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Department of Zoology


Despite the overwhelming diversity of life on Earth, one theme has dominated evolution: the apparently simple act of moving from one place to another. Restless Creatures, published by Icon Books, is the first book for a general audience telling the incredible story of locomotion in human and animal evolution.


Evolutionary biologist Matt Wilkinson traces this four-billion-year history, showing why our ancestors became two-legged, how movement explains why we have opposable thumbs and a backbone, how fish fins became limbs, how even trees are locomotion-obsessed, and how movement has shaped our minds as well as our bodies. He explains why there are no flying monkeys or biological wheels, how dinosaurs took to the air, how Mexican waves were the making of the animal kingdom, and why moving can make us feel good. 


Restless Creatures opens up an astonishing new perspective – that little in life makes sense except in the light of movement.