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Paleontology


Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline: The Travels of an Artist and a Scientist along the Shores of the Prehistoric Pacific

Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline: The Travels of an Artist and a Scientist along the Shores of the Prehistoric Pacific Lowest new price: $23.95
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Author: Kirk R. Johnson

In this long-awaited sequel Kirk Johnson and Ray Troll are back on a road trip—driving, flying, and boating their way from Baja, California to northern Alaska in search of the fossil secrets of North America’s Pacific coast. They hunt for fossils, visit museums, meet scientists and paleonerds, and sleuth out untold stories of extinct worlds. As one of the oldest coasts on earth, the west coast is a rich ground for fossil discovery. Its wonders include extinct marine mammals, pygmy mammoths, oyster bears, immense ammonites, shark-bitten camels, polar dinosaurs, Alaskan palms, California walruses, and a lava-baked rhinoceros. Join in for a fossil journey through deep time and discover how the west coast became the place it is today.

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Echinoderm Paleobiology (Life of the Past)

Echinoderm Paleobiology (Life of the Past) Lowest new price: $43.96
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The dominant faunal elements in shallow Paleozoic oceans, echinoderms are important to understanding these marine ecosystems. Echinoderms (which include such animals as sea stars, crinoids or sea lilies, sea urchins, sand dollars, and sea cucumbers) have left a rich and, for science, extremely useful fossil record. For various reasons, they provide the ideal source for answers to the questions that will help us develop a more complete understanding of global environmental and biodiversity changes. This volume highlights the modern study of fossil echinoderms and is organized into five parts: echinoderm paleoecology, functional morphology, and paleoecology; evolutionary paleoecology; morphology for refined phylogenetic studies; innovative applications of data encoded in echinoderms; and information on new crinoid data sets.


Vertebrate Microfossil Assemblages: Their Role in Paleoecology and Paleobiogeography (Life of the Past)

Vertebrate Microfossil Assemblages: Their Role in Paleoecology and Paleobiogeography (Life of the Past) Lowest new price: $37.00
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This volume presents state-of-the-art papers on important topics and methods in the analysis of vertebrate microfossil assemblages. The minute remains of animals and plants have proven very useful to paleontologists as tools for dating large fossils, describing the environments which existed at the time the fossils were deposited, and identifying and mapping the extent of local floras and faunas, among other things. Due to the large sample sizes that can be obtained, the chance to recover rare taxa is much higher than it is during a search for skeletal remains. Analysis of the data produced from microvertebrate localities can address a wide range of questions as these papers clearly demonstrate.


Dinosaur Facts and Figures: The Theropods and Other Dinosauriformes

Dinosaur Facts and Figures: The Theropods and Other Dinosauriformes Lowest new price: $35.00
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Author: Rubén Molina-Pérez

An illustrated record book of theropod facts and figures―from the biggest to the fastest to the smartest

The theropod dinosaurs ruled the planet for millions of years, with species ranging from the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex to feathered raptors no bigger than turkeys. Dinosaur Facts and Figures is a stunningly illustrated book of records for these marvelous creatures―such as the biggest, the smallest, and the fastest theropods, as well as the ones with the most powerful bite.

This one-of-a-kind compendium features more than 3,000 records, covers some 750 theropod species, and includes a wealth of illustrations ranging from diagrams and technical drawings to full-color reconstructions of specimens. The book is divided into sections that put numerous amazing theropod facts at your fingertips. “Comparing Species” is organized by taxonomic group and gives comparisons of the size of species, how long ago they lived, and when they were discovered. “Mesozoic Calendar” includes page spreads showing the positions of the continents at different geological time periods and reconstructions of creatures from each period. “Prehistoric Puzzle” compares bones, teeth, and feathers while “Theropod Life” uses vivid, user-friendly graphics to answer questions such as which dinosaur was the smartest and which had the most powerful bite. Other sections chart theropod distribution on the contemporary world map, provide comprehensive illustrated listings of footprints, compile the physical specifications of all known theropods and Mesozoic birds, and much more.

  • The essential illustrated record book for anyone interested in dinosaurs
  • Features thousands of records on everything from the smartest and fastest theropods to the largest theropod eggs
  • Includes more than 2,000 diagrams and drawings and more than 300 digital reconstructions
  • Covers more than 750 theropod species, including Mesozoic birds and other dinosauromorphs
  • Provides detailed listings of footprints, biometric specifications, and scholarly and popular references


Almost Human: The Astonishing Tale of Homo naledi and the Discovery That Changed Our Human Story

Almost Human: The Astonishing Tale of Homo naledi and the Discovery That Changed Our Human Story Lowest new price: $9.74
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Author: Lee Berger
Brand: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

This first-person narrative about an archaeological discovery is rewriting the story of human evolution. A story of defiance and determination by a controversial scientist, this is Lee Berger's own take on finding Homo naledi, an all-new species on the human family tree and one of the greatest discoveries of the 21st century.

