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The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang, China: The Flowering of Early Animal Life

by Hou Xian-Guang, Richard J. Aldridge, Jan Bergström, David J. Siveter, Derek J. Siveter, and Feng Xiang-Hong
Malden (MA): Blackwell Science, 2004. 248 pages.

The first book in the English language on the Chengjiang biota, The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang, China succeeds in doing justice to both their scientific importance and -- with scores of color plates -- their wondrous beauty. Reviewing the book for New Scientist, Douglas Palmer writes, "Mainly intended for professional palaeontologists, this spotter's guide details the amazing fossils, 525 million years old, that have been shaking the tree of life for the past 10 years.

The Crucible of Creation: The Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals

by Simon Conway Morris
New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. 276 pages.

"Located in the west of Canada, the Burgess Shale contains a unique collection of fossil remains, and has become an icon for those studying the history of life," writes the publisher. "This remarkable book takes us on a fresh journey back in time through the Burgess Shale and its astonishing collection of Cambrian creatures.

The Rise of Animals: Evolution and Diversification of the Kingdom Animalia

by Mikhail A. Fedonkin, James G. Gehling, Kathleen Grey, Guy M. Narbonne, and Patricia Vickers-Rich
Baltimore (MD): The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008. 344 pages.

"The main aim of this book is to highlight one part of the immense sweep of time called the Precambrian -- the Proterozoic -- and, in fact, only a part of that Eon -- the time when the first animals appeared -- in a wide variety of places on Earth," the authors explains. "The first animals will always be of profound interest to scientist and layperson alike." With a foreword by the late Arthur C. Clarke.

Darwin's Lost World: The Hidden History of Animal Life

by Martin Brasier
New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. 288 pages.

To the question of where Precambrian fossils were, Darwin lamented, "I can give no satisfactory answer." Darwin's Lost World, as the reviewer for Library Journal comments, provides "[a] rollicking account of [Brasier's] adventures seeking an answer to a question that vexed Charles Darwin." At once a travelogue, ranging from China, Mongolia, and Siberia to Oman, Newfoundland, and Scotland, and a review of what is now known about the emergence of complex multicellular life, Darwin's Lost World is a spirited introduction to the biota of the late Precambrian and early

Trilobite! Eyewitness to Evolution

by Richard Fortey
New York: Vintage, 2001. 320 pages

Reviewing Trilobite! for RNCSE, Kevin Padian wrote, "Fortey has a lot to teach about trilobite structure, diversity, and evolution, but his book is far less pedestrian and far more engaging than a more text-like treatment would have been. Rather, he has used trilobites as a vehicle to explain a great many aspects of evolution, geologic history, and how we know what we know about these ancient animals and the problems that they illuminate. Besides, his prose is genial and knowledgeable ...

Fossil Invertebrates

by Paul D. Taylor and David N. Lewis
Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press, 2007. 208 pages.

"Our aim in this book," the authors explain, "is to introduce examples of the more common fossil invertebrates from around the world, as well as some rarer but scientifically significant fossils.

Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History

by Xiaoming Wang and Richard H. Tedford
New York: Columbia University Press, 2010. 232 pages.

Wang and Tedford present a detailed portrait of the evolution of canids over the past 40 million years, with chapters on methods of study and the place of dogs in nature, the origin of canids and other doglike carnivorous mammals, diversity: who is who in the dog family, anatomy and function: how the parts work, hunting and social activity, changing environments and canid evolution, going places: braving new worlds, and domestic dogs. John J.

Fossil Horses: Systematics, Paleobiology, and Evolution of the Family Equidae

by Bruce J. MacFadden
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. 384 pages.

From the publisher: "The family Equidae have an extensive fossil record spanning the last 58 million years, and the evolution of the horse has frequently been used as a classic example of long-term evolution. In recent years, however, there have been many important discoveries of fossil horses, and these, in conjunction with such new methods as cladistics, and techniques like precise geochronology, have allowed us to achieve a much greater understanding of the evolution and biology of this important group.

Beasts of Eden: Walking Whales, Dawn Horses, and Other Enigmas of Mammal Evolution

by David Rains Wallace
Berkeley (CA): University of California Press, 2005. 368 pages.

From the publisher: "In this literate and entertaining book, eminent naturalist David Rains Wallace brings the saga of ancient mammals to a general audience for the first time.

The Rise of Placental Mammals: Origins and Relationships of the Major Extant Clades

by Kenneth D. Rose and J. David Archibald
Baltimore (MD): The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005. 280 pages.

Rose and Archibald preside over a detailed summary of both the consensus and significant minority viewpoints on the initial radiation and ordinal relationships of placental mammals.


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