The Story of Life in 25 Fossils

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231539428
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Every fossil tells a story. Best-selling paleontology author Donald R. Prothero describes twenty-five famous, beautifully preserved fossils in a gripping, scientific history of life on Earth. Recounting the adventures behind the discovery of these objects and fully interpreting their significance within the larger fossil record, Prothero creates a riveting and enlightening overview for anyone interested in the history of life on our planet. The twenty-five fossils lovingly portrayed in this book catch animals in their evolutionary splendor as they transition from one kind of organism to another. We witness extinct plants and animals of microscopic and immense size and thrilling diversity. We learn about fantastic land and sea creatures that have no match in nature today. Along the way, we encounter such fascinating fossils as the earliest trilobite, Olenellus; the giant shark Carcharocles; the "Frogamander" and the "Turtle on the Half Shell"; the "fishibian" Tiktalik; the first bird, Archaeopteryx; the walking whale Ambulocetus; enormous marine reptiles and the biggest dinosaurs known; the gigantic hornless rhinoceros Paraceratherium, the largest land mammal that ever lived; and the Australopithecus nicknamed "Lucy," the oldest human skeleton. We learn about the scientists and adventurers who pioneered paleontology and the larger intellectual and social contexts in which their discoveries were made. Finally, we are told where to see these splendid fossils in the world's great museums. Ideal for all who love prehistoric landscapes and delight in the history of science, Prothero's new book will be a treasured addition to any bookshelf, stoking curiosity in the evolution and life on Earth.

The Story of the Earth in 25 Rocks

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231544278
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Every rock is a tangible trace of the earth’s past. In The Story of the Earth in 25 Rocks, Donald R. Prothero tells the fascinating stories behind the discoveries that shook the foundations of geology. In twenty-five chapters—each about a particular rock, outcrop, or geologic phenomenon—Prothero recounts the scientific detective work that took us from the unearthing of exemplary specimens to tectonic shifts in how we view our planet and history. Prothero follows in the footsteps of the scientists who asked—and answered—geology’s biggest questions: How do we know how old the earth is? What happened to the supercontinent Pangea? How did ocean rocks end up at the top of Mount Everest? What can we learn about our planet from meteorites and moon rocks? The Story of the Earth in 25 Rocks answers these questions through expertly chosen case studies, such as Pliny the Elder’s firsthand account of the eruption of Vesuvius; the granite outcrops that led a Scottish scientist to theorize that the landscapes he witnessed were far older than Noah’s Flood; the gypsum deposits under the Mediterranean Sea that indicate that it was once a desert; and how trying to date the age of meteorites revealed the dangers of lead poisoning. Each of these breakthroughs filled in a piece of the puzzle that is the earth, with scientific discoveries dovetailing with each other to offer increasingly solid evidence of the geologic past. Summarizing a wealth of information in an entertaining, approachable style, The Story of the Earth in 25 Rocks is essential reading for the armchair geologist, the rock hound, and all who are curious about the earth beneath their feet.

Evolution

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231543166
Format: PDF
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Donald R. Prothero’s Evolution is an entertaining and rigorous history of the transitional forms and series found in the the fossil record. Its engaging narrative of scientific discovery and well-grounded analysis has led to the book’s widespread adoption in courses that teach the nature and value of fossil evidence. Evolution tackles flood geology, rock dating, neo-Darwinism, and macroevolution. It includes extensive coverage of the primordial soup, invertebrate transitions, the development of the backbone, the reign of the dinosaurs, and the transformation from chimpanzee to human. The book details the many “missing links,” including some of the most recent discoveries, that flesh out the fossil timeline and the evolutionary process. In this second edition, Prothero describes new transitional fossils from various periods, vividly depicting such bizarre creatures as the Odontochelys, or the “turtle on the half shell,” fossil snakes with legs, and the “Frogamander,” a new example of amphibian transition. Prothero’s discussion of intelligent-design arguments includes more historical examples and careful examination of the “experiments” and observations that are exploited by creationists seeking to undermine sound science education. With new perspectives, Prothero reframes creationism more as a case study in denialism and pseudoscience than as a field with its own intellectual dynamism. The first edition was hailed as the best book on the fossil evidence for evolution, and this second edition will be welcome in the libraries of scholars, teachers, and general readers who stand up for sound science.

Giants of the Lost World

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
ISBN: 1588345734
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The evolution, biology, and discovery of the dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals that lived in South America. Inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost world.

Bringing Fossils to Life

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231536909
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The leading textbook in its field, this work applies paleobiological principles to the fossil record while detailing the evolutionary history of major plant and animal phyla. It incorporates current research from biology, ecology, and population genetics. Written for biology and geology undergrads, the text bridges the gap between purely theoretical paleobiology and solely descriptive invertebrate paleobiology books, emphasizing the cataloguing of live organisms over dead objects. This third edition revises art and research throughout, expands the coverage of invertebrates, includes a discussion of new methodologies, and adds a chapter on the origin and early evolution of life.

