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Fossils of Florissant Hardcover – March 17, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Books; First Edition edition (March 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588341070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588341075
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,102,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Herbert W. Meyer is a paleontologist with the U.S. National Park Service and has devoted himself to studying the fossil beds of Florissant. He lives in Colorado.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Andy Weinzapfel on May 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a delightful book, well written and profusely illustrated, about one of the world's premier fossil insect and plant localities. It is written for the serious paleontologist, as well as the casual inquisitive reader interested in the natural world.
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is remarkable because it constitutes a highly detailed snapshot of life at a time when the earth was entering a period of major climate change. The setting is a 34 million year-old forest, along a lake teeming with exceptional diversity, in the shadow of an erupting volcano. Due to the outstanding quality of preservation, many unique fossil plants, birds, butterflies, spiders, bees, and fish from this site appear to have met their demise only yesterday.
During the last 100 years, a large number of prized fossils from Florissant have been scattered to museums all over the world. The author has traveled extensively to find and catalog these specimens, and assemble a collection of color photographs printed in exquisite detail. He meticulously reconstructs the ancient ecosystem from the fossil record, at times much like a detective unravels clues from a good murder mystery. Interesting twists abound. For example, why is the only fossil of the tsetse fly-the blood-sucking, disease-carrying scourge of equatorial Africa today-- found at this location high in the Rockies?
When it comes to fossils, big is not necessarily better. Dinosaur books have grabbed the imagination of many in the last few years, but The Fossils of Florissant, by Herbert Meyer, is a newcomer that deserves to be at the top of the heap.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joe Zika TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Fossils of Florissant written by Herbert W. Meyer is a wonderful collection of flora and fauna from the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument just outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado in the shadow of Pikes Peak. Encased between layers of volcanic ash from an erupted volcano 34 million years ago are animals, leaves, and plant life at the time and are remarkably well preserved.
"The Fossils of Florissant" is a collection of different museum specimens all brought together in one readable tome for not only the specialist paleontologist but the causal reader of interest as well. This book is easily followed and is laid out well. There are ample illustrations and photographs to whet the readers interest making for a book to keep. These fossil specimens are so well preserved that a color patterns of tiny flies are preserved.
"The Fossils of Florissant" is a feast for the imagination as one wishes to understand life's history on planet Earth and this is a clear snapshot into time as it was on a wooded lake shore some 34 millions years ago in the Eocene. There are pictures of flowers, spiders, and insects galore making this one of Earth's richest deposit of life on Earth in this time.
The reader will enjoy this book as it is. The book is well appointed and there is pictures of fossilized vertebrates from this time even thorough they are small. The larger vertebretes are only fragmetary but this show that this area was a one time teaming with life and is a good cross section into how life was at that time. If you have any scientific background you'll enjoy this author's prose. Even if you are a casual reader, you'll enjoy reading about life's past.
"The Fossils of Florissant" gets a solid five stars from me.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia L. Morehead on September 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great guide for the collector who wants to identify the different fossils in the slabes he has collected.
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