In 2013, Berger, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, caught wind of a cache of bones in a hard-to-reach underground cave in South Africa. He put out a call around the world for petite collaborators—men and women small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through 8-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave 40 feet underground. With this team of "underground astronauts," Berger made the discovery of a lifetime: hundreds of prehistoric bones, including entire skeletons of at least 15 individuals, all perhaps two million years old. Their features combined those of known prehominids like Lucy, the famous Australopithecus, with those more human than anything ever before seen in prehistoric remains. Berger's team had discovered an all new species, and they called it Homo naledi.

The cave quickly proved to be the richest primitive hominid site ever discovered, full of implications that shake the very foundation of how we define what makes us human. Did this species come before, during, or after the emergence of Homo sapiens on our evolutionary tree? How did the cave come to contain nothing but the remains of these individuals? Did they bury their dead? If so, they must have had a level of self-knowledge, including an awareness of death. And yet those are the very characteristics used to define what makes us human. Did an equally advanced species inhabit Earth with us, or before us? Berger does not hesitate to address all these questions.

Berger is a charming and controversial figure, and some colleagues question his interpretation of this and other finds. But in these pages, this charismatic and visionary paleontologist counters their arguments and tells his personal story: a rich and readable narrative about science, exploration, and what it means to be human.

Features:

  • NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

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End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals

End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals Lowest new price: $22.48
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Author: Ross D E MacPhee

The fascinating lives and puzzling demise of some of the largest animals on earth.

Until a few thousand years ago, creatures that could have been from a sci-fi thriller―including gorilla-sized lemurs, 500-pound birds, and crocodiles that weighed a ton or more―roamed the earth. These great beasts, or “megafauna,” lived on every habitable continent and on many islands. With a handful of exceptions, all are now gone.

What caused the disappearance of these prehistoric behemoths? No one event can be pinpointed as a specific cause, but several factors may have played a role. Paleomammalogist Ross D. E. MacPhee explores them all, examining the leading extinction theories, weighing the evidence, and presenting his own conclusions. He shows how theories of human overhunting and catastrophic climate change fail to account for critical features of these extinctions, and how new thinking is needed to elucidate these mysterious losses.

Along the way, we learn how time is determined in earth history; how DNA is used to explain the genomics and phylogenetic history of megafauna―and how synthetic biology and genetic engineering may be able to reintroduce these giants of the past. Until then, gorgeous four-color illustrations by Peter Schouten re-create these megabeasts here in vivid detail.

78 color illustrations

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Fossil News: The Journal of Avocational Paleontology: Vol. 21, No. 3 (Fall 2018)

Fossil News: The Journal of Avocational Paleontology: Vol. 21, No. 3 (Fall 2018) Lowest new price: $18.95
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Author: Wendell Ricketts

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National and international news from the world of vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, advice for amateur and para-professional fossil collectors, updates on important issues in paleontology, paleoart & photography, original book reviews, and many other features.

In the Fall 2018 issue:

— An interview with Katharina Holzinger,the the creator of the popular Facebook series, "Paleontologists and Their Prehistoric Pets," as well as Part 1 of Katharina's paleofiction, "Mystery at the Grand Exposition”

— The stunning, photoreal scientific illustrations of Tom Sermon

— An article on a young amateur paleontologist, "Paleontology 'On the Spectrum'"

— An in-depth look at the Solhnofen Lagoon exhibits at the Bürgermeister Müller Museum

— A photo gallery of the astonishingly beautiful crustaceans found in the Solhnofen limestone


Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History Lowest new price: $6.93
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Author: Stephen Jay Gould
Brand: Gould, Stephen Jay

"[An] extraordinary book. . . . Mr. Gould is an exceptional combination of scientist and science writer. . . . He is thus exceptionally well placed to tell these stories, and he tells them with fervor and intelligence."―James Gleick, New York Times Book Review

High in the Canadian Rockies is a small limestone quarry formed 530 million years ago called the Burgess Shale. It hold the remains of an ancient sea where dozens of strange creatures lived―a forgotten corner of evolution preserved in awesome detail. In this book Stephen Jay Gould explores what the Burgess Shale tells us about evolution and the nature of history.

The Burgess Shale of British Columbia "is the most precious and important of all fossil localities," writes Stephen Jay Gould. These 600-million-year-old rocks preserve the soft parts of a collection of animals unlike any other. Just how unlike is the subject of Gould's book.

Gould describes how the Burgess Shale fauna was discovered, reassembled, and analyzed in detail so clear that the reader actually gets some feeling for what paleobiologists do, in the field and in the lab. The many line drawings are unusually beautiful, and now can be compared to a wonderful collection of photographs in Fossils of the Burgess Shale by Derek Briggs, one of Gould's students.

