The Story of Life in 25 Fossils

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231539428
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
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.

Evolution

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231543166
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
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.

The Story of the Earth in 25 Rocks

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231544278
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
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.

Bringing Fossils to Life

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231536909
Format: PDF
Download Now
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.

Giants of the Lost World

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
ISBN: 1588345734
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
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.

A History of Life in 100 Fossils

Author: Paul D. Taylor
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
ISBN: 1588345025
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
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.

Fossils

Author: Richard A. Fortey
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674311350
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Discusses the formation of fossils, describes how they are used by scientists to reconstruct the history of the earth, and offers guidance on starting a fossil collection

Fossil Ecosystems of North America

Author: Paul Selden
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1840765070
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
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.

Great Transformations in Vertebrate Evolution

Author: Kenneth P. Dial
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022626825X
Format: PDF
Download Now
How did flying birds evolve from running dinosaurs, terrestrial trotting tetrapods from swimming fish, and whales return to swim in the sea? These are some of the great transformations in the history of life; events that have captured the imagination of scientists and the general public alike. At first glance, these major evolutionary events seem utterly impossible. The before and after look so fundamentally different that the great transformations of the history of life not only seem impossible, but unknowable. The 500 million year history of vertebrates is filled with change and, as a consequence, every living species contains within its structure, DNA, and fossil record, a narrative of them. A battery of new techniques and approaches, from diverse fields of inquiry, are now being marshaled to explore classic questions of evolution. These approaches span multiple levels of biological organization, from DNA sequences, to organs, to the physiology and ecology of whole organisms. Analysis of developmental systems reveals deep homologies of the mechanisms that pattern organs as different as bird wings and fish fins. Whales with legs are one of a number of creatures that tell us of the great transformations in the history of life. Expeditions have discovered worms with a kind of head, fishes with elbows, wrists, and necks; feathered dinosaurs, and human precursors to name only a few. Indeed, in the last 20 years, paleontologists have discovered more creatures informative of evolutionary transitions than in the previous millennium. The Great Transformations captures the excitement of these new discoveries by bringing diverse teams of renowned scientists together to attack particular transformations, and to do so in a contents organized by body part--head, neck, fins, limbs, and then the entire bauplan. It is a work that will transform evolutionary biology and paleontology.

The Story of Life Evolution Extended Edition

Author: Fiona Munro
Publisher: Templar Publishing
ISBN: 1787413306
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
This new extended edition of Story of Life is the perfect gift for those with a love of the natural world. Wander the galleries - open 365 days a year - and discover a collection of curated exhibits on every page, accompanied by informative text. Each chapter features key species from a different geological era with fantastic new artwork from Katie Scott.