Photographs by Chip Clark. Main Selection of the Natural Science Book Club. This book provides the first comprehensive set of illustrations of the life forms revealed in the Burgess Shale. This century's most significant invertebrate fossil discovery, the Burgess Shale provides an unprecendented window ito the explosive evolution during the Cambrian Period.
"Since its discovery in 1909 by Charles Doolittle Walcott, then Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the Burgess Shale in the Canadian Rocky Mountains has fascinated both scientists and the public with its plethora of weird wonders - life forms of the past so unfamiliar they cannot easily be assigned to known taxonomic groups. This century's most significant invertebrate fossil discovery, the Burgess Shale provides an unprecedented window into the explosive evolution during the Cambrian period that began about 540 million years ago, one of the most enigmatic episodes in the history of life. This book provides the first comprehensive set of illustrations of the extraordinary life forms revealed in the Burgess Shale." "In addition to the more common fossilized hard skeletons, the Burgess Shale preserved the soft parts of these organisms, which provide a key to understanding the early evolution of the major groups of animals that inhabit the earth today. The Fossils of the Burgess Shale shows much remarkable detail - including digestive tracts and other internal organs - of creatures preserved in particles of mud fine enough to penetrate every crack and unevenness. The book begins with the history of exploration and research in the Burgess Shale, the geologic setting and preservation of the fossils, and a discussion of the Cambrian radiation, the period when almost all the major phyla of animals evolved. These introductory chapters are followed by 199 high-quality photographs and line drawings with detailed species accounts that describe important features of each specimen, as well as the ecology and taxonomy of each group. A complete list of all currently accepted species described from the Burgess Shale and a comprehensive bibliography follow the illustrations." "The Fossil of the Burgess Shale is a compendium of fascinating Cambrian treasures that offer a rare glimpse into the nature of early life on our planet. They have figured prominently in recent evolutionary debates. The National Museum of Natural History, which houses more than 65,000 fossils collected by Walcott from the Burgess Shale, will open a new exhibition of the specimens in 1995."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
A study of the Burgess Shale, a sea bed 530 million years old, and attempts to tackle what the findings are and what it means
"There is perhaps no better way to prepare for the scientific breakthroughs of tomorrow than to learn the language of geometry." -Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe The word "geometry" brings to mind an array of mathematical images: circles, triangles, the Pythagorean Theorem. Yet geometry is so much more than shapes and numbers; indeed, it governs much of our lives-from architecture and microchips to car design, animated movies, the molecules of food, even our own body chemistry. And as Siobhan Roberts elegantly conveys in The King of Infinite Space, there can be no better guide to the majesty of geometry than Donald Coxeter, perhaps the greatest geometer of the twentieth century. Many of the greatest names in intellectual history-Pythagoras, Plato, Archimedes, Euclid- were geometers, and their creativity and achievements illuminate those of Coxeter, revealing geometry to be a living, ever-evolving endeavor, an intellectual adventure that has always been a building block of civilization. Coxeter's special contributions-his famed Coxeter groups and Coxeter diagrams-have been called by other mathematicians "tools as essential as numbers themselves," but his greatest achievement was to almost single-handedly preserve the tradition of classical geometry when it was under attack in a mathematical era that valued all things austere and rational. Coxeter also inspired many outside the field of mathematics. Artist M. C. Escher credited Coxeter with triggering his legendary Circle Limit patterns, while futurist/inventor Buckminster Fuller acknowledged that his famed geodesic dome owed much to Coxeter's vision. The King of Infinite Space is an elegant portal into the fascinating, arcane world of geometry.
The new edition of this work includes an appendix listing criteria for the identification of ichnotaxa. It covers all aspects of tiering trace fossil diversity and ichnoguilds, and is aimed at advanced undergraduates and postgraduates in palaeoecology, paleobiology and sedimentology.
