Brien's compilation of stories of his work in genetic sleuthing is a great read for those who are beginning in the field. In particular, the early chapters on the importance of genetic diversity to a healthy species is a message relevant to both the endangered animal and human animal worlds.
Catherine Bliss
Jan 25, 2008 Catherine Bliss rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: science-lovers, cat-lovers
Recommended to Catherine by: the author
A great way to learn the ins and outs of molecular genetics and wildlife conservation (with a focus on giant felines)! It's the perfect combination of the technical and narrative. It's also a timely lens for understanding species variation and ecology.
An interesting and enlightening look at genetics and genetic science. It will not take a doctorate to read this well written and thoughtful book. If you are intrigued by genetics, if you like science, read this book.
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Great book on genetics - very easy to read, a bit dated now, but still interesting and well written....particularly if you like animals
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“It seems a shame that less than 1 percent of all the species that ever lived survive today and that only about 5 percent of the sum of the world's living species have names. Yet, our preservation efforts must be built on a solid foundation: an ordered taxonomy of living species. So we are forced to do as politicians do--compromise and move forward--often before all the required data are at hand. Every good scientist I know finds such an exercise counterintuitive, difficult, and sometimes impossible. But the really good ones try anyway.” 1 likes
“Over the past sixty years a rather impressive assembly of respectable taxonomists and evolutionary biologists have tried to unseat the biological species concept for a wide variety of reasons. Most of them failed, probably because Ernst Mayr is alive, adroit, and articulate at ninety-six years young as I write these words, and most critics are no match for him.” 1 likes
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