Books  Palaeontology  Palaeontology: General 

A Guide to Fossils

Field / Identification GuideGeology GuideOut of Print

By: Helmut Mayr, D Dinely and G Windsor

256 pages, 508 col photos, 6 b/w photos, 8 line illus

Princeton University Press

Paperback | Dec 1992 | #60293 | ISBN: 0691029229
Out of Print Details

About this book

Anyone interested in collecting fossils or in learning more about the previous life of these animals and plants will find a wealth of information in this lavishly illustrated guide. Here Helmut Mayr brings together over five hundred color photographs with concise and lively descriptions of both common and unusual fossils. Intended to aid amateurs in specimen identification and classification, A Guide to Fossils offers an encyclopedic breadth of coverage that many specialists too will find useful.

In his introduction Mayr discusses the most important genera of animals and plants, the origins of fossils and the forms of their preservation, tips on collecting and on recovery and storing, technical terminology, and insights into scientific research. The main section contains illustrations and descriptions of the fossils themselves, with an emphasis on ammonites, but also including corals, mollusks, snails, echinoderms and brachiopods, vertebrates, and plants. Each illustrated example is accompanied by information on distinguishing marks, geographical distribution, period of existence, and the habits and ecology of the important representatives of the individual genera.

"The hundreds of color photographs are extremely well done in this handsome, hand-size fossil guide."

"[This book] combines extensive taxonomic coverage with quality color illustrations to provide a valuable resource for paleontology students and amateur fossil collectors alike [...] The translators have done an admirable job preserving the liveliness and personal tone of Mayr's original text [...] The combined quality and taxonomic breadth of its illustrations far surpasses that available in any college-level text on evolution and the fossil record."
– Joseph G. Carter, American Scientist

"A number of fossil identification guides grace the Science/Nature shelf at the local bookstore, but [this] book shines a little brighter than most. [It] tackles a tough topic with style [...] The author includes a well-chosen representative sample of fossils covering 44 commonly collected groups. Each group contains a number of orders or families that a field collector is likely to encounter [...] A treat for anyone who appreciates the beauty of fossils."
– Scott Stepanski, Lapidary Journal

"This book will appeal to all those who appreciate the superb photographic exposition of fossil diversity and the beauty of the natural world."
– Susan Rigby, Geological Magazine

"A Guide to Fossils is a wonderful sampler of beautifully preserved and photographed specimens, ideal for use in courses. Although amateurs will find plenty here to educate and entertain them, experts will be enlightened by the presentation of rare material as well as some more familiar pieces."
– Kevin Padian, University of California, Berkeley

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