By: Gabriel Kühl(Author), Christoph Bartels(Author), Derek EG Briggs(Author), Jes Rust(Author), Richard A Fortey(Foreword By)
128 pages, 127 colour photos
About four hundred million years ago earthquake activity and possibly major storms caused sudden movements of large quantities of muddy sentiment along the seafloor. Animal communities in the path of these sediment-laden flows were instantly engulfed, the inhabitants "frozen" in the last moment of their lives. Amazingly, many of the creatures lost in this ancient catastrophe were almost perfectly preserved through the eons, fossilized in a thick series of muds now known as the Hunsruck Slate west of the Rhine Valley in western Germany. Excavations there have yielded the most diverse and surpassingly beautiful collection of marine fossils of the Devonian period ever discovered.
Visions of a Vanished World pays tribute to the exquisite fossils of the Hunsruck Slate. Large full-colour photographic plates display fossil sponges, brachiopods, clams, starfish, sea lilies, trilobites, worms, sea spiders, sea stars, crustaceans, corals, and many other species. An accessible commentary recounts the discovery of the fossils and explains how the slate was formed, how the animals are preserved, the significance of the fossils, and the controversies that surround them. A special presentation in every way, Visions of a Vanished World makes an exceptional contribution to the fascinating history of life on Earth.
"Beautifully illustrated, this book brings to life the exquisite fossils of the Hunsruck Slate, and provides an engaging introduction to life in the oceans of the middle Paleozoic."
- Douglas Erwin, co-author of The Cambrian Explosion: The Construction of Animal Biodiversity
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Gabriele Kühl is a paleontologist at the Steinmann Institute, University of Bonn, Germany. Christoph Bartels is head of the Mining History Research Department of the German Mining Museum, Bochum, Germany. Derek Briggs is G. Evelyn Hutchinson Professor of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, and director of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. Jes Rust is professor at the Steinmann Institute, University of Bonn, Germany.
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