Books  Palaeontology  Palaeozoology & Extinctions 

Written in Stone: The Hidden Secrets of Fossils and the Story of Life on Earth

Popular ScienceNew

Series: Icon Science

By: Brian Switek (Author)

320 pages, b/w illustrations

Icon Books

Paperback | Mar 2017 | #234327 | ISBN-13: 9781785782015
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £8.99 $11/€10 approx
Paperback | Feb 2012 | #196463 | ISBN-13: 9781848313422
Out of Print Details
Paperback | Jun 2011 | #214793 | ISBN-13: 9781848312623
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £12.99 $16/€15 approx

About this book

Darwin's theory of evolution was for more than a century dogged by a major problem: the evidence proving the connections between the main groups of organisms was nowhere to be found. By the 1970s this absence of 'transitional fossils' was hotly debated; some palaeontologists wondered if these 'missing links' had been so quick that no trace of them was left. However, during the past three decades fossils of walking whales from Pakistan, feathered dinosaurs from China, fish with feet from the Arctic Circle, ape-like humans from Africa, and many more bizarre creatures that fill in crucial gaps in our understanding of evolution have all been unearthed. The first account of the hunt for evolution's 'missing links', Written in Stone shows how these discoveries have revolutionised palaeontology, and explores what its findings might mean for our place on earth.

"Magisterial [...] part historical account, part scientific detective story. Switek's elegant prose and thoughtful scholarship will change the way you see life on our planet."
– Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish

"Well researched and beautifully written"
– BBC Focus


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Biography

Brian Switek is a science writer and research associate at the New Jersey State Museum. He writes the blog Laelaps for Wired Science ('Brilliant writing about palaeontology and evolution' The Times) and Dinosaur Tracking for Smithsonian. He has been a guest on BBC Radio 4's Material World and written for The Times and The Guardian as well as the Wall Street Journal and Scientific American. This is his first book.

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