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The Rise of Fishes: 500 Million Years of Evolution second edition Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0801896958
ISBN-10: 0801896959
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The Rise of Fishes: 500 Million Years of Evolution + The Rise of Amphibians: 365 Million Years of Evolution + Gaining Ground, Second Edition: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods (Life of the Past)
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Editorial Reviews


Anyone wanting an overview of '500 million years of evolution' of fish and aquatic creatures really needs to read this acclaimed text. It is the work of Australian palaeontologist and curator John A. Long, who works at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. This is a second edition incorporating research from the past 15 years. This is not a work of popular science. It is a richly illustrated technical book that will be of interest to anyone wanting to know about fish before they crawled out of the oceans and started the long journey from amphibians to mammals.

(Sydney Morning Herald)

Overall, this second edition comes highly recommended to anyone who has an interest in the diversity and evolution of fishes. It is an excellent read that is both engaging and informative to a broad audience, and this book would be just as comfortable on the coffee table as it would be on the shelf in your office.


This book is truly an exemplar of the amazing insights we have gained by integrating the comparative anatomical study of living animals with the evidence of the fossil record... The combination of numerous beautiful images with an engaging and well-written text by a research leader in the field makes it exeptional value.

(Gavin Young The Australian Geologist)


One could almost take this for a coffee-table book at first glance, so profusely and well is it illustrated... This book is not just a scientific and educational tool; it is also a visual celebration of the glories of biological diversity as seen in the fossil record.


[Long] enlivens his account with tales from his extensive field work... Exceptionally lucid and comprehensively illustrated.

(New Scientist)

A marvelous addition to the literature of vertebrate paleontology.

(American Paleontologist)

See all Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; second edition edition (December 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801896959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801896958
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Long born in Melbourne and began collecting fossils there at age 7. In 1971 he won the Victorian Science Talent Search major junior division prize for his work on fossils. John graduated with PhD from Monash University in 1984, and spent 6 years as a postdoctoral researcher in palaeontology at universities in Canberra, Perth (as A QEII fellow) and Tasmania before being appointed at the Western Australian Museum in 1989 as Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology. In 2004 John returned to Melbourne as the new Head of Sciences for Museum Victoria. In 2009 he was appointed as the Vice President of Research and Collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, California.

John's research has focussed on the early evolution of vertebrates (fishes) as well as dinosaurs and general evolutionary theory. He has collected fossils in Antarctica (2 expeditions), Africa, throughout Asia, and has worked extensively in North America and Europe and in every part of Australia. His gruelling expeditions to Antarctica are documented in his book "Mountains of Madness- A Journey Through Antarctica" (Allen & Unwin 2000). He has published over 200 scientific papers and general science articles, and some 28 books. He has named more than 50 new species of prehistoric creatures. His most recent major papers contributed to solving some of the biggest problems in palaeontology- what killed the Australian megafauna, how fish contributed to the origins of the first land animals, and 2 papers on the origins of sex in vertebrates (all 4 published 2006-09 in the journal Nature).

In 2001 John won the prestigious Eureka Prize for the Public Promotion of Science. In 2003 he was awarded the Riversleigh Society Medal for promoting understanding of Australia's prehistoric past. In 2003 his book "Prehistoric Mammals of Australia and New Guina-100 million years of evolution" won a Whitely Award for most popular zoological book. In 2005 his book "Gogo Fish! The Story of the Western Australian State Fossil Emblem" won the Honour Book award for the 2005 Children's Book Council Awards. In 2006 his book "The Big Picture Book, won 2 national awards, and was short-listed for 2 other major childrens's literary awards. In 2008 John won the Australasian Science Prize for his discovery of the world's oldest vertebrate embryos, which also featured in the 2010 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records (under fish).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marc Lou on October 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Updated information, easy reading, perfect fossil photos and drawings. Excellent book for researchers and educators of evolution of fishes and Vertebrates in general
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By qjleerui on February 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very good book about the evolution of fishes.You will know the clue of evolution of fishes,which is very interesting.
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Greg on May 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very informative book from the beginning of fish evolution to the modern fishes. Had nice pictures of artist interpretation of what the ancient now extinct fish looked like.
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The Rise of Fishes: 500 Million Years of Evolution
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