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Locked in Time: Animal Behavior Unearthed in 50 Extraordinary Fossils Paperback – August 30, 2022

4.8 out of 5 stars 290 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


A rousing romp through the fossil record. Dean R. Lomax's storytelling and Bob Nicholls's artwork reanimate the lifestyles and behaviors of long-extinct species. Revel along as old bones, teeth, and footprints tell the tale of dinosaur mating dances, fighting mammoths, and pterodactyl nurseries. -- Steve Brusatte, University of Edinburgh paleontologist and New York Times best-selling author of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

Vividly told with stunning illustrations,
Locked in Time is an essential book for any fossil fan. From the ancient steps of a horseshoe crab to courting dinosaurs, Lomax and Nicholls achieve the closest thing to time travel in bringing the prehistoric back to life. -- Riley Black, author of The Last Days of the Dinosaurs

When we think about the animals of the past, we’re drawn to a small handful of movie dinosaurs, but in this fascinating and engaging book, Lomax brings to life incredible moments in the lives of animals from throughout prehistory, discovering the universal in the specific and offering us an insight into our sense of place on this planet. While being immersed in scientific literature, Lomax has a gift for extracting events from millions of years ago and giving them meaning for everyone today. -- Ellie Harrison, presenter of
Dinosaur Britain

A beetle within a lizard within a snake, a giant beaver that made huge corkscrew burrows three meters deep, a mammal that ate dinosaurs, insects caught in the act of mating, and dinosaurs with cancer . . . Dean R. Lomax presents an extraordinary tour through recent fossil discoveries that shed light on all aspects of the life of the past. These extraordinary scenarios are brought to life in exquisite reconstructions by Bob Nicholls. These are fossils that don’t make it into the textbooks; your appreciation of the history of life will never be the same again! -- Michael J. Benton, professor of vertebrate paleontology, University of Bristol

A number of exceptional, spectacular fossils show―via the most direct evidence imaginable―that the extinct animals of the past were once very much
alive. They preserve animals giving birth, swallowing prey, and even having sex. Others reveal cases where animals died from poisoning, choking, or even when locked in combat. Join Dean Lomax in this beautifully illustrated, thoroughly researched but accessibly written tour of animals forever locked in time. -- Darren Naish, lead scientific consultant for Prehistoric Planet

Illuminates how we pieced together our understanding of behaviors in the animal kingdom. . . . Buckle up―it's a journey. ―

An outstanding and highly original piece of popular science that overflows with Lomax’s enthusiasm and passion. Believe me, you have not seen a book like this before. ―
Inquisitive Biologist

Meticulously researched and Dr [Dean] Lomax is a most eloquent and well-informed tour guide. Renowned palaeoartist Bob Nicholls provides the sumptuous illustrations that brings Dean’s narrative to life. ―
Everything Dinosaur

A strikingly illustrated study that will have immense value and appeal for both paleontology students and non-specialist general readers alike, 'Locked in Time: Animal Behavior Unearthed in 50 Extraordinary Fossils' is impressively well written and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. Exceptionally well informed and informative, 'Locked in Time: Animal Behavior Unearthed in 50 Extraordinary Fossils' is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college and university library Paleontology collections and supplemental studies curriculums. ―
Midwest Book Review

Fascinating and highly recommended. ―
AIPT Science

This informative, educational, and entertaining book will make a good addition to the paleontology aficionado’s library. ―
Fossil News

Fully achieves what it sets out to do: educate and entertain. ―
Quarterly Review of Biology

A captivating and accessible read...Highly recommended. ―

[Lomax] covers 50 extraordinary fossils, in five fascinating chapters that offer an unprecedented glimpse at the real-life behaviours of prehistoric animals. The book is illustrated by striking and scientifically rigorous illustrations by renowned palaeoartist Bob Nicholls. A great read for those interested in ancient life. ―
Deposits Magazine

Lomax is an easy narrator, deftly weaving personal reminiscence and passion among the paleontological facts. There’s an abundance of ‘impeccable, large illustrations and photographs.’ I had a blast with this book. -- Ola G ―
Re-enchantment of the World

About the Author

Dean R. Lomax is an internationally recognized paleontologist, author, television presenter, and science communicator. He is currently a visiting scientist at the University of Manchester and is a leading authority on ichthyosaurs. His books include Dinosaurs of the British Isle (2014) and Dinosaurs: 10 Things You Should Know (2021).

Bob Nicholls is a world-renowned natural history artist who specializes in the reconstruction of prehistoric animals, plants, and environments. His illustrations and models have been published in more than forty books and exhibited in over forty museums, universities, and visitor attractions around the world.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Columbia University Press (August 30, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 296 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0231197292
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0231197298
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.11 pounds
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 290 ratings

About the author

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Dr Dean Lomax is an internationally recognised multi-award-winning palaeontologist, author and science communicator. Travelling around the world, he works on many fascinating projects from excavating dinosaurs, to discovering and naming new species and even winning a gold medal for excellence in science. In 2021, he led the excavation of the 'Rutland Sea Dragon', a 10-metre-long complete ichthyosaur skeleton found in the UK.

Passionate about communicating palaeontology with the public, Dean appears regularly on TV as an expert and presenter, including for the primetime series, Dinosaur Britain. He has written several books, many academic papers and popular articles, is a leading world authority on ichthyosaurs and completed his PhD at The University of Manchester, England. Dean is a patron of the UK Association of Fossil Hunters (UKAFH) and Mary Anning Rocks. Follow him on social media @dean_r_lomax and visit his website at:

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
290 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 22, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on August 10, 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

Nick the Geek
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic tour through some landmark fossils!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 6, 2021
3 people found this helpful
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Christine Kuhn
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating stories for palaeontology fans aged 9-99
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 15, 2021
One person found this helpful
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Richard Forrest
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for anyone with an interest in the history of life on our planet
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 15, 2021
2 people found this helpful
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faye rackham
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly fascinating!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 6, 2021
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faye rackham
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly fascinating!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 6, 2021
I am an incredibly reluctant and slow reader but finished this book in one weekend which is a personal accomplishment as I always rely on audio books. I absolutely loved it, it was so informative and very well written. I really liked all the scientific terms as well as explanations and it goes without saying the illustrations were fantastic and really helps the reader to picture the scenario whilst bringing the fossils to life. The short stories of each fossil were well explained and, for me, made it so much easier to read and keep my focus - in fact I couldn’t put it down (I know that’s cliche but it’s true). This book had me lost in a prehistoric world and I didn’t want it to end. (Photo by me @prehistoricmodels on Instagram)
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3 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 21, 2022
One person found this helpful
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