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National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Fossils Flexibound – October 12, 1982

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

This, the first all-photographic field guide to cover fossils found throughout North America north of Mexico, includes nearly 500 full-color photographs identifying corals, trilobites, shells, teeth, bones, as well as fossil-bearing rocks and outcrop formations. The descriptive text includes information on size, geological period, geographical distribution, and ecology of the animal or plant before it was fossilized. In addition, the book provides lists of Geological Survey offices and major fossil collections, a geological time chart, and a guide to collecting and preserving fossils.
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Product Details

  • Series: The National Audubon Society Field Guides
  • Flexibound: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (January 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394524128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394524122
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.3 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Flexibound
The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American fossils was the first and best book on fossils I ever purchased. The pictures and maps have helped me may times to find locations to dig for fossils. Hundreds of beautiful drawings and complete descriptions help to identify the fossils you find. Highly recommended.
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Format: Flexibound
It would be impossible, I'm sure, for a field guide to North American Fossils to provide us with every single fossil that can be found on our continent. No doubt the Audobon Society did not have in mind for a user of this guide to be able to identify everything they find, but to at least highlight the more common fossils, and to guide the reader to look for answers to all the rest. For instance, in Nebraska there are at least 3 types of horn coral that can be found near the Omaha region alone, and there is doubtless many more species that can be found. The guide helps you find the most common and to surmise what you have found by those examples.
Furthermore, no book to be placed in the back pocket of us fossil enthusiasts could possibly be made very thin if it included every illustration, and every detailed description of every type of fossil.
If I have one complaint about this book, its that the maps are difficult to read, and could have been simplified a bit more.. and printed clearer. But, that is a small complaint as I am able to get further detailed maps, and descriptions from the State of Nebraska Geological Survey and other sources.
Get this book if you want to seriously hunt for fossils.. and identify them.
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Format: Flexibound
If you're looking for an excellent fossil fieldguide, look no further. This is the first book I purchased to help me identify fossils, and have since purchased seven more but keep going back to this one. Why? First of all, the format is great. Tons of full-color photos and precise descriptions of the pictured specimens, including which areas of North America they normally occur in and when the organism existed (or exists) in geological time. Also lists similar fossils that are sometimes mistaken for or confused with the one illustrated.
Second, this book focuses specifically on North American fossils, which means that you get more concise information. Many other fossil guides attempt to cover fossils of the world in the same size book (or smaller), which is doubtless a very ambitious project, but probably impossible to do successfully in the form of a fieldguide. So with the National Audobon guide, you get more pertinent information. Granted, not everyone is looking for an American-specific guide. But if you
want information on, say, European or Morrocan fossils, the same concept applies: Purchasing a more specific guide gives you more specific information for your money.
Third, the photos in this guide look like fossils as they occur in nature (as opposed to some fossil guides picturing specimens that have been prepped and polished and perfectly repaired). This is an obvious advantage when trying to identify a specimen that you have just brushed the soil off of. (In fact, most "serious" paleontologists recommend that the natural condition of a fossil be altered as little as possible.)
Fourth, the book diagrams and labels the different parts of the major fossil types. So by studying the diagrams, one can learn the paleontological names for the parts.
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Format: Flexibound
I am certainly not an expert in this field, have no formal training. I am simply a rather old man who has been grubbing in the ground and dirt and in the rocks for most of my life and have had a fascination with fossels since a very, very young child. This particular book has brought me a lot of pleasure and added greatly to the enjoyment of my hobby of "grubbing." I realize that no one book can provide all the answers and identify all the fossil remains known (good grief, there are new ones being discovered every day it seems), but this work certainy meets my needs. I have yet to find a fossel that I was unable to identify with it's use, and at the very least, has given me clues as to where I might go to find the answers I needs. The photographs are great as are the written discriptions. I carry this one with me always when out in the field. Recommend this one highly.
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Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
I bought this book on the strength of reviews here. I was sadly disappointed when I tried to identify some plant fossils I had found. The section on plants has only 4 pages. The rest of the book is almost entirely devoted to marine fossils, (shells).
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Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
I bought this book through the Amazon marketplace with great anticipation. However, it contained little information on plant and Vertebrate fossils which are my main interest. About 90% of the book focused on Shells, Corals,Sponges,Triliobites, Bryozoans, Sand Dollars, etc. In that subject matter the photos and detailed information about each was excellent. It was a bit trying to read the map plates; the text was small and difficult to find in the shaded areas. On another note it has great information about Geologic time and where to look for fossils.

This is a great reference for any fossil collector, however, if you are more interested in detailed information and photographs about fossils of plants, reptiles, fish, and mammals this book will disapoint with its lack of information
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