A History of Life in 100 Fossils

Author: Paul D. Taylor
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
ISBN: 1588345025
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A History of Life in 100 Fossils showcases 100 key fossils that together illustrate the evolution of life on earth. Iconic specimens have been selected from the renowned collections of the two premier natural history museums in the world, the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, and the Natural History Museum, London. The fossils ahve been chosen not only for their importance in the history of life, but also because of the visual story they tell. This stunning book is perfect for all readers because its clear explanations and beautiful photographs illuminate the significance of these amazing pieces, including 500 million-year-old Burgess Shale fossils that provide a window into early animal life in the sea, insects encapsulated by amber, the first fossil bird Archaeopteryx, and the remains of our own ancestors.

Fossil Ecosystems of North America

Author: Paul Selden
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1840765070
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Most major recent advances in understanding the history of life on Earth have been through the study of exceptionally well preserved biotas (Fossil-Lagerstätten). These are windows on the history of life on Earth and can provide a fairly complete picture of the evolution of ecosystems through time. This book follows the success of Evolution of Fossil Ecosystems by the same authors which covered Fossil-Lagerstätten around the world. The success of the first book prompted this new book which draws on four localities from the original book and adds another ten, all located in North America. Following an introduction to Fossil-Lagerstätten, each chapter deals with a single fossil locality. Each chapter contains a brief introduction placing the Lagerstätte in an evolutionary context; there then follows a history of study of the locality; the background sedimentology, stratigraphy and palaeoenvironment; a description of the biota; discussion of the palaeoecology, and a comparison with other Lagerstätten of a similar age and/or environment. At the end of the book is an Appendix listing museums in which to see exhibitions of fossils from each locality and suggestions for visiting the sites.

Dinosaur Destinations

Author: Jon Kramer
Publisher: Adventure Publications
ISBN: 1591936349
Format: PDF
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When it comes to dinosaurs and other fascinating fossils, the U.S. has it all, from Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops to Stegosaurus and Brachiosaurus. Dinosaur Destinations, by Jon Kramer, Julie Martinez, and Vernon Morris, will help you find the best dinosaur sites near you and across the country. Visit a dinosaur dig site or a famous dinosaur track site--and even make your own cast of fossilized tracks! With details about the nation's best dinosaur-related locales, you'll learn what fossils have been found at or near each place, what kids will enjoy about each site, contact information and more. Plus, this field guide to extinct creatures introduces each species and includes their former range maps and fun facts. Dinosaur Destinations features: The most famous dinosaur dig sites, track sites and fossil locales in the U.S., including a few that allow visitors to participate in real dinosaur digs Locations with unique opportunities for dinosaur fans, such as venues that allow you to touch real dinosaur fossils Fascinating facts about the most famous dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures Notable non-dinosaur fossil sites and species, such as pteranodons, plesiosaurs, mammoths, and more

The Human and Environmental Impact of Fracking How Fracturing Shale for Gas Affects Us and Our World

Author: Madelon L. Finkel
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1440832609
Format: PDF, ePub
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Fracking for gas trapped in shale could be a game changer in the quest to find alternatives to dirty fossil fuels, but it also has potential for harm. This book provides "one-stop shopping" for everyone who wants to know more about the issues. • Offers a comprehensive, impartial understanding of unconventional natural gas development from many different perspectives by experts in the field • Draws from the findings of the most up-to-date research and discusses areas where scientific findings are yet unclear • Addresses fracking's potential effects on humans, animals, and environmental factors including air quality, water quality, and climate change • Explains the economic, legal, regulatory, and ethical issues surrounding fracking • Examines social and community issues and the industry perspective

Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231518323
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Donald R. Prothero's science books combine leading research with first-person narratives of discovery, injecting warmth and familiarity into a profession that has much to offer nonspecialists. Bringing his trademark style and wit to an increasingly relevant subject of concern, Prothero links the climate changes that have occurred over the past 200 million years to their effects on plants and animals. In particular, he contrasts the extinctions that ended the Cretaceous period, which wiped out the dinosaurs, with those of the later Eocene and Oligocene epochs. Prothero begins with the "greenhouse of the dinosaurs," the global-warming episode that dominated the Age of Dinosaurs and the early Age of Mammals. He describes the remarkable creatures that once populated the earth and draws on his experiences collecting fossils in the Big Badlands of South Dakota to sketch their world. Prothero then discusses the growth of the first Antarctic glaciers, which marked the Eocene-Oligocene transition, and shares his own anecdotes of excavations and controversies among colleagues that have shaped our understanding of the contemporary and prehistoric world. The volume concludes with observations about Nisqually Glacier and other locations that show how global warming is happening much quicker than previously predicted, irrevocably changing the balance of the earth's thermostat. Engaging scientists and general readers alike, Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs connects events across thousands of millennia to make clear the human threat to natural climate change.