Burgess Shale animals have been called a "paleontological Rorschach test," and not every geologist by any means agrees with Gould's thesis that they represent a "road not taken" in the history of life. Simon Conway Morris, one of the subjects of Wonderful Life, has expressed his disagreement in Crucible of Creation. Wonderful Life was published in 1989, and there has been an explosion of scientific interest in the pre-Cambrian and Cambrian periods, with radical new ideas fighting for dominance. But even though many scientists disagree with Gould about the radical oddity of the Burgess Shale animals, his argument that the history of life is profoundly contingent--as in the movie It's a Wonderful Life, from which this book takes its title--has become more accepted, in theories such as Ward and Brownlee's Rare Earth hypothesis. And Gould's loving, detailed exposition of the labor it took to understand the Burgess Shale remains one of the best explanations of scientific work around. --Mary Ellen Curtin

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Imaginary dinosaurs: from Aachenosaurus to Zatomus - the astounding story of the dinosaurs that never were

Imaginary dinosaurs: from Aachenosaurus to Zatomus - the astounding story of the dinosaurs that never were Lowest new price: $12.99
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Author: Michael W. Maisch

You know that something has gone mighty wrong in dinosaur research when pieces of fossil wood are described as a 5-meter long spiky hadrosaur… a fragmentary Tertiary mammal skull becomes a unique iguanodontid… shipworms are identified as titanosaurid teeth... These are only a few of the more spectacular cases in which renowned scientists from all over the world created “imaginary dinosaurs”. Misled by faulty anatomical identification, wrong dating of strata or simply out of a zealous effort to describe as many new dinosaur species as possible these men blundered and created a vast array of dinosaurs that never were.These “dinosaurs” are usually not dealt with in textbooks and popular accounts, but their history, and the stories of the men behind their creation, which include some of the greatest dinosaur researchers of all time, tell us much about the history of paleontology, and the history of science in general. Science never goes the straight way, and every step to new insights is paved with faults and failure. Scientists fail, as we all do, because they are just human, and their mistakes resulted in some of the most amusing and some of the most tragic chapters in the history of dinosaur paleontology, all recounted here in detail …


Strangers in a New Land: What Archaeology Reveals About the First Americans

Strangers in a New Land: What Archaeology Reveals About the First Americans Lowest new price: $27.47
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Author: J. Adovasio

This beautifully illustrated book will be the standard work on the subject for a generation.
-- Brian Fagan, University of California, Santa Barbara

An entertaining, authoritative, and up-to-date review of one of the most contentious issues in archaeology today: the early peopling of the Americas.
-- Ian Tattersall, American Museum of Natural History

The migration of Homo sapiens into the Americas remains to this day a contentious subject amongst archaeologists. Strangers in a New Land represents a clear, interesting and well documented review of the arguments from all sides about how and when migrants came to the New World, where they came from, and what they were doing.
-- Aldona Jonaitis, University of Alaska Museum of the North

In Strangers in a New Land, the authors tell the absorbing story of the first people to explore and colonize the Americas at the end of the last Ice Age with captivating discussions of key concepts and descriptions of the most important First American sites from Alaska to South America. This is a book for anyone interested in learning about the first intrepid people who explored and settled the New World.
-- Michael Waters, Center for the Study of the First Americans, Texas A and M University

Strangers in a New Land is a profound and challenging account of an intensely controversial subject, the first human occupation of the New World, written by an acknowledged master.
-- Tom Dillehay, Vanderbilt University

Where did Native Americans come from and when did they first arrive? Several lines of evidence, most recently genetic, have firmly established that all Native American populations originated in eastern Siberia.

For many years, the accepted version of New World prehistory held that people arrived in the Western Hemisphere around 13,000 years ago. This consensus, called "Clovis First," has been increasingly challenged by discoveries at numerous archaeological sites throughout North and South America and is now widely considered to be outdated.

The latest findings have convinced most archaeologists that people came to the Western Hemisphere thousands of years prior to Clovis. There is credible evidence of a human presence in the Americas dating to 19,000 years ago and perhaps as early as 38,000 years ago. The prehistory of the very earliest arrivals into the New World is the subject of Strangers in a New Land.

This book documents 35 Clovis and Folsom sites, disputed pre-Clovis sites, legitimate pre-Clovis sites and controversial pre-Clovis sites. This covers an area that stretches from Bluefish Cave, Canada, 70 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle to Monte Verde, Chile, 14,000 kilometers south of Bering Straits. The discovery and history of each site is accompanied by photographs, maps and diagrams that illustrate the excavations and chronicle the evidence of human activity. Strangers in a New Land brings these findings together for the first time in language accessible to the general reader.

An excellent selection for physical and cultural anthropology, archaeology and prehistory collections.

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