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What was the Earth really like hundreds of millions of years ago? And how did life begin? From the first cell to the emergence of man, Reader presents the history of life as a fascinating detective story. As the milestones of evolution are described -- the first multicellular organisms, the first backbone, the first fish, the first land animals -- a host of intriguing questions are examined. For example, why did the dinosaurs disappear completely after ruling the Earth for 140 million years? Why also did some primitive branches of the human tree become extinct? Gurche's unique illustrations make the reader feel he or she is there.