The evolution revolution

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John Wiley, 1998 - Science - 298 pages
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In the last two decades the study of fossils has come of age, taking a central role in the formulation of ideas on evolution. The unravelling of the fossil record by continual new discoveries has played a major role in stimulating new ideas on patterns and rates of evolution, and on our understanding of the underlying processes and mechanisms of evolution. The Twentieth Century has seen an extraordinary increase in the rate and the range of palaeontological research worldwide. Fossil specimens in world collections have increased a million-fold since Charles Darwin’s day. These new fossil finds have filled in many pieces in the great jigsaw of life . We are now experiencing a revolution in the way in which the fossil record is contributing to our understanding of the patterns and processes that have crafted the living world as we see it today. Witty vignettes on the "lucky" rise of the vertebrates, polar dinosaurs, and many other interesting narratives … a fun but educational excursion throughout the history of life. Michael L. McKinney, University of Tennessee, Knoxville … immensely enjoyable … a fascinating book, nicely illustrated, exciting and often humorous on the one hand, but seriously scientific on the other. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the fossil record and what it has to tell us. Euan N. K. Clarkson, University of Edinburgh Popular Scienc

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Contents

We are the Champions The longplaying microbial fossil
1
Rise of the Gutless Wonders Early animal evolution
15
Cambrian Dreamtime Menagerie Hallucigenia ianfengia
31
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About the author (1998)

Ken McNamara, is Senior Curator of invertebrate palaeontology, and John Long is Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology, at the Western Australian Museum.

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