336 pages, photos, diagrams, drawings, table
Among the major events in evolutionary history, few rival in importance the appearance of animals. "The Rise of Animals" - a significant reference providing a comprehensive synthesis of the early radiation of the animal kingdom - fully captures this moment in geologic time.
Five of the world's leading paleontologists take us on a journey to the most important fossil sites that serve as unique windows to the earliest animal life - including the Ediacara Hills of Australia, the Russian taiga and tundra, the sandy deserts of southwest Africa, and the rugged coasts of Newfoundland. Each of these places is a rich record of how animals came into existence and how some succeeded and others failed. The authors also explore the diversification of Animalia into the familiar body plans of today: from simple sponges to complex mollusks, arthropods, echinoderms, and chordates that appear explosively in the Cambrian.
It's a beautiful book and the definitive account of the period... I love it and expect it to become a classic. -- Jeff Hecht New Scientist 2008 The Rise of Animals offers a much-needed avenue to communicate to the general public the past decade's exciting discoveries of Ediacaran fossils. -- Shuhai Xiao Science 2008 Recommended. Informed general readers; researchers/faculty; professionals/practitioners. Choice 2008 A one-stop shop for up-to-date information about this puzzling meagerie... non-professionals will likewise find that it is a fine-looking book that captures the excitement of scientific discovery. -- Gregory D. Edgecombe Bioscience
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Mikhail A. Fedonkin is the head of the Precambrian Laboratory at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
James G. Gehling is the senior curator at the South Australian Museum.
Kathleen Grey is the chief paleontologist at the Geological Survey of Western Australia.
Guy M. Narbonne is a professor and Queen's Research Chair at Queens University, Canada.
Patricia Vickers-Rich holds a personal chair of paleontology and is founding director of the Monash Science Centre at Monash University in Australia.