The Story of the Earth in 25 Rocks

Tales of Important Geological Puzzles and the People Who Solved Them

Author: Donald R. Prothero

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231544278

Category: Science

Page: 354

View: 8003

Every rock is a tangible trace of the earth’s past. The Story of the Earth in 25 Rocks 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—Donald R. Prothero recounts the scientific detective work that shaped our understanding of geology, from the unearthing of exemplary specimens to tectonic shifts in how we view the inner workings of our planet. 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? He answers these questions through expertly chosen case studies, such as Pliny the Younger’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 salt and 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 greater puzzle that is the earth, with scientific discoveries dovetailing with each other to offer an increasingly coherent image 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

What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters

Author: Donald R. Prothero

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231543166

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 4970

Donald R. Prothero’s Evolution is an entertaining and rigorous history of the transitional forms and series found in 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 for evolution. Evolution tackles systematics and cladistics, 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 early hominid to modern human. The book also details the many alleged “missing links” in the fossil record, 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 as a case study in denialism and pseudoscience rather than a field with its own intellectual dynamism. The first edition was hailed as an exemplary exploration of 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 in this post-truth era.

Giants of the Lost World

Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Monsters of South America

Author: Donald R. Prothero

Publisher: Smithsonian Institution

ISBN: 1588345734

Category: Nature

Page: 192

View: 6215

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.

Fossils

The Key to the Past

Author: Richard A. Fortey

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674311350

Category: Science

Page: 187

View: 3929

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

A History of Life in 100 Fossils

Author: Paul D. Taylor,Aaron O'Dea

Publisher: Smithsonian Institution

ISBN: 1588345025

Category: Nature

Page: 224

View: 9889

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.

Last of the Sandwalkers

Author: Jay Hosler

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 162672024X

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 320

View: 8680

A group of beetles discover that a whole world lies outside of their own small civilization.

Neptune's Ark

From Ichthyosaurs to Orcas

Author: David Rains Wallace

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520258143

Category: History

Page: 282

View: 4531

Spanning five hundred million years of evolution, a study of marine life along the Pacific coast of North America captures the remarkable diversity of creatures, past and present, that have made the habitat their home, from ancient giant sea cows and flightless toothed birds, to modern-day orcas and sea otters, and chronicles the exploits of the adventurers, explorers, scientists, and naturalists who studied the region.

Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs

Evolution, Extinction, and the Future of Our Planet

Author: Donald R. Prothero

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231518323

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 2901

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.

Weird Dinosaurs

The Strange New Fossils Challenging Everything We Thought We Knew

Author: John Pickrell

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231543395

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 4624

From the outback of Australia to the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and the savanna of Madagascar, the award-winning science writer and dinosaur enthusiast John Pickrell embarks on a world tour of new finds, meeting the fossil hunters who work at the frontier of discovery. He reveals the dwarf dinosaurs unearthed by an eccentric Transylvanian baron; an aquatic, crocodile-snouted carnivore bigger than T. rex that once lurked in North African waterways; a Chinese dinosaur with wings like a bat; and a Patagonian sauropod so enormous it weighed more than two commercial jet airliners. Other surprising discoveries hail from Alaska, Siberia, Canada, Burma, and South Africa. Why did dinosaurs grow so huge? How did they spread across the world? Did they all have feathers? What do sauropods have in common with 1950s vacuum cleaners? The stuff of adventure movies and scientific revolutions, Weird Dinosaurs examines the latest breakthroughs and new technologies that are radically transforming our understanding of the distant past. Pickrell opens a vivid portal to a brand-new age of fossil discovery, in which fossil hunters are routinely redefining what we know and how we think about prehistory's most iconic and fascinating creatures.

Strange Survivors

How Organisms Attack and Defend in the Game of Life

Author: One R. Pagan

Publisher: BenBella Books

ISBN: 1944648593

Category: Science

Page: 280

View: 7175

Life is beautiful, ruthless, and very, very strange. In the evolutionary arms race that has raged on since life began, organisms have developed an endless variety of survival strategies. From sharp claws to brute strength, camouflage to venom—all these tools and abilities share one purpose: to keep their bearer alive long enough to reproduce, helping the species avoid extinction. Every living thing on this planet has developed a time-tested arsenal of weapons and defenses. Some of these weapons and defenses, however, are decidedly more unusual than others. In Strange Survivors, biologist Oné R. Pagán takes us on a tour of the improbable, the ingenious, and the just plain bizarre ways that creatures fight for life. Inside this funny, fascinating field guide to nature’s most colorful characters, you’ll meet killer snails, social bacteria, and an animal with toxic elbows. But Strange Survivors is more than a collection of curiosities—it is a love letter to science and an argument for the continuing relevance of this evolutionary battle as we face the threat of resistant bacteria and the need for novel medical therapies. Whether discussing blood-thinning bats and electric fish or pondering the power of cooperation, Pagán reveals the surprising lessons found in some of life’s natural oddities and how the tactics they employ to live might aid our own survival.

