15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Anyone who is a Dinosaur nut as I am will know the name of Hans-Dieter Sues from his numerous articles and books on Paleontology. This particular book concerns the transition from the old world of the Paleozoic to the more modern groups of living organism on land; tetrapods, vascular plants and insects found in the Mesozoic. The old world ended with a bang (or blowout) with the great extinction event at the end of the Permian some 250+/-Ma. The next 50 million years are known as the Triassic; named after the three strata in the southern German state of Baden-Wurttemberg. There are some fifteen major exposures of Triassic rock from various parts of the world and from various ages that have revealed a gradual transition and loss of holdovers from the Permian as the Therapsida such as Lystrosaurus to the increasing importance of the Archosauria that will lead to Crocodylia, Dinosaurioforms and then to Aves. Meanwhile Diapsids as Dicynodonts and Eucynodonts deminish in numbers till only the Mammaliaformes remain (though it appears that a Kannemeyerid was present at the Triassic Jurassic juncture). The authors then go through the various worldwide exposures based on age and summarize the variety of tetrapods, plants and insects that are recorded. Some of these areas are particularly interesting as Karoo Basin of South Africa, The Chinle formation and Dockum Group in southwestern United States, the Newark Supergroup in eastern North America and the Madygen Formation in Kyrgystan with its very weird animals. Plants are noted also as some of the more primitive are outcompeted by newer groups as the Bennettitaleans. It is from these that the Angiosperms may be derived. Fossil insects in previous time periods are quite rare, but in some of the Triassic exposures there can be thousands of complete specimens along with numerous wings and elytra. Some primative insects gain in mumbers only to die out before the Jurassic. Modern groups of beetles appear along the way and the first true Dipterids are found.
This is truly a fascinating journey and the book is well written so it's a most enjoyable read. It is well illustrated along with maps and charts. Highly recommended.