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Rocks and Fossils: A Visual Guide

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Uncover the intriguing world beneath our feet

Rocks and Fossils reveal the state of the planet now and what the future may bring, including clues about the shifting, changing nature of the continents, mountain ranges, oceans, and islands.

Rocks and Fossils is a beautifully illustrated book that brings life to the seemingly timeless landscape. It explains geological concepts in relevant and familiar terms. ...

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2005 Hard cover Good. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 304 p. Contains: Illustrations.

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Overview

Uncover the intriguing world beneath our feet

Rocks and Fossils reveal the state of the planet now and what the future may bring, including clues about the shifting, changing nature of the continents, mountain ranges, oceans, and islands.

Rocks and Fossils is a beautifully illustrated book that brings life to the seemingly timeless landscape. It explains geological concepts in relevant and familiar terms. Lively illustrations reveal a vast, hidden world via cross-sections and cutaways with explanatory captions.

The book explores the internal engine of our planet — the liquid iron core unique among terrestrial planets, which is the catalyst for the creation and destruction of land, mountain, and oceans.

Rocks and Fossils is organized in six main sections:

  • The
    Dynamic Earth
    : the ever-changing nature of the world
  • Ancient Worlds: life from the Precambrian era to the age of humans
  • Key Features: how rocks and fossils form
  • Rocks and Fossils in the Landscape: where to find fossils
  • Minerals: How they form and why some are precious
  • Fossils: signs of life from single-cell organisms to dinosaurs.

Rocks and Fossils explains the fossil record to show how prehistoric lifeforms are linked to plants and animals still on Earth. Why did some species survive and others perish? What does the future hold?

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Editorial Reviews

The Science Teacher - Deb McNabney
Engaging story of Earth's history... I have read many books of this genre, but this book's journey through time was the best yet.
Rock and Gem - Bob Jones
Copious color photographs and excellent diagrams... A very useful volume for the rockhound and student of earth science.
Booklist - Gilbert Taylor
The predominantly pictorial treatment will undoubtedly lure newcomers... the graphical design is immediately appealing... explains what people on a rock-hunting field trip should look for, and opens their imaginations to the former environmental conditions that the discoveries of a fossil, rock, or mineral will conjure.
Globe and Mail
A treat for browsers as well as a useful reference work and a fine introduction to the substances and materials we walk on.
Bloomsbury Review - Kyle Hester
Wonderfully intense color photographs of rocks, fossils, and landscapes... As a public school teacher I highly recommend Rocks and Fossils for any student and also for anyone interested in earth sciences. For the money it's like getting several books in one.
Science Books and Films - Thomas A. Stone
I can think of no other book about rocks and fossils in particular and geology in general that has more visual appeal than this 300-page volume from Robert Coenraads.
INFOLINK - Arlene Baker
Rocks & Fossils: A Visual Guide is exactly what the title says — a visual guide. It has hundreds of color rich photos.... [and] is beautiful and extensive book that will be appreciated by the browser and helpful for student projects.... It also has a reasonable price.
INFOLINK - Roberta Rogow
A truly beautiful book that deals with not only rocks and fossils but everything and anything that comes close to them. The formation of Planet Earth and the development of life on it; the origins of the various rocks and where they can be found; land-forms on Earth and how they got there; even gemstones and their properties, and the myths surrounding them... it's all in this lavishly illustrated volume. The only drawback to the book is the very tiny print in the extensive Factfile at the end, but that is offset by the truly gorgeous photos and detailed drawings that make this a joy to read. A coffee-table book that contains much information that is rarely found in one volume.
Rock and Gem - Bob Jones
Copious color photographs and excellent diagrams... A very useful volume for the rockhound and student of earth science.
VOYA
In this fourth volume of a six-book series (other subjects include astronomy, the ocean, and weather), the emphasis is definitely on the visual. The panoramic photographs of stunning landscapes and close-up cross-sections of gems and fossils are so gorgeous that the volume could easily stand alone as an art book. The concise text provides additional information but does not detract from the impact of the pictures. In fact, after a casual perusal, a reader could come away with some basic knowledge just by studying the illustrations. The author, a globe-trotting geophysicist, geologist, and gemologist, says in the introduction that "the pages of Earth's history are written in its rocks, minerals, and fossils," and the book goes on to explore that concept in terms that all can understand. Organized into six sections, it includes highlights such as activity in the earth's core, ancient worlds, key features of rocks and fossils, and weathering and erosion. Serious science students will love the ending "factfile" that reads like a mini-scientific manual. It contains a detailed mineral properties table, a geological timescale, and a chart of fossil sites. Coenraads stresses that changes above and below the earth's surface will continue; the process will never be complete. This book offers solid evidence of the Earth's past and the link between our lives today and rocks, minerals, and fossils. These amazing remnants of life long ago can reveal our planet's secrets, if only we will pay attention. This book is an excellent place to begin. (A Visual Guide). VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8;Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Firefly, 304p.; Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Charts. Chronology., Ages 11 to 18.
—Kim Zach
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554070688
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/3/2005
  • Series: Visual Guides Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert R. Coenraads is a leading gemologist, geologist and geophysicist. He travels the remotest regions of the globe to discover and collect exceptional specimens for scientific research. As a research associate of the Australian Museum, he leads rockhunting expeditions and directs exploration projects for precious gemstones and minerals.