The First Fossil Hunters

Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times

Author: Adrienne Mayor

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400838444

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 8070

Griffins, Cyclopes, Monsters, and Giants--these fabulous creatures of classical mythology continue to live in the modern imagination through the vivid accounts that have come down to us from the ancient Greeks and Romans. But what if these beings were more than merely fictions? What if monstrous creatures once roamed the earth in the very places where their legends first arose? This is the arresting and original thesis that Adrienne Mayor explores in The First Fossil Hunters. Through careful research and meticulous documentation, she convincingly shows that many of the giants and monsters of myth did have a basis in fact--in the enormous bones of long-extinct species that were once abundant in the lands of the Greeks and Romans. As Mayor shows, the Greeks and Romans were well aware that a different breed of creatures once inhabited their lands. They frequently encountered the fossilized bones of these primeval beings, and they developed sophisticated concepts to explain the fossil evidence, concepts that were expressed in mythological stories. The legend of the gold-guarding griffin, for example, sprang from tales first told by Scythian gold-miners, who, passing through the Gobi Desert at the foot of the Altai Mountains, encountered the skeletons of Protoceratops and other dinosaurs that littered the ground. Like their modern counterparts, the ancient fossil hunters collected and measured impressive petrified remains and displayed them in temples and museums; they attempted to reconstruct the appearance of these prehistoric creatures and to explain their extinction. Long thought to be fantasy, the remarkably detailed and perceptive Greek and Roman accounts of giant bone finds were actually based on solid paleontological facts. By reading these neglected narratives for the first time in the light of modern scientific discoveries, Adrienne Mayor illuminates a lost world of ancient paleontology.

Dinosaurs and Other Reptiles from the Mesozoic of Mexico

Author: Héctor E. Rivera-Sylva,Kenneth Carpenter,Eberhard Frey

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253012716

Category: Science

Page: 232

View: 3704

This overview of dinosaur discoveries in Mexico synthesizes current information about the geography and environment of the region during the Mesozoic when it was the western margin of the ancient continent of Pangea. The book summarizes research on various groups, including turtles, lepidosauromorphs, plesiosaurs, crocodyliforms, pterosaurs, and last but not least, dinosaurs. In addition, chapters focus on trackways and other trace fossils and on K/P boundary (the Chicxulub crater, beneath the Gulf of Mexico, has been hypothesized as the site of the boloid impact that killed off the dinosaurs). Dinosaurs and Other Reptiles from the Mesozoic of Mexico is an up-to-date, informative volume on an area that has not been comprehensively described until now.

Extinction and Evolution

What Fossils Reveal about the History of Life

Author: Niles Eldredge,Carl Zimmer

Publisher: Firefly Books Limited

ISBN: 9781770853591

Category: Nature

Page: 256

View: 3332

Eldredge's groundbreaking work is now accepted as the definitive statement of how life as we know it evolved on Earth. This book chronicles how Eldredge made his discoveries and traces the history of life through the lenses of paleontology, geology, ecology, anthropology, biology, genetics, zoology, mammalogy, herpetology, entomology and botany. While rigorously accurate, the text is accessible, engaging and free of jargon.

The Story of Life: Evolution (Extended Edition)

Author: Fiona Munro,Ruth Symons

Publisher: Templar Publishing

ISBN: 1787413306

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 112

View: 7932

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.

In Pursuit of Early Mammals

Author: Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253008247

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 7553

In Pursuit of Early Mammals presents the history of the mammals that lived during the Mesozoic era, the time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, and describes their origins, anatomy, systematics, paleobiology, and distribution. It also tells the story of the author, a world-renowned specialist on these animals, and the other prominent paleontologists who have studied them. Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska was the first woman to lead large-scale paleontological expeditions, including eight to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, which brought back important collections of dinosaur, early mammal, and other fossils. She shares the difficulties and pleasures encountered in finding rare fossils and describes the changing views on early mammals made possible by these discoveries.

Bringing Fossils to Life

An Introduction to Paleobiology

Author: Donald R. Prothero

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231536909

Category: Science

Page: 672

View: 4032

One of the leading textbooks in its field, Bringing Fossils to Life 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, bridging the gap between purely theoretical paleobiological textbooks and those that describe only invertebrate paleobiology and that emphasize cataloguing live organisms instead of dead objects. For this third edition Donald R. Prothero has revised the art and research throughout, expanding the coverage of invertebrates and adding a discussion of new methodologies and a chapter on the origin and early evolution of life.

Dinosaur Destinations

Finding America's Best Dinosaur Dig Sites, Museums and Exhibits

Author: Jon Kramer

Publisher: Adventure Publications

ISBN: 1591936349

Category: Nature

Page: 200

View: 3482

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

Rhinoceros Giants

The Paleobiology of Indricotheres

Author: Donald R. Prothero

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253008190

Category: Nature

Page: 141

View: 6420

A book for everyone fascinated by the huge beasts that once roamed the earth, Rhinoceros Giants: The Paleobiology of the Indricotheres introduces a prime candidate for the largest land mammal that ever lived--the giant hornless rhinoceros, Indricotherium. These massive animals lived in Asia and Eurasia for more than 14 million years, about 37 to 23 million years ago. They had skulls 2 metres / 6 feet long, stood over 7 meters / 22 feet high at the shoulder, and were nearly twice as heavy as the largest elephant ever recorded, tipping the scales at 20,000 kg / 44,100 pounds. Fortunately, the big brutes were vegetarians, although they must have made predators think twice before trying to bring them down. In this book for lovers of ancient creatures great and small, Donald R. Prothero tells their story, from their discovery by palaeontologists just a century ago to the latest research on how they lived and died, with some interesting side trips along the way.

Figuratively Speaking

Covers 40 Basic Literary Terms Using Examples from Classic Literature

Author: Delana Heidrich

Publisher: Learning Works

ISBN: 9780881603170

Category: Education

Page: 136

View: 7065

"This book is organized into ""Figurative Language,"" ""Poetic Language,"" and ""Literary Techniques."" The book draws on classic literature to illustrate and instruct in the use and understanding of basic literary terms."

Horns, Tusks, and Flippers

The Evolution of Hoofed Mammals

Author: Donald R. Prothero,Robert M. Schoch

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 9780801871351

Category: Nature

Page: 311

View: 9476

Since the extinction of the dinosaurs, hoofed mammals have been the planet's dominant herbivores. Native to all continents except Australia and Antarctica, recent paleontological and biological discoveries have deepened understanding of their evolution. This text reveals their evolutionary history.