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This volume, aimed at the general reader, presents life and times of the amazing animals that inhabited Earth more than 500 million years ago. The Cambrian Period was a critical time in Earth's history. During this immense span of time nearly every modern group of animals appeared. Although life had been around for more than 2 million millennia, Cambrian rocks preserve the record of the first appearance of complex animals with eyes, protective skeletons, antennae, and complex ecologies. Grazing, predation, and multi-tiered ecosystems with animals living in, on, or above the sea floor became common. The cascade of interaction led to an ever-increasing diversification of animal body types. By the end of the period, the ancestors of sponges, corals, jellyfish, worms, mollusks, brachiopods, arthropods, echinoderms, and vertebrates were all in place. The evidence of this Cambrian "explosion" is preserved in rocks all over the world, including North America, where the seemingly strange animals of the period are preserved in exquisite detail in deposits such as the Burgess Shale in British Columbia. Cambrian Ocean World tells the story of what is, for us, the most important period in our planet's long history.
The famous bone beds of the Morrison Formation, formed one hundred and fifty million years ago and running from Wyoming down through the red rock region of the American Southwest, have yielded one of the most complete pictures of any ancient vertebrate ecosystem in the world. Jurassic West, Second Edition tells the story of the life of this ancient world as scientists have so far been able to reconstruct it.
Aimed at the general reader, Jurassic West, Second Edition recounts the discovery of many important Late Jurassic dinosaurs such as Apatosaurus, Allosaurus, and Stegosaurus. But dinosaurs compose barely a third of the more than 90 types of vertebrates known from the formation, which include crocodiles and turtles, frogs and salamanders, dinosaurs and mammals, clams and snails, and ginkgoes, ferns, and conifers.
Featuring nearly all new illustrations, the second edition of this classic work includes new taxa named since 2007, updates to the naming and classifications of some old taxa, and expanded sections on numerous aspects of Morrison Formation paleontology and geology.