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Table of Contents

Introduction The Dynamic Earth

  • Understanding rocks
  • Reading the rocks
  • Journey to Earth's center
  • Rings of fire
  • Spreading oceans
  • Subduction
  • Collision
  • Earthquakes and faults
  • Hot spots
  • Understanding fossils
  • The fossil record
  • The five kingdoms
  • Classification of fossils
  • Evolution
  • Adaptation
  • Relating and mating
  • Predators
  • Avoiding predation
  • Extinction
  • Lifeforms and Earth's forces
  • The divided continents
Ancient
Worlds
  • Geological time
  • Precambrian: first life
  • Cambrian: explosion of life
  • Ordovician: peak biodiversity
  • Ordovician mass extinction
  • Silurian: plants invade the land
  • Devonian: the age of fishes
  • Devonian mass extinction
  • Carboniferous: the age of swamps
  • Permian: end of an era
  • Permian mass extinction
  • Triassic: reptiles rise to dominance
  • Triassic mass extinction
  • Jurassic: rise of the dinosaurs
  • Cretaceous: flowers bloom
  • Cretaceous mass extinction
  • Tertiary: age of mammals
  • Quaternary: the age of humans
  • After the next extinction
Key Features
  • How fossils form
  • Types of fossils
  • Trace fossils
  • Reconstructing fossils
  • Microfossils
  • Rocks and their minerals
  • How rocks form
  • Rocks from melts
  • Rocks from heat and pressure
  • Layered rocks
Rocks and Fossils in the Landscape
  • Active volcanoes
  • Eruptions
  • Ashfalls
  • Craters and calderas
  • Historic volcanoes
  • Lava
  • Columns, spires and dikes
  • Geysers
  • Deltas
  • Waterfalls and reiverbends
  • Gorges and canyons
  • Mesas, buttes and tors
  • Deserts
  • Beaches and coastal remnants
  • Karst
  • Caves
  • Swamps, bogs and tar pits
  • Ancient seabeds and lakebeds
  • Fossil sites
  • Folds and faults
  • Glaciers and icefields
  • Rocks from space
  • Rock structures
Minerals
  • Understanding minerals
  • Color, sheen and luster
  • Optical effects
  • Clarity and inclusions
  • Crystal systems
  • Habit
  • Cleavage and fracture
  • Identifying minerals
  • Native elements
  • Metallic minerals
  • Evaporites
  • Weathering
  • Silicates
  • Feldspars
  • Crystalline quartz
  • Cryptocrystalline quartz
  • Opals
  • Diamonds
  • Emeralds and other beryls
  • Sapphires and rubies
  • Tourmalines and garnets
  • Other gemstones
  • Organic gems
Fossils
  • Fossils and living groups
  • Plants
  • Simple-celled fossils
  • Sponges and their relatives
  • Corals, jellyfish and anemones
  • Brachiopods and bryozoans
  • Mollusks and annelids
  • Cephalopods
  • Echinoderms
  • Arthropods
  • Fossils in amber
  • Fishes
  • Amphibians
  • Reptiles
  • Dinosaurs
  • Dinosaur tracks and traces
  • Pterosaurs and birds
  • Mammals
  • Humans

Factfile
Glossary
Index

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Preface

Introduction

The ground beneath us is made up of rocks, some of which extend extraordinary depths into Earth. Venture deep enough and they are molten, moving, plastic-like substances. Rocks are not static and inert. They are constantly changing, shifting and rearranging their form and location. They can be melted, deposited, eroded and squeezed into new forms. These changes occur over vast periods of time. The pages of Earth's history are written in its rocks, minerals and fossils. Rocks and minerals provide evidence of events that took place in the distant past. They offer clues about the shifting, changing nature of the continents, mountain ranges, oceans and islands. They help us understand what Earth's climate was like billions of years ago, what elements the atmosphere contained, and how life may have evolved.

When an animal or plant dies and its remains leave an impression in rock, the resulting fossil is a testament to life's history and its changing, evolving nature. Fossils reveal Earth's past lifeforms, among them long-extinct beasts, bizarre, alien-like beings and delicate marine creatures.

Rocks are made up of minerals. It is among the minerals that the exquisite gemstones and ornamental stones are found. Sparkling diamonds, vivid green emeralds, multicolored tourmalines, clear crystal quartz and lacy agates are all minerals.

Take a journey into Earth's history to discover what shaped its

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction

The ground beneath us is made up of rocks, some of which extend extraordinary depths into Earth. Venture deep enough and they are molten, moving, plastic-like substances. Rocks are not static and inert. They are constantly changing, shifting and rearranging their form and location. They can be melted, deposited, eroded and squeezed into new forms. These changes occur over vast periods of time. The pages of Earth's history are written in its rocks, minerals and fossils. Rocks and minerals provide evidence of events that took place in the distant past. They offer clues about the shifting, changing nature of the continents, mountain ranges, oceans and islands. They help us understand what Earth's climate was like billions of years ago, what elements the atmosphere contained, and how life may have evolved.

When an animal or plant dies and its remains leave an impression in rock, the resulting fossil is a testament to life's history and its changing, evolving nature. Fossils reveal Earth's past lifeforms, among them long-extinct beasts, bizarre, alien-like beings and delicate marine creatures.

Rocks are made up of minerals. It is among the minerals that the exquisite gemstones and ornamental stones are found. Sparkling diamonds, vivid green emeralds, multicolored tourmalines, clear crystal quartz and lacy agates are all minerals.

Take a journey into Earth's history to discover what shaped its

Read More Show Less

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

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