The image above is one of Stuart Carter-Jackson’s beautiful illustrations of geological time.
Part 1, ‘the Past’, takes us on a journey from an early Earth billions of years ago, to the West’s ‘discovery’ of Azolla during Louis-Antoine de Bougainville’s eighteenth century circumnavigation of the Earth.
‘The Past’ is separated into nine chapters and we have included samples from each for you to read. Many of the chapters begin with a short story that is designed to transport you back to another time and place, so that you can visualize the events as they occurred.
Here is a list of the chapters:
Chapter 1: The Mackenzie Delta: Midsummer, 50 million years ago
Chapter 2: The North Pole tells its story
Chapter 3: A Meeting of the Minds
Chapter 4: The Perfect Marriage
Chapter 5: The Hopeful Monster
Chapter 6: The Evolution of a Superorganism
Chapter 7: Strange worlds: From Greenhouse to Icehouse
Chapter 8: Worshipped in the East: Azolla’s use in rice production
Chapter 9: The West discovers Azolla: Classification and geographic distribution
Chapter 10: East meets West. Azolla: superorganism or weed?
Chapter 1 begins our story 50 million year ago when the Earth was poised on the brink of massive climate change triggered by Azolla’s repeated spread across the ancient Arctic Ocean……