Fossils: A Very Short Introduction
Fossils have been vital to our understanding of the formation of the earth and the origins of all life on it. However, their impact has not been limited to debates about geology and evolution: attempts to explain their existence has shaken religion at its very roots, and they have remained a subject of ceaseless fascination for people of all ages and backgrounds. In this delightful book, Keith Thomson provides a remarkably all-encompassing explanation of fossils as a phenomenon. How did Darwin use fossils to support his theory of evolution? What are 'living fossils'? What fossils will we leave behind for future generations to examine? Building on the scientific aspects, he places fossils in a very human context, highlighting their impact on philosophy and mythology, our concept of time, and today's popular culture. What quickly becomes obvious is that the discovery of fossils and the ways in which they have been interpreted over time makes for fascinating reading. From the black market to the Piltdown Man, and from mythological dragons to living dinosaurs, fossils hold a permanent place in the popular imagination. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Africa ammonite ancient animals Archaeopteryx Archaeoraptor Australopithecus bacteria become birds bones Cambrian carbonate Chain Charles Darwin coal coelacanth collected concept Creation creatures Cretaceous Darwin Dawson decay deposits Devonian diagenesis dinosaurs discovered discovery diversification diversity early earth earth’s crust environment environmental erectus ergaster evidence evolution evolutionary change example existed extinction fake faunas fishes forms fossil record geological global groups Homo sapiens huge human fossils ichthyosaurs insects invertebrates Jurassic kinds layers limestone lineages living fossil living organisms Lyme Regis major mammals Megalosaurus million mineral missing link modern Museum of Natural myr ago Natural History Neanderthals original oxygen palaeontology Palaeozoic patterns perhaps Permian Phanerozoic philosophers Piltdown plants plate tectonics Pleistocene plesiosaurs popular preserved processes pterosaurs punctuated equilibrium rates reconstruction relatively remains reptiles revealed Robert Hooke rocks scientists sediment skeleton skull Solnhofen speciation species specimens theory tissues track-ways vertebrates whole Woodward