From the Foreword: "Predator-prey interactions are among the most significant of all organism-organism interactions....It will only be by compiling and evaluating data on predator-prey relations as they are recorded in the fossil record that we can hope to tease apart their role in the tangled web of evolutionary interaction over time. This volume, compiled by a group of expert specialists on the evidence of predator-prey interactions in the fossil record, is a pioneering effort to collate the information now accumulating in this important field. It will be a standard reference on which future study of one of the central dynamics of ecology as seen in the fossil record will be built." (Richard K. Bambach, Professor Emeritus, Virginia Tech, Associate of the Botanical Museum, Harvard University)
A book on the Cambrian period by two leaders in the field.
Fungi are ubiquitous in the world and responsible for driving the evolution and governing the sustainability of ecosystems now and in the past. Fossil Fungi is the first encyclopedic book devoted exclusively to fossil fungi and their activities through geologic time. The book begins with the historical context of research on fossil fungi (paleomycology), followed by how fungi are formed and studied as fossils, and their age. The next six chapters focus on the major lineages of fungi, arranging them in phylogenetic order and placing the fossils within a systematic framework. For each fossil the age and provenance are provided. Each chapter provides a detailed introduction to the living members of the group and a discussion of the fossils that are believed to belong in this group. The extensive bibliography (~ 2700 entries) includes papers on both extant and fossil fungi. Additional chapters include lichens, fungal spores, and the interactions of fungi with plants, animals, and the geosphere. The final chapter includes a discussion of fossil bacteria and other organisms that are fungal-like in appearance, and known from the fossil record. The book includes more than 475 illustrations, almost all in color, of fossil fungi, line drawings, and portraits of people, as well as a glossary of more than 700 mycological and paleontological terms that will be useful to both biologists and geoscientists. First book devoted to the whole spectrum of the fossil record of fungi, ranging from Proterozoic fossils to the role of fungi in rock weathering Detailed discussion of how fossil fungi are preserved and studied Extensive bibliography with more than 2000 entries Where possible, fungal fossils are placed in a modern systematic context Each chapter within the systematic treatment of fungal lineages introduced with an easy-to-understand presentation of the main characters that define extant members Extensive glossary of more than 700 entries that define both biological, geological, and mycological terminology
This book unites climate modelling, palaeoceanography and palaeontology to address fundamental events in the climate history of Earth over the past 600 million years. Understanding the 'tipping points' that have lead to rapid changes in the Earth's climate is vitally important with the realization that humans modify global climate. In an effort to better understand past and future climate change, general circulation models have become the forerunners of attempts to simulate future climate. The central message of the book is that general circulation models tested with geological data in an iterative 'ground truth' process provide the best estimates of the Earth's ancient climate.
Prehistoric life is the archive of evolution preserved in the fossil record. This book focuses on the meaning and significance of that archive and is designed for introductory college science students, including non-science majors, enrolled in survey courses emphasizing paleontology, geology and biology. From the origins of animals to the evolution of rap music, from ancient mass extinctions to the current biodiversity crisis, and from the Snowball Earth to present day climate change this book covers it, with an eye towards showing how past life on Earth puts the modern world into its proper context. The history of life and the patterns and processes of evolution are especially emphasized, as are the interconnections between our planet, its climate system, and its varied life forms. The book does not just describe the history of life, but uses actual examples from life’s history to illustrate important concepts and theories.
The species of Arthropods is accorded a special status in the GCR series because of the rarity of the fossils. This volume addresses the evolution and diversity of this animal group. The rarer arthropods - and the sites from which the fossils were recovered are described here.
What determines whether complex life will arise on a planet, or even any life at all? Questions such as these are investigated in this groundbreaking book. In doing so, the authors synthesize information from astronomy, biology, and paleontology, and apply it to what we know about the rise of life on Earth and to what could possibly happen elsewhere in the universe. Everyone who has been thrilled by the recent discoveries of extrasolar planets and the indications of life on Mars and the Jovian moon Europa will be fascinated by Rare Earth, and its implications for those who look to the heavens for companionship.
