The flamingo's smile

reflections in natural history

476 pages

English language

Published Jan. 7, 1987 by W. W. Norton & Company.

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"THE FLAMINGO'S SMILE is about history," writes the author in this volume of essays, "...and about what it means to say that life is the product of a contingent past, not the inevitable and predictable result of simple, timeless laws of nature. Quirkiness and meaning are my two not-so-contradictory themes."

Flamingos that feed upside down; flowers and snails that change from male to female; the probability that an errant asteroid sounded the death knell of the dinosaurs and ushered in the evolution of mankind...these are only a few of the things that open our eyes to the endless delights of Gould's subject...evolutionary theory.

6 editions


  • Natural history -- Addresses, essays, lectures.