Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

Front Cover
W. W. Norton, Sep 17, 1990 - Fiction - 347 pages
96 Reviews

"[An] extraordinary book. . . . Mr. Gould is an exceptional combination of scientist and science writer. . . . He is thus exceptionally well placed to tell these stories, and he tells them with fervor and intelligence."—James Gleick, New York Times Book Review

High in the Canadian Rockies is a small limestone quarry formed 530 million years ago called the Burgess Shale. It hold the remains of an ancient sea where dozens of strange creatures lived—a forgotten corner of evolution preserved in awesome detail. In this book Stephen Jay Gould explores what the Burgess Shale tells us about evolution and the nature of history.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
40
4 stars
33
3 stars
17
2 stars
5
1 star
1

Review: Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

User Review  - Joe Ward - Goodreads

A lot of misinformation in this dated book. Not just about the organisms, either, which might be excusable since the book was written before many were re-evaluated, but the whole point he tries to ... Read full review

Review: Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

User Review  - Goodreads

I was disappointed in this tome. Gould spends too much time describing the creatures of the Burgess Shale and not enough explaining what they all add up to. Read full review

Other editions - View all

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1990)

Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Geology at Harvard University. He published over twenty books, received the National Book and National Book Critics Circle Awards, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Bibliographic information