Darwin's Lost World
The Hidden History of Animal Life
Paperback ISBN: 0199548986
It greatly puzzled Darwin that the most ancient rocks, those dating before the Cambrian period, seemed to be barren of fossils when he would expect them to be teeming with life. Decades of work by modern paleontologists have indeed brought us amazing fossils from far beyond the Cambrian, from the depths of the Precambrian. Yet hidden in these depths is a great mystery--something happened around the Cambrian to dramatically speed up evolution and produce many of the early forms of animals we know today--and scientists don't really know what provided that spark. In this vibrantly written book, Martin Brasier, a leading paleontologist working on early life, takes us into the deep, dark ages of the Precambrian to explore Darwin's Lost World. Brasier is a master storyteller. As he explains what we now know of the strange creatures of these truly ancient times--540 million years ago--he takes readers to many far flung places around the globe, interweaving an engaging account of cutting-edge science with colorful and amusing anecdotes from his expeditions to Siberia, Outer Mongolia, and other remote places. As he shows, decoding the evidence in these ancient rocks--piecing together the puzzle of the Cambrian Explosion--is very challenging work. What they have discovered is that, just at the beginning of the Cambrian period, animals (mostly worms) began burrowing into the mud. Why they suddenly began burrowing, and how this might have changed the atmosphere, may be important clues to the mystery. Brasier gives his own take on the emerging answers, as one of the leading players in the field. A richly readable account of exciting expeditions and leading-edge science, Darwin's Lost World is a must-have book for all natural history buffs. "A rollicking account of Brasier's adventures seeking an answer to a question that vexed Charles Darwin." --Library Journal "Engaging." --New Scientist "If there is one book in this crop that Darwin himself would surely have appreciated, it is Darwin's Lost World." --Financial Times
The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs
Paperback ISBN: 1554074754
"Magnificent in its breadth and illustration." -- Booklist "A well-illustrated large-format book... A good book for a young person who is curious about dinosaurs." -- Choice No other life-form captures the imagination and attention like dinosaurs. Organized by the major dinosaur families, Dinosaurus identifies 500 species creature by creature, from the voracious flesh-eaters to the egg-stealers to the vegetarians, detailing what they looked like, what they ate and how they fought, lived and died. All this information is dramatically presented and exciting to read, with features such as: - At-a-glance fact files - Concise explanations of known traits and habits of each dinosaur species - Vivid full-color illustrations - Latin name, translation and pronunciation - Adult length and weight - Height specifics and comparison to humans - Diet and habitat - Global distribution. Dinosaurus also challenges and discredits some long-popular myths and legends. For example, this guide shows that: - The dinosaur known as brontosaurus never existed - Tyrannosaurus was not the biggest meat-eater of all time - Flying dinosaurs were not simply feeble gliders - Sea dinosaurs could not out-swim today's fastest fish. Brimming with the research from digs in North America, Mongolia, Europe, China and elsewhere, Dinosaurus is comprehensive, innovative and as compelling and exciting as the dinosaurs themselves.
Extinction and Evolution
What Fossils Reveal About the History of Life
Hardcover ISBN: 1770853596
Chronicles the work and discoveries of paleontologist Niles Eldredge, tracing the history of life through the lense of paleontology, geology, ecology, anthropology, biology, zoology, mammalogy, herpetology, entomology, and botany.
101 American Fossil Sites You've Gotta See
Paperback ISBN: 0878426817
Examining in detail at least one amazing fossil site in every state, Albert Dickas clearly explains the critters preserved in the rocks, from sharks and rhinoceroses to trilobites and horn corals. At some sites, you can sift through the shale in search of fossils to keep; at other sites, you can watch professionals excavate museum-quality specimens.
The Accidental Species
Misunderstandings of Human Evolution
Paperback ISBN: 022627120x
The longtime paleontology editor of Nature takes aim at the idea of an elusive missing link, arguing that the quest for such a thing takes focus away from more fascinating aspects or human evolution that are more grounded in the paleontological evidence.
Birds, Bones, and Beetles
The Improbable Career and Remarkable Legacy of University of Kansas Naturalist Charles D. Bunker
Paperback ISBN: 0700627731
"Charles Bunker began his career in an academia as a lowly assistant taxidermist in 1895 with no formal education past grammar school. He eventually rose to become the curator of recent vertebrates, a major collection for the Museum of Natural History atthe University of Kansas. Bunk was part of the team that built the famous Panorama of North American Mammals in Dyche Hall on the KU campus. He also developed a labor-saving process that utilized dermestid beetles to meticulously clean the skeletons of even the most delicate specimens, a technique that became generally accepted by natural history museums across the country and is still utilized today. In 1911, while collecting birds and mammals in western Kansas, he discovered the fossilized remains of aforty-five-foot prehistoric sea serpent, which today is a centerpiece of the museum's fossil collection. Additionally, Bunk's students became nationally recognized and preeminent naturalists in the mid-twentieth century who assumed leadership roles at some of the country's most prestigious institutions, such as UC at Berkeley, the University of Michigan, and the Smithsonian Institution. Chuck Warner, a retired banker and Bunker's grandson, tells the story of Bunk's life and career in a breezy, engaging style. Anchored in Bunk's own papers and additional archival research, the manuscript also engages with secondary literature on the history of paleontology and natural history museums to give greater context to Bunk's life"--