Driving evolution forward, the Earth's physical environment has challenged the very survival of organisms and ecosystems throughout the ages. With a fresh new perspective, Evolution on Planet Earth shows how these physical realities and hurdles shaped the primary phases of life on the planet. The book's thorough coverage also includes chapters on more proximate factors and paleoenvironmental events that influenced the diversity of life. A team of notable ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and paleontologists join forces to describe drifting continents, extinction events, and climate change -- important topics that continue to shape Earth's inhabitants to this very day. In a world where global change has become an international issue, this book provides a several billion-year evolutionary perspective on what the environment and environmental change means to life.* Provides thorough background information on each topic while introducing cutting-edge research* Features original material solicited from the leading minds in evolutionary biology and geology today* Emphasizes the influence of massive geological forces - continental drift, volcanic activity, sea and tides.