Fossils: The Key to the Past

Fossils: The Key to the Past

by Richard Fortey


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"Richard Fortey is without peer among science writers."—Bill Bryson

Reviews of previous editions—

"Fossils is authoritative and attractive; it contains especially good sections on ‘bringing fossils to life,’ on extinction, on the early life of the Precambrian and Cambrian, and on the use of microfossils in stratigraphy."—Nature

"Fortey’s book is original in that it views the fossils as a product of the continuously changing earth. The text flows well and is written with confidence and in a pleasantly uncomplicated style."—Journal of Geology

"This primer on fossils is a good introduction to paleontology and an excellent selection for fossil collectors or general readers interested in the field. The text is nicely illustrated with numerous excellent charts, tables, diagrams, and photographs. Highly recommended."—Choice

"The overall impression is one of a comprehensive tour through the heart of the earth sciences, delivered in an accessible way with passion and enthusiasm. This book succeeds both in presenting the substance of the science and in captivating the imagination and does so without sacrificing either."—Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association

In his accessible introduction to the study and meaning of fossils, the world-renowned paleontologist Richard Fortey provides a comprehensive guide to all aspects of fossils and their use in reconstructing the history of life on Earth. Extensively illustrated in full color throughout, this fifth edition of Fossils includes the most recent advances in our understanding of the fossil record and the significance of new fossil finds.

Fortey clearly explains what fossils are, how they form, how to identify them, and how they help us to understand Earth's geological past and the emergence of life. Drawing on all the latest research, including recent developments in molecular paleontology, he discusses evolution and extinction, the economic uses of fossil-derived products such as oil and coal, and offers practical advice for making a fossil collection. Fossils will appeal to everyone who shares an interest in the history of life on our planet.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501700538
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 10/02/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,227,329
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Richard Fortey is a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. His many books include Earth: An Intimate History, The Hidden Landscape: A Journey into the Geological Past, and Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution.

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