"A readable . . . and remarkably comprehensive survey of the realm of prehistoric life." — Chicago Sunday Tribune
Earth's fossil records date back more than three–and-a-half billion years ago, providing extraordinary documentation of the evolution of life on this planet. From primitive one-celled organisms to the complex plants and animals of today, fossils have enabled paleontologists and other scientists to study the patterns, processes, and changes that have led to the incredible diversity of organic life. Fossils also reveal much about Earth's early climates, geochemistry, and environment. With this definitive guide, professional and amateur enthusiasts alike will discover valuable information about fossils: where they have been found, how to care for samples, and what can be learned by studying them. Topics include single-celled organisms, coelenterates, brachiopods, trilobites, crustaceans, arthropods, amphibians, dinosaurs and other reptiles, birds, plants, and mammals, as well as fascinating discussions of the movement of continents and the interplay between climate and humans. Enhanced with more than 1,500 drawings and photographs, The Fossil Book contains identification keys, a Glossary, and a listing of major paleontological collections.