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Most major recent advances in understanding the history of life on Earth have been through the study of exceptionally well preserved biotas (Fossil-Lagerstätten). These are windows on the history of life on Earth and can provide a fairly complete picture of the evolution of ecosystems through time. Fossil Ecosystems of North America follows the success of Evolution of Fossil Ecosystems by the same authors which covered Fossil-Lagerstätten around the world. The success of the first book prompted this new book which draws on four localities from the original book and adds another ten, all located in North America.
Following an introduction to Fossil-Lagerstätten, each chapter deals with a single fossil locality. Each chapter contains a brief introduction placing the Lagerstätte in an evolutionary context; there then follows a history of study of the locality; the background sedimentology, stratigraphy and palaeoenvironment; a description of the biota; discussion of the palaeoecology, and a comparison with other Lagerstatten of a similar age and/or environment. At the end of Fossil Ecosystems of North America is an Appendix listing museums in which to see exhibitions of fossils from each locality and suggestions for visiting the sites.
1. The Gunflint Chert
2. Mistaken Point
3. Burgess Shale
4. Beecher's Triolbite Bed
5. The Bertie Waterlime
7. Mazon Creek
8. The Chinle Group
9. The Morrison Formation
10. The Hell Creek Formation
11. The Green River Formation
13. Dominican Amber
14. Rancho La Brea
Museums and Site Visits
"Recommended to all palaeontologists as a very enjoyable and well illustrated guide to sites."
– The Geological Magazine
"An outstanding publication. Deposits An excellent introduction for undergraduates [...] astonishingly good value for money [...] delightful."
– The Palaeontological Association Newsletter