Bacteria: A Very Short Introduction 2nd Edition
It would be understandable if we thought that humans were the principal species on this planet and that we now live in the era where mammals dominate. As we consider previous ages, ending with the Cretaceous extinction 65.5 million years ago, we could well be forgiven for thinking that this was the ‘Age of the Dinosaurs’. The reason is that we tend to classify each era with what can easily be seen around us or from what palaeontologists have reported and placed in museums of natural history for us to marvel at. The truth is there never have been any dominant organisms other than bacteria and that this planet has been in the ‘Age of Bacteria’ almost from the very beginning when life emerged. Bacteria are the most numerous of all organisms and their biomass is by far the largest on our planet and has been estimated to be greater than all the rest combined. Even within our own bodies the number of bacterial cells outnumbers our own cells. They can survive almost everywhere on the planet, from the coldest to the hottest places on earth, even to the bottom of the oceans. No other organisms are as adaptable.
List of illustrations
3 Microbiota and microbiome in humans
5 Environment and civilization
6 Bacterial pathogenesis
8 Antibiotic resistance
9 The future
|September 27, 2022
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