Prehistoric Life: The Rise of the Vertebrates

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In Prehistoric Life, David Norman unravels many mysteries, describing the complexity and variety of life on Earth through the ages, and presenting in clear terms the key scientific concepts needed to understand this fascinating tale of evolution. The book is illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, explanatory diagrams, and stunning artwork by world-renowned artist John Sibbick. Sequel to the award-winning Dinosaur!, David Norman's Prehistoric Life brings to life the creatures of prehistory and conveys...
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Overview

In Prehistoric Life, David Norman unravels many mysteries, describing the complexity and variety of life on Earth through the ages, and presenting in clear terms the key scientific concepts needed to understand this fascinating tale of evolution. The book is illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, explanatory diagrams, and stunning artwork by world-renowned artist John Sibbick. Sequel to the award-winning Dinosaur!, David Norman's Prehistoric Life brings to life the creatures of prehistory and conveys the enormity of time from the Big Bang to the rise of humans.

In this fascinating and beautifully illustrated volume, the author of Dinosaur! unravels the complex mystery of life on Earth, from the emergence of the earliest organisms to the rise of the human race. Illustrated throughout with photographs, explanatory diagrams, and stunning artwork by world-renowned artist John Sibbick.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This sequel to Norman's successful Dinosaur! (LJ 11/1/91) is an ambitious attempt to draw a broader picture of the evolution of vertebrate animals and to trace the threads of human ancestry from the first primitive organisms (the first page shows the Milky Way and the last, a group of people). It examines questions about the advantages of various evolutionary adaptations that allowed vertbrate animals to live on land, adapt to different environmental conditions, and compete with one another. The book is especially good at showing prehistoric animals in the context of their environments, and color illustrations by John Sibbick bring the creatures to life. The focus on mammals sometimes gives them undue prominence over other types of animals, and the theme of human evolution occasionally gets sidetracked. Still, this is an interesting, well-written, and thoughtful treatment of a very complex topic for general readers.-Amy Brunvand, Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City
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In this sequel to Dinosaur, the author describes the complexity and variety of life on Earth through the ages, explaining the key scientific concepts needed to understand the tale of evolution. The book is illustrated with explanatory diagrams, full-color photographs & b&w & color illustrations, bringing the creatures of prehistory to vivid life. 8 1/2" x 12".
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671799403
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
  • Publication date: 10/1/1994
  • Pages: 248

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
1 The Origin of the Universe: Big Bang, planet Earth and the process of evolution 9
2 Beginnings of Life: From simple chemicals to living organisms 20
3 The Strange Cambrian World: A window onto the past: the Burgess Shale 31
4 The Teeming Seas: An extraordinary variety of marine life 57
5 Gaining the Land: The establishment of a beachhead 85
6 Conquering the Land: From tetrapods to the earliest reptiles 100
7 Variations on a Theme: The dominance of the reptiles 120
8 Dinosaurs and Birds: An unexpected step in the evolution of life 146
9 The Tertiary World: Toward our modern planet: the rise of the mammals 180
10 Into the Fourth Age: The rise of primates and our early forebears 210
Chronology of Life 234
Further Reading 236
Index 240
Acknowledgements 247
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