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Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth Hardcover – October 5, 2009
"Seven Skeletons" by Lydia Pyne
An irresistible journey of discovery, science, history, and myth making, told through the lives and afterlives of seven famous human ancestors. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
However, unlike others I was not impressed with the CGI illustrations. Few seem very lifelike, some barely 'adequate', and many are in static poses on an unremarkable backdrop (i.e. blue water, green grass, ect). Additionally, there's far too much emphasis on small fossils in the photographs. The giant arthropods of the Paleozoic are barely even mentioned. I suppose it's easier to prominently photograph a half-inch long trilobite rather than a six-foot eurypterid, but to fail to include these remarkable creatures even in CGI reconstruction? Hardly 'definitive'.
Despite these shortcomings, it IS a wonderful book, especially for the pricetag. However, I recommend 'Evolution: Story of Life' as a companion book, as it's better for full environment reconstructions. I purchased both, and the two compliment one another very well.
This is a sumptuous and learned book. But it is also unreadable. It serves as a visually beautiful reference book, and a thick-volume to be thumbed through, read in parts, consulted, and used as a stimulus to the sense of wonder.
“Prehistoric Life” consists of about 500 richly illustrated colored pages that include many explanatory units of boxed-in text. The book starts with the origin of the Earth, and has separate sections for each of the geological time periods, starting with the Archean, four billion years ago, and ending with the history of our species, Homo sapiens. Every page you open to is colorful and filled with images of fossils, plants, animals or artistic reproductions of life forms, and every page has scientific text amplifying each separate picture. The scope of this book and the level of knowledge that it contains is astounding and leaves the reader struck with both the artistry of book-making and the rigor of science that is involved with the creation of this text. There is no single author, and as is usual with DK Books, there are many authors, scientific consultants, editors, designers, illustrators, and photographers who had to cooperate to make this rich compendium. Unfortunately, as again is usually true with DK Books, the reader does not know which author or authority wrote the particular prose passage that one is reading. The acknowledgments alone take up three pages of four columns each.
Partly because of the encyclopedic information that is discussed, and partly because of the use of text to accompany illustrations, rather than the creation of a continuous single author narrative, this book can be read only in a halting, jumping, discontinuous manner.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
amazing and so life like - most people ( except those without eyes!) will see that fossils are really showing evolution!Published 6 months ago by Jesse Matty
This is an incredible book. The amount of information contained and the manner in which it is presented are beyond what you normally find these days. DK means quality.Published 7 months ago by Mark Schilling
Very thorough book and full of interesting facts. Also beautifully illustrated.Published 7 months ago by Calluna
Tons of pictures and lots of info too. Perfect for my 10 yo dyslexic who wants to be a paleontologist.Published 8 months ago by Heather Armbruster