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The leading textbook in its field, Bringing Fossils to Life applies paleobiological principles to the fossil record while detailing the evolutionary history of major plant and animal phyla. It incorporates current research from biology, ecology, and population genetics.
Written for biology and geology undergrads, Bringing Fossils to Life bridges the gap between purely theoretical paleobiology and solely descriptive invertebrate paleobiology books, emphasizing the cataloguing of live organisms over dead objects. This third edition revises art and research throughout, expands the coverage of invertebrates, includes a discussion of new methodologies, and adds a chapter on the origin and early evolution of life.
PrefaceTo the Student: Why Study Fossils?
PART I: THE FOSSIL RECORD: A WINDOW ON THE PAST
1. The Fossil Record
2. Variation in Fossils
3. Species and Speciation
7. Functional Morphology
PART II: LIFE OF THE PAST AND PRESENT
11. Life's Origins and Early Evolution
12. Micropaleontology: Fossil Protistans
13. Colonial Life: Sponges, Archaeocyathans, and Cnidarians
14. The Lophophorates: Brachiopods and Bryozoans
15. Jointed Limbs: The Arthropods
16. Kingdom of the Seashell: The Molluscs
17. Spiny Skins: The Echinoderms
18. Dry Bones: Vertebrates and their Relatives
19. Fossilized Behavior: Trace Fossils
20. Traces of Earth's Green Mantle: Paleobotany
Donald R. Prothero is a research associate in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.
"This well-written, well-illustrated book comprehensively covers the science of paleontology, running the gamut from the history of different aspects of the field, to technical discoveries, to taxonomic information. It is perfectly aimed at a student audience, and also belongs in the library of all professional (and amateur) paleontologists."
– Bruce S. Lieberman, University of Kansas
"Substantive, well illustrated, and engaging. [Bringing Fossils to Life] serves to introduce a field that illuminates not only our past but also important aspects of our future."
– Catherine Badgley, Quarterly Review of Biology
"Prothero's textbook [...] is very welcome as it gives not only for students but for every geologist a nice and up-to-date overview of the wide field of paleobiology [...] An excellent, well written and nicely illustrated textbook."