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Fossil Invertebrates Paperback – September 24, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A richly illustrated guide to fossil invertebrates and related modern species...Paul D. Taylor and David N. Lewis, scientists at the Natural History Museum, London, provide a guided tour of five major groups of boneless animals whose histories can be traced in the fossil record...This book can be appreciated on multiple levels. As a feast for the eye, it can be leafed through at leisure or studied by students of art and photography. For students of biology and earth history, it provides an overview of major groups of organisms and their fossil...The book will amply reward the attention given it by the interested layman or interested student. (Donald R. Franceschetti Magill Book Reviews)

When people think of fossils, they usually think of dinosaur fossils. But the majority of fossils that have been discovered belong to invertebrates, those members of the animal kingdom lacking a backbone. Taylor and Lewis, both of the Natural History Museum in London, take readers back in time millions of years ago, when seas were filled with ammonites, corals, sponges, mollusks, trilobites, and crinoids. Fossils reveal the diversity of life that existed in the past and show what is still present--e.g., horseshoe crabs and the chambered nautilus. The authors provide a comprehensive compendium of information regarding every aspect relating to invertebrate fossils: history, general descriptions, and specifics related to all types of shells and fossils discovered. Numerous plates augment the text and provide visual reference points for readers. This book is an invaluable resource. (Gloria Maxwell Library Journal(starred review) 2005-10-15)

About the Author

Paul D. Taylor is Research Scientist, Natural History Museum, London.

David N. Lewis is Collections Manager, Fossil Invertebrates, Natural History Museum, London.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (October 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674025741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674025745
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.6 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,819,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this on recommendation from a geologist who was teaching an invert. paleo. class, and I must say it is quite informative. It goes into quite a bit of detail for each class, order etc... down to the species level for common fossils. Black and white pictures through out with a color section in the middle of the book. The detail was good enough to get a picture of some of the features that are not mentioned in your basic invertebrate paleontology classes, like graptolites, their proposed methods of feeding instead of being told that they look like pencil marks and saw blades, although sometimes more diagrams would be nice. This is not an introductory book by any means, it makes references to all sorts of technical detail and features, for instance the symbiotic relationship of corals and their zooxanthellae. But if you have a basic idea, this can be really informative.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The pictures in this book are very nice and illustrative and the text contains some pretty interesting information, however it is too poorly laid out to be terribly useful as a resource or textbook.

For instance, a single chapter deals with Brachiopods, Gastropods, Cephalopods, and Bivalves because they all have shells. Likewise, a single chapter also deals with Porifera, Cnidaria, and Bryozoa because they are all colonial. While general FADs and LADs are mentioned for some of the species, no real attempt is made to show any change (or lack thereof) through time and nothing is grouped by time period. There are a large amount of photographs which are really quite nice, but the book does lack basic body plan diagrams I feel the student should reference in order to understand the phyla discussed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
“Fossil Invertebrates” by Taylor, Paul D, & Lewis, David N., 1st printing by Natural History Museum, London, 2005. ISBN 0-565-09183-2. HC 208 pgs. 10 1/4” x 9” formatted on semi-glossy media to depict hundreds of black & white fossilized photographs, including 14 pages of vivid coloured plates of detailing both live specimen counterparts, and as in amber, etc. so as to provide informative maximal details of fossil subject material photographed. In all, 6 chapters are devoted to Fossils & Invertebrates; Colonies (corals, sponges, bryozans); Shells (molluscs & brachiopods); Worms & Tubes; Jointed-limbed Arthropods; and Spiny Echinoderms. Index 5 pgs.

The authors are both well-seasoned paleontologists: Dr. Taylor worked 25 years at NHM in London authoring >150 articles whilst Dr. Lewis on staff 41 years was a curator & well published

The book provides the scientific genus species and a detailed description of each fossil to the extent then currently known, rarely speculating on facts not established for certain. The concurrent use of a Latin dictionary or suitable reference for translating extensive Latinized or scientific terminology would be most helpful. Biologists familiar with sea shells will find this book an easier read than those without such background. The book is well-advanced, not a field guide, but a reference manual on the finer points in paleontology, particularly of fossils found in the British Isles, Scotland and the United States, etc. When viewed as such, one can settle down to really get to know about fossils from the experts.

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