The Next Species

The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man

A growing number of scientists agree we are headed toward a mass extinction. Some think we are already there. But those that study extinction know it can bring both destruction and opportunity. The asteroid that fell out of the sky at the end of the Cretaceous knocked out the dinosaurs. But it also made way for mammals and man. This book looks at extinctions in the past, major changes going on right now, and then asks what happens next. In The Next Species, Michael Tennesen questions what life might be without humans, and what it could be with another human-like species.

In thoughtful, provocative ways, Tennesen discusses the future of nature and whether man will make it through the bottleneck of extinction. He delves into the history of the planet and travels to rainforests, canyons, craters, and caves all over the world to explore the potential winners and losers of the next era of evolution. His predictions, based on reports and interviews with top scientists, have vital implications for life on earth today.

Praise for The Next Species

“Michael Tennesen is not only a brilliant enthusiast of science but he is also a gifted writer.”
– Michael J. Tougias, author of A Storm Too Soon and Fatal Forecast

“To anyone who has ever imagined that Homo sapiens is the pinnacle of evolution, The Next Species is both a vital corrective and a fascinating glimpse at things to come. The book is plotted like a thriller, but the question here is not whodunit; the bracing question is what have we done, and how will the planet respond?”
– Corey Powell, editor at large, Discover

“Simultaneously sobering and exhilarating, this wide-ranging survey of di- sasters highlights both life’s fragility and its metamorphosing persistence.”
Booklist (starred review)

“An engrossing history of life and the dismal changes wrought by man, and a forecast of life after the sixth mass extinction.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Tennesen is at his best when addressing the urgent environmental problems of today, particularly in his engaging discussion of water usage in New York City and Las Vegas.”
Publishers Weekly

“Tennesen is an accomplished science journalist who likes to pursue ‘adventure science’ in all the craters, canyons, and rain forests he can manage. For this book, he has also interviewed dozens of experts in all the related elds. The book is both exhilarating and terrifying, but it’s an easy read even for the nonscientist. Life will go on with Homo sapiens or without them.”
The Charleston (SC) Post and Courier

“Looking for a scary book? Pick up a copy of Michael Tennesen’s The Next Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man. It doesn’t offer the bogeymen du jour [but] explores something far more terrifying: the end of the world as we know it. For real . . . The research that drives our understanding of mass extinctions is complicated and spread across several scienti c elds, but Tennesen has done an excellent job of simplifying it for a general readership. (The Next Species would be excellent source material for a timely TV series in the style of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.)”
Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch

“A thoroughly researched and insightful investigation into the end of life as we know it and a sobering reminder that man needs nature more than nature needs man.”
– Lindsay Abrams, Salon

“[Tennesen] takes up nothing less than the task of telling the whole biography of life on earth in just over 250 pages—and succeeds with a sunny aplomb that would be beyond the abilities of most actual professional scientists. . . . As good-natured a hymnal as any stubbornly egotistical species could want.”
Open Letters Monthly

“The best part about The Next Species is how much you will understand with- out having to be a scientist. Tennesen translates highly technical information into a fascinating—if a bit gloomy—account of our planet.”

“No book this terrifying has a right to be this enjoyable. Michael Tennesen has written a complex account of earth’s past, present, and future that manages to be as accessible as it is brilliant. It reads like a thriller, and mass extinction never looked so entertaining. If you care about humankind’s impact on earth – and what it means for humans – it’s essential.”
– John Fugelsang, SiriusXM

“Michael has written a thought-provoking book that will stimulate conversation among scientists and laypersons alike.”
– Steve Kelly, Kelly’s Corner, KPTR

“In The Next Species, author Michael Tennesen takes us on a journey around the world in an effort to uncover the causes of earth’s past mass extinctions, and then speculates about what life may someday look like as a result of our planet’s current great die-off. His book is thought-provoking, fascinating, and a major work of popular-science art.”
– John Betz, The Skeptical Eye, KOPN

“In The Next Species, Michael Tennesen demonstrates his tremendous knack for translating complicated scientific material into engrossing text for a non-scientific audience.”
– Mark Weller, National Wildlife

“Guided by earth’s turbulent past, Michael Tennesen asks about life’s future on a planet increasingly in uenced by humans. Those who care about their grandchildren, and their grandchildren’s grandchildren, will want to read The Next Species.”
– Andrew Knoll, Fisher Professor of Natural History, Harvard University

“The Next Species is ultimately about change: the changes scientists have pieced together from the distant past, the change we can expect in our life- times, and the changes that will come after the sunset of Homo sapiens. Vividly written and meticulously researched, The Next Species conveys the urgency of our environmental peril.”
– Lindsay Beyerstein, Point of Inquiry

“Examining multiple catastrophic episodes in the history of the earth, Michael Tennesen’s The Next Species describes the subsequent processes of re- generation and evolution that brought about, each time, a new habitable environment and new species to inhabit it. It was utterly fascinating and, ultimately, more uplifting than I ever could have imagined.”
– Laurie Bley, director, Duke International Media Exchange, Duke University

“In The Next Species, Michael Tennesen travels the world to witness rsthand the scientific research that informs us how human activity and natural events are impacting the future of our survival on earth. It’s a most needed wake-up call.”
– Joanne Manaster, School of Integrative Biology, University of Illinois

“The Next Species is not doom-and-gloom or alarmist. In fact, I found it enlightening and positive. Author Michael Tennesen is a science writer. He asks good questions and gives good, solid, well-explained and researched answers. He reports with wit and optimism and draws thoughtful conclusions.”
– Heidi Simmons, Coachella Valley (CA) Weekly

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