Books  Palaeontology  Palaeozoology & Extinctions 

Bones of Contention: The Fossil that Shook Science

Out of Print

By: Paul Chambers (Author)

270 pages, B/w illus

John Murray

Paperback | Dec 2003 | #142740 | ISBN: 0719560594
Out of Print Details
Hardback | Dec 2002 | #127337 | ISBN: 0719560543
Out of Print Details

About this book

Please note: not to be confused with the 1997 book by Roger Lewin by the same title.

Just when the controversy over Darwin's On the Origin of Species was getting really heated, an extraordinary fossil was found in Germany. Apparently half bird, half reptile, it was named Archaeopteryx and hailed as the missing link which proved that species could evolve as Darwin had claimed. The reaction was furious and immediate and has remained so to the present day. Bones of Contention tells a story not just about a fossil but about the lengths to which people, even scientists, will go to prove themselves right.


"Readable, compelling and endlessly provocative"
- Chris Morton, Sunday Herald

"Chambers deals particularly well with the human characters lurking behind Archaeopteryx's enigmatic feathers."
- Chris Lavers, Guardian

"Wonderful tales about preening, scheming Victorian patriarchs, American adventurers, Chinese fossil forgers and a putative giant stone testicle called Scrotum humanum
- Iain Millar, Independent on Sunday

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Paul Chambers has a PhD in Micropaleontology from University College, London, and has worked in London's Natural Histury Museum. He is now a freelance writer and scientific consultant, most recently woking on a sequel to the BBC's successful Walking with Dinosaurs series.

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