"... Oceans of Kansas remains the best and only book of its type currently available. Everhart's treatment of extinct marine reptiles synthesiszes source materials far more readably than any other recent, nontechnical book-length study of the subject.... Everhart is always headed somewhere, and the journey is informed by expertise..." —Copeia
"... [The book] will be most useful to fossil collectors working in the local region and to historians of vertebrate paleontology.... Recommended." —Choice
"Overall, at $39.95 for a hardback book, Everhart’s book is more than just a fun read. It is a reference book for the fauna of the Cretaceous and, for that reason, the price is a steal for the scientific information housed within these pages. The book also does a great job of delivering valuable, detailed information about the specimens... Many authors would probably skip some of these important details since they are very cumbersome to manage, but it is obvious to me that Everhart’s years of experience have taught him that sometimes the smallest detail can help another paleontologist now or perhaps even 100 years from now." —Palaios
Despite its title, this book is not a general treatment of marine paleoenvironments in Kansas. It is a history of fossil recovery, particularly vertebrates, from the Smoky Hill Chalk, a geologic formation representing a five—million—year slice of time from the Late Cretaceous Period. Ten of the 13 chapters are devoted to specific groups of animals. Each starts with a short fictional day in the life vignette but discusses largely who found what types of fossils when in the Chalk. One may doubt that there is any better historical summary of the discovery of these fossils, but behavioral, ecological, and evolutionary aspects that might interest a wider audience only take center stage sporadically, e.g., in the chapters on mosasaurs and pteranodons. This book is partly biographical since Everhart (curator of paleontology, Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Hays, KS) is an accomplished fossil hunter. It will be most useful to fossil collectors working in the local region and to historians of vertebrate paleontology. The extensive use of anatomical terms without any general explanatory diagrams hinders access by nonspecialists at times. The 40 pages of references at the end likewise cater more to those with paleontological expertise than to a general readership. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper—division undergraduates through professionals.B. M. Simonson, Oberlin College, 2006jan CHOICE
"... excellent... Those who are interested in vertebrate palaeontology or in the scientific history of the American mid-west should really get a copy. You will not be disappointed!" —PalArch's Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology
About the Author
Michael J. Everhart, Adjunct Curator of Paleontology at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays, Kansas, is an expert on the Late Cretaceous of western Kansas. He is the creator of the award-winning "Oceans of Kansas" paleontology website at www.oceansofkansas.com. He lives in Derby, Kansas.