More than two thirds of all living organisms described to date belong to the phylum Arthropoda. But their diversity, as measured in terms of species number, is also accompanied by an amazing disparity in terms of body form, developmental processes, and adaptations to every inhabitable place on Earth, from the deepest marine abysses to the earth surface and the air. The Arthropoda also include one of the most fashionable and extensively studied of all model organisms, the fruit-fly, whose name is not only linked forever to Mendelian and population genetics, but has more recently come back to centre stage as one of the most important and more extensively investigated models in developmental genetics. This approach has completely changed our appreciation of some of the most characteristic traits of arthropods as are the origin and evolution of segments, their regional and individual specialization, and the origin and evolution of the appendages. At approximately the same time as developmental genetics was eventually turning into the major agent in the birth of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), molecular phylogenetics was challenging the traditional views on arthropod phylogeny, including the relationships among the four major groups: insects, crustaceans, myriapods, and chelicerates. In the meantime, palaeontology was revealing an amazing number of extinct forms that on the one side have contributed to a radical revisitation of arthropod phylogeny, but on the other have provided evidence of a previously unexpected disparity of arthropod and arthropod-like forms that often challenge a clear-cut delimitation of the phylum.
The Proterozoic and early Phanerozoic was a time punctuated by a series of significant events in Earth history. Glaciations of global scale wracked the planet, interfingered with dramatic changes in oceanic and atmospheric chemistry and marked changes in continental configuration. It was during these dynamic and 'weedy' times that metazoans first appeared, diversified, culminating in the appearance of hard tissue skeletons and deep 'farming' of the marine substrate, in late Proterozoic and first few millions of years of the Phanerozoic. This book is the culmination of two symposia of UNESCO International Geological Correlation Project 493, one in Prato (Italy) in 2004, the second in Kyoto (Japan) in 2006. Both dealt specifically with the precise timing of physical events and teasing out of the effects which these changing environments, climates, global chemistry and palaeogeography had on the development and diversification of animals, culminating in the spectacular Ediacaran/Vendian faunas of the late Precambrian.
Exceptionally preserved fossils from Fossil Lagerstätten contribute greatly to resolving details on the history of life on Earth. For the first time, the “Paläontologische Gesellschaft” (PalGes) and the “Palaeontological Society of China” (PSC) combined forces to jointly present an international conference aimed to highlight and encourage the study of exceptionally well-preserved fossil sites worldwide. The conference focused on all aspects of palaeontology and geobiology, also incorporating related fields like biogeochemistry, biology, sedimentology and stratigraphy. The present volume contains the abstracts of more than 275 lectures and posters presented during the joint international conference “Palaeobiology & Geobiology of Fossil Lagerstätten through Earth History”. This year’s conference was held at the northern campus of the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, from September 23-27, 2013. More than three hundred palaeontologists, biologists, geologists and other scientists and researchers from sixteen countries, mainly from Germany and the P. R. of China, participated.
This book presents a comprehensive overview of the science of the history of life. Paleobiologists bring many analytical tools to bear in interpreting the fossil record and the book introduces the latest techniques, from multivariate investigations of biogeography and biostratigraphy to engineering analysis of dinosaur skulls, and from homeobox genes to cladistics. All the well-known fossil groups are included, including microfossils and invertebrates, but an important feature is the thorough coverage of plants, vertebrates and trace fossils together with discussion of the origins of both life and the metazoans. All key related subjects are introduced, such as systematics, ecology, evolution and development, stratigraphy and their roles in understanding where life came from and how it evolved and diversified. Unique features of the book are the numerous case studies from current research that lead students to the primary literature, analytical and mathematical explanations and tools, together with associated problem sets and practical schedules for instructors and students. “..any serious student of geology who does not pick this book off the shelf will be putting themselves at a huge disadvantage. The material may be complex, but the text is extremely accessible and well organized, and the book ought to be essential reading for palaeontologists at undergraduate, postgraduate and more advanced levels—both in Britain as well as in North America.” Falcon-Lang, H., Proc. Geol. Assoc. 2010 “…this is an excellent introduction to palaeontology in general. It is well structured, accessibly written and pleasantly informative …..I would recommend this as a standard reference text to all my students without hesitation.” David Norman Geol Mag 2010 Companion website This book includes a companion website at: www.blackwellpublishing.com/paleobiology The website includes: · An ongoing database of additional Practical’s prepared by the authors · Figures from the text for downloading · Useful links for each chapter · Updates from the authors