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Short History of Planet Earth: Mountains, Mammals, Fire, and Ice

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Four and a half billion years long, Earth's history is the fascinating, magnificent product of creation, transformation, evolution, and extinction. A Short History of Planet Earth chronicles this complex life story in an accessible and thoroughly engaging single volume that charts the geologic and biological life of our dynamic planet. A Short History of Planet Earth, the ideal, concise introduction to earth and life sciences, includes a handy glossary of geologic terms, and ...
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A Short History of Planet Earth: Mountains, Mammals, Fire, and Ice

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Overview

Four and a half billion years long, Earth's history is the fascinating, magnificent product of creation, transformation, evolution, and extinction. A Short History of Planet Earth chronicles this complex life story in an accessible and thoroughly engaging single volume that charts the geologic and biological life of our dynamic planet. A Short History of Planet Earth, the ideal, concise introduction to earth and life sciences, includes a handy glossary of geologic terms, and forty information-packed illustrations.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This survey of four-and-a-half billion years of Earth's past is a splendid introduction to geology and paleontology for the lay reader. MacDougall, a professor of earth science at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute (UC-San Diego), takes us step-by-step through the geologic time scale. Clues to the past lie in rocks, in oxygen isotopes and on the ocean floor. MacDougall traces the rise of continents and the origins of life in each era. He discusses tectonic plates, the major extinctions and their probable causes, climate and the Ice Ages, and he speculates on the future of our planet. To compress Earth's history into a single, lucidly written volume is a major achievement. Illustrations. (May)
Library Journal
Four and a half billion years of geologic history is a lot to condense, but McDougall's short history hits all the highlights. While much of the information offered here could be found in a good historical geology textbook such as Robert H. Dott and Donald R. Prothero's Evolution of the Earth (McGraw-Hill, 1994. 5th ed.), this is a good, popular treatment by a professor of earth science at the University of California's Scripps Oceanographic Institute, San Diego. McDougall focuses on how physical earth processes have operated over time. His coherent narrative does an excellent job of illustrating the relevance of geologic events and explaining the science behind them. It's a no-fuss outline of earth history that will give general readers or geology students a solid background for other reading in the earth sciences. For popular science collections.-Amy Brunvand, Univ. of Utah Lib., Salt Lake City
School Library Journal
YAA short, succinct course in geology, ideal for first-year students or anyone else who has a lay interest in the subject. Full of charts, graphs, and illustrations, this excellent resource explains all of the elements needed for a fuller understanding of geology in a concise and understandable way. With its full index, this offering is a good supplemental text or research tool.
From the Publisher
From Publishers Weekly
This survey of four-and-a-half billion years of Earth's past is a splendid introduction to geology and paleontology for the lay reader. MacDougall, a professor of earth science at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute (UC-San Diego), takes us step-by-step through the geologic time scale. Clues to the past lie in rocks, in oxygen isotopes and on the ocean floor. MacDougall traces the rise of continents and the origins of life in each era. He discusses tectonic plates, the major extinctions and their probable causes, climate and the Ice Ages, and he speculates on the future of our planet. To compress Earth's history into a single, lucidly written volume is a major achievement. Illustrations. 
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

  From School Library Journal
YA. A short, succinct course in geology, ideal for first-year students or anyone else who has a lay interest in the subject. Full of charts, graphs, and illustrations, this excellent resource explains all of the elements needed for a fuller understanding of geology in a concise and understandable way. With its full index, this offering is a good supplemental text or research tool.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471197034
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Series: Wiley Popular Science Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.15 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

J.D. MACDOUGALL (San Diego, California) is a professor of earth science at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute of the University of California, San Diego, the premier center for earth science research in the U.S. His work has appeared in Scientific American and the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology.

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Table of Contents

Reading the Rocks.

Early Days.

Wonderful Life.

The Proterozoic Eon.

Dance of the Plates.

Nature's Timepieces.

The Cambrian Explosion.

Fish, Forest, and Gondwanaland: The Paleozoic Era.

From Pangea to (Almost) the Modern World: The Mesozoic Era.

Global Catastrophes.

Mammals, Mountains, and Ice: The Cenozoic Era.

The Great Ice Age.

What Comes Next?: Geology and Man.

Glossary.

Further Reading.

Index.

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