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Sioux Falls Scientists endorse The Serengeti Rules for describing
how evolution has brought about an entire integrated world.

The Serengeti Rules
The Quest To Discover
How Life Works And Why It Matters
By Sean B. Carroll

The Serengeti Rules (2016) 263 pages
The Serengeti Rules at Amazon.com

How does life work? How does nature produce the right number of zebras and lions on the African savanna, or fish, in the ocean? How do our bodies produce the right numbers of cells in our organs and bloodstream? In The Serengeti Rules, award-winning biologist and author Sean Carroll tells the stories of the pioneering scientists who sought the answers to such simple yet profoundly important questions, and shows how their discoveries matter for our health and the health of the planet we depend on.

One of the most important revelations about the natural world is that everything is regulated - there are rules that regulate the amount of every molecule in our bodies and rules that govern the numbers of every animal and plant in the wild. And the most surprising revelation about the rules that regulate life at such different scales is that they are remarkably similar - there is a common underlying logic of life. Carroll recounts how our deep knowledge of the rules and logic of the human body has spurred the advent of revolutionary life-saving medicines, and makes the compelling case that it is now time to use the Serengeti Rules to heal our ailing planet.

A bold and inspiring synthesis by one of our most accomplished biologists and gifted storytellers, The Serengeti Rules is the first book to illuminate how life works at vastly different scales. Read it and you will never look at the world the same way again.

Sean B. Carroll is an award-winning scientist, writer, educator, and executive producer. He is Vice President for Science Education at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Allan Wilson Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include Endless Forms Most Beautiful, Brave Genius, and Remarkable Creatures, which was a finalist for the National Book Award for nonfiction. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

8-29-18 Humans have shaped the Serengeti’s ecosystems since the Stone Age
Remains of dung from 3700 years ago reveal how it was nomadic herders, not nature, that seeded the Serengeti’s unique ecosystems. It’s time to re-think the assumption that Africa’s Serengeti grasslands are pristine works of nature. It turns out that the amazing biodiversity they host today might owe more to ancient cowpats deposited by livestock corralled in overnight pens by Stone Age nomadic herders. Far from despoiling the Serengeti, nomadic farmers have helped its unique ecosystems develop over several millennia. “Our findings show that African savannahs thought of as ‘untouched’ environments stretching back millions of years are more biodiverse as a result of the spread of the earliest herders,” says Fiona Marshall of Washington University in St Louis. Researchers already knew that cowpats from livestock provide hotspots of nutrients in otherwise barren grasslands, enabling much richer ecosystems to evolve in and around these human-made biological oases. The assumption was that, on the Serengeti, these dung-rich oases – called grassy glades – date back roughly 1000 years. To explore whether they had an earlier history, Marshall and her colleagues sampled layers of earth from depths up to a metre below five previously identified ancient pastoral sites in Narok County in southwest Kenya.

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The Serengeti Rules
The Quest To Discover
How Life Works And Why It Matters
By Sean B. Carroll

Sioux Falls Scientists endorse The Serengeti Rules for describing
how evolution has brought about an entire integrated world.