A preview of Written in Stone


NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Brian Switek's Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature (Bellevue Literary Press, 2010). The excerpt discusses the evidence for the dinosaurian ancestry of birds: "There is scarcely anything about a pigeon perched on a statue or a chicken you eat for dinner that did not first appear in dinosaurs, long before Confuciusornis flew in great flocks over what is now China," Switek writes. "The majority of their relatives sunk into extinction sixty-five million years ago, but they are perhaps the most successful dinosaurs ever to have evolved. If you want to see living dinosaurs, you don't have to trek to a steaming jungle or isolated plateau. All you have to do is put up a bird feeder and look out the window." Niles Eldredge writes, "Elegantly and engagingly crafted, Switek's narrative interweaves stories and characters not often encountered in books on paleontology — at once a unique, informative and entertaining read."