Planet Ocean

by Brad Matsen and Ray Troll
Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1994. 133 pages.

Dozens of Ray Troll's imaginative full-color paintings and block prints are accompanied by Brad Matsen's text explaining the history of life on our ocean-covered planet. It is difficult to say which is more entertaining, the illustrations (such as "Trilobite Safari", which depicts 2 plaid-wearing human hunters bearing a huge trilobite on a stick between them) or the text, which, referring to the Burgess Shale, says, "The clearest notes of complex life's first songs echo in the dark shale of the Canadian Rockies. We heard them just after the turn of the century, though we didn't hear the tune clearly until the mid-1970s. But what's a few decades among eukaryotes?"