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Taphonomy: Process and Bias Through Time

Series: Topics in Geobiology Volume: 32

Edited By: Peter A Allison and David J Bottjer

599 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations, tables


Hardback | May 2010 | Edition: 2 | #184046 | ISBN-13: 9789048186426
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £138.00 $182/€157 approx

About this book

Taphonomic bias is a pervasive feature of the fossil record. A pressing concern, however, is the extent to which taphonomic processes have varied through the ages. It is one thing to work with a biased data set and quite another to work with a bias that has changed with time. This book includes work from both new and established researchers who are using laboratory, field and data-base techniques to characterise and quantify the temporal and spatial variation in taphonomic bias.

From the reviews of the second edition:

"Taphonomy remains an essential component in resolving biases inherent in the fossil record [...] . Allison (Imperial College London, UK) and Bottjer (Univ. of Southern California) assembled an impressive cast of leading authorities for the completely rewritten second edition of Taphonomy [...] . The text is well written and consistent across chapter authors, and ample illustrations and an extensive index [...] . Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners."
- C. A. McRoberts, Choice, Vol. 48 (10), June, 2011


1. Taphonomy: bias and process through time
2. Taphonomic overprints on biodiversity: a database approach to the quantification of Phanerozoic trends
3. Taphonomy of shelly taxa through time: were aragonitic infauna selectively dissolved?
4. Taphonomy of shelly taxa through time: shell durability in mixed carbonate/clastic sequences
5. Taphonomy of animal organic skeletons though time
6. Molecular taphonomy of plant organic skeletons
7. The relationship between continental landscape evolution and the plant-fossil record: Long term hydrologic controls on preservation
8. Hierarchical control of terrestrial vertebrate taphonomy over space and time: Discussion of mechanisms and implications for vertebrate paleobiology
9. Taphonomy of carbonate microfacies through time
10. Taphonomy of reefs through time
11. Silicification through time
12. Phosphatization through the Phanerozoic
13. Three-dimensional morphological (CLSM) and chemical (Raman) imagery of cellularly mineralized fossils
14. Taphonomy in temporally unique settings: Precambrian Lagerstätte - out of this world?
15. Taphonomy in temporally unique settings: the Ediacaran interval
16. Mass extinctions and changing taphonomic processes

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Peter Allison graduated from the University of Hull with a Geology B.Sc. in 1983. After a short spell as a journalist writing market surveys for Industrial Minerals Magazine he went back to university to do a Ph.D. at the University of Bristol, graduating in 1987. Following post-doctoral positions at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories and the Department of Geology at Kochi University, Japan, he took a faculty position at the Postgraduate Research Institute for Sedimentology at the University of Reading. From there he joined the Earth Science and Engineering Department at Imperial College in 1997.

David J. Bottjer was born in New York City and attended Haverford College outside of Philadelphia (where he majored in Geology at neighboring Bryn Mawr College), and received an M.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton and his Ph.D. from Indiana University (1978). After leaving Indiana he spent a post-doctoral year with the United States Geological Survey at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He began as Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California in 1979, where he is currently Professor of Earth and Biological Sciences and Chair of the Department of Earth Sciences. He has engaged in extensive professional service through his career, including a past editorship of Palaios, a present editorship of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, and election to the presidency of the Paleontological Society for 2004-2006

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