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Animal Earth

The Amazing Diversity of Living Creatures

Ross Piper

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Ross Piper’s accclaimed examination of the animal kingdom in all its profusion and glory, featuring the full, astounding range of species and lineages


The animal kingdom is staggeringly diverse, but the animals that most easily spring to mind – the tigers, elephants, eagles and crocodiles, or perhaps amphibians, fish, insects and even humans – account for only a tiny proportion of known species. What’s more, there are estimated to be many tens of millions still unknown to science.

Animal Earth is an unbiased tour of this world, highlighting the bizarre appearances, hidden lives and mostly small scale of the creatures with whom we share our planet. The bewildering number of animal species are all offshoots from a relatively small number of lineages, all sharing a common body plan and evolutionary history. This book provides a broadly equal summary of each of these thirty-five lineages, and is structured according to the latest research on the evolutionary relationships of the animals. Every species is an integral component of the ecosystem we live in, and as intelligent beings it is our duty to protect and understand animal diversity not only for its own sake but also to maintain the natural systems that keep us and everything else alive.

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'Stunning ... combines gorgeous photography and up-to-the-minute scientific accounts of all the world’s animals … you will be amazed at their beauty and their exquisite adaptations'
BBC Focus

'From the truly bizarre to the dazzlingly beautiful, the natural world retains the ability to amaze, something that Ross Piper … has set out to capture in his book'
The Times

'Zoologist Ross Piper presents a parade of charismatic yet overlooked fauna in this sumptuous volume'

'A coffee-table treat'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 28.0 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 320 pp

Illustrations: 540

Publication date: 2 March 2015

ISBN: 9780500291658

Contents List

Contents • Preface • Introduction • Ctenophora • Porifera • Placozoa • Cnidaria • Cephalochordata • Tunicata • Craniata • Hemichordata • Echinodermata • Xenoturbellida • Acoelomorpha • Chaetognatha • Nematoda • Nematomorpha • Tardigrada • Onychophora • Arthropoda • Priapulida • Loricifera • Kinorhyncha • Ectoprocta • Entoprocta • Cycliophora • Dicyemida • Orthonectida • Annelida • Mollusca • Nemertea • Brachiopoda • Phoronida • Gastrotricha • Gnathostomulida • Platyhelminthes • Rotifera • Micrognathozoa

About the Author

Ross Piper is the author of numerous books on natural history, including Extreme Lunch. He was a presenter of the recent three-part BBC2 series, 'Wild Burma: Nature’s Lost Kingdom'.