This book simulates a historical walk through nature, teaching readers about the biodiversity on Earth in various eras with a focus on past terrestrial environments. Geared towards a student audience, using simple terms and avoiding long complex explanations, Nature Through Time discusses the plants and animals that lived on land, the evolution of natural systems, and how these biological systems changed over time in geological and palaeontological contexts. With easy-to-understand and scientifically accurate and up-to-date information, readers will be guided through major biological events from the Earth's past.
The topics in the book represent a broad palaeoenvironmental spectrum of interests and educational modules, allowing for virtual visits to rich geological times. Eras and events that are discussed include, but are not limited to, the much varied Quaternary environments, the evolution of plants and animals during the Cenozoic, the rise of angiosperms, vertebrate evolution and ecosystems in the Mesozoic, the Permian mass extinction, the late Paleozoic glaciation, and the origin of the first trees and land plants in the Devonian-Ordovician. With state-of-the art expert scientific instruction on these topics and up-to-date and scientifically accurate illustrations, Nature Through Time can serve as an international course for students, teachers, and other interested individuals.
Chapter 1: The last three millions of unequal spring thaws
Chapter 2: Triumph and fall of the wet, warmer and never-more-diverse temperate forests (Oligocene-Pliocene)
Chapter 3: Aridity, cooling, open vegetation and the evolution of plants and animals in the Cenozoic
Chapter 4: Visiting the "PETM" greenhouse: environments, plants and animals of the early Cenozoic
Chapter 5: When and why Nature gained Angiosperms
Chapter 6: Postcards from the Mesozoic: Forest landscapes with giant flowering trees, enigmatic seed ferns, and other naked-seed plants
Chapter 7: Dinosaurs, but not only: Vertebrate evolution in the Mesozoic
Chapter 8: How to Live with Dinosaurs: Ecosystems across the Mesozoic
Chapter 9: Early Mesozoic Nature in and around Tethys
Chapter 10: The End-Permian Mass Extinction: Nature's revolution
Chapter 11: Long-lasting morphologies despite evolution: Ferns (monilophytes) throughout the Phanerozoic
Chapter 12: The non-analog vegetation of the Late Paleozoic Icehouse-Hothouse and their coal-forming forested environments
Chapter 13: The Coal Farms of the Late Paleozoic
Chapter 14: Diving with trilobites: Life in the Silurian-Devonian seas
Chapter 15: Back to the beginnings: The Silurian-Devonian as a time of major innovation in plants and their communities
Dr Edoardo Martinetto is an Assistant Professor and Researcher in the Earth Sciences Department at Turin University. He is a member of the Italian Association for the Study of Quaternary, the International Organization of Paleobotany, and the Italian Paleontological Association. He served as an Associate Editor for the Bulletin of the Italian Paleontological Society, and as a reviewer for several journals including the American Journal of Botany and the Journal of Systematic Paleontolology.
Dr Emanuel Tschopp is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History. He earned his PhD in Geology from University Nova of Lisbon in 2014, and is a member of several professional societies such as the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and the European Association of Vertebrate Palaeontologists. He has served several years as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Paleontological Techniques, where he is still a member of the editorial board, and is a recommender for PCI Paleo.
Dr Robert Gastaldo is a Whipple-Coddington Professor of Geology at Colby College. He is a member of several professional societies including the Geological Society of America, the Paleontological Association, and the Society of Economic Paleontologists & Mineralogists, and serves on the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Paleontology and Stratigraphy, and the Journal of Taphonomy, Prometheus Press. He is a Forschungpreisträger of the Alexander von Humbolt Stiftung, Bonn, Germany; a Fulbright Scholar (The Netherlands, South Africa) of the Institute of International Education, United States; and a recipient of the Gilbert H. Cady award from the Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado, USA.