Jump to General Biology; Zoology; Invertebrates; Vertebrates; Human Biology; Systematics and Phylogenetics; Evolution and Development; Geology; Historical Geology; Ecology; Environmental; Climate Change; Botany; History; Philosophy.
Christmas is looong over, while a series of very unfortunate events (basically, my first holiday in many, many years being basically sent from Hell) stopped me from being able to continue with the listings. Anyway,I am back in action now, with this selection of 5 excellent palaeontology books!
Mike Benton’s Vertebrate Palaeontology is the main textbook for any vertebrate palaeontology course. This is the latest edition, fully updated, and well worth the update from the last edition. Must have for any working palaeontologist.
Of the four main organismal palaeosciences, palaeobotany is most often given short shrift. At least people know a bit of micropalaeontology because they recognise its importance for oil (coal is forgotten). If anything will change this situation, it’s this book. Not quite so brief, it goes through the entire history of plants in a very readable style suitable for laymen, yet deep enough to serve well for undergraduates and higher levels. Fully recommended.
The public has always been fascinated by those fish who first transitioned to living on land. For good reason – any process of terrestrialisation is very interesting from a biological perspective, and given that bony animals are best preserved, these vertebrates provide the best way to examine the biological phenomena involved. This book gives all the information available to date on this critical period in the history of vertebrates, and indeed of all life.
Richard Fortey wrote some great books about trilobites, which have always held high positions in mypersonal rankings of best popular science books. This one is written much in the same style as those books – a mixture of autobiographical memoir and a lot of information, with this book adding a lot of colourful pictures of the beasties. This is a must-buy book, and is priced as such to boot.No excuses.
Another great book straddling the bridge between popular and academic use. Great readability and much information, this book concerns the Cambrian Radiation as seen from North American localities. This is one of my main research interests, and this book gets my seal of approval.
[expand title=”Runners Up:”]