Cambrian Ocean World

Ancient Sea Life of North America

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Author: John Foster

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253011884

Category: Science

Page: 432

View: 2570

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 Story of Life in 25 Fossils

Tales of Intrepid Fossil Hunters and the Wonders of Evolution

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Author: Donald R. Prothero

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231539428

Category: Science

Page: 432

View: 4487

Every fossil tells a story. Best-selling paleontology author Donald R. Prothero describes twenty-five famous, beautifully preserved fossils in a gripping scientific history of life on Earth. Recounting the adventures behind the discovery of these objects and fully interpreting their significance within the larger fossil record, Prothero creates a riveting history of life on our planet. The twenty-five fossils portrayed in this book catch animals in their evolutionary splendor as they transition from one kind of organism to another. We witness extinct plants and animals of microscopic and immense size and thrilling diversity. We learn about fantastic land and sea creatures that have no match in nature today. Along the way, we encounter such fascinating fossils as the earliest trilobite, Olenellus; the giant shark Carcharocles; the "fishibian" Tiktaalik; the "Frogamander" and the "Turtle on the Half-Shell"; enormous marine reptiles and the biggest dinosaurs known; the first bird, Archaeopteryx; the walking whale Ambulocetus; the gigantic hornless rhinoceros Paraceratherium, the largest land mammal that ever lived; and the Australopithecus nicknamed "Lucy," the oldest human skeleton. We meet the scientists and adventurers who pioneered paleontology and learn about the larger intellectual and social contexts in which their discoveries were made. Finally, we find out where to see these splendid fossils in the world's great museums. Ideal for all who love prehistoric landscapes and delight in the history of science, this book makes a treasured addition to any bookshelf, stoking curiosity in the evolution of life on Earth.

A Concise Dictionary of Paleontology

Second Edition

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Author: Robert L. Carlton

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 3030255867

Category: Science

Page: 469

View: 3344

This new and significantly updated authored dictionary is a unique glossary of paleontological terms, taxa, localities, and concepts. It focuses primarily on identifying the most significant groups of fossil animals and plants in relation to their evolution and phylogeny. It also focuses on mass extinctions, on taxa that are problematic in some significant way, on the principal fossil-Lagerstätten of the world, and on historical turning points marked by index fossils. Although there are many current resources on the subject, none contains an accurate representation of the paleontological lexicon. Although well aware that the fast-changing field of paleontology will always defy any attempt at complete description, the author has attempted to provide an accurate and comprehensive set of about 4,000 entries that will be useful to professionals as well as to general readers of scientific literature without a background in paleontology.

Interpretation of Biological and Environmental Changes Across the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian Boundary

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Author: Loren E. Babcock

Publisher: Gulf Professional Publishing

ISBN: 9780444520654

Category: Science

Page: 225

View: 843

The Neoproterozoic-Cambrian transition was a time of fundamental change in the biosphere. Between about 570 and 510 million years ago, marine organisms underwent considerable evolutionary innovation during a time of shifting ecological setting. This dramatic activity culminated in the first stratigraphic appearances of many recognizable groups of animals, an "event" often referred to as the "Cambrian explosion". In addition, there was a major change from a microbial mat-dominated sediment-water interface to a more extensively burrowed interface in shallow-marine settings. The early fossil record is a function not only of the rise or ecological diversification of marine organisms, but also the development of taphonomic and sedimentary conditions suitable for the preservation of mineralizing and nonmineralizing organisms. This book is devoted to an exploration of some of the emerging concepts and techniques used to develop greater insight into the early record of biologic diversification and the preservational record of that diversification during the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian transition. * Addresses key issues related to the Cambrian diversification of multicellular animals * Provocative new ideas about the factors involved in the exceptional preservation of fossils, with a balance between the development of ideas and hypothesis testing * Broad coverage of topics related to the Cambrian diversification of animals and the fossil record of that diversification; broad geographic coverage

The Ocean World

Encyclopedia

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Author: Donald George Groves,Lee M. Hunt

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 443

View: 1963

More than four hundred illustrated, nontechnical articles summarize current knowledge concerning the physics, geology, geophysics, chemistry, and biology of the world's oceans and their adjacent seas

Evolution in a Toxic World

How Life Responds to Chemical Threats

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Author: Emily Monosson

Publisher: Island Press

ISBN: 1610912217

Category: Science

Page: 264

View: 4847

With BPA in baby bottles, mercury in fish, and lead in computer monitors, the world has become a toxic place. But as Emily Monosson demonstrates in her groundbreaking new book, it has always been toxic. When oxygen first developed in Earth's atmosphere, it threatened the very existence of life: now we literally can't live without it. According to Monosson, examining how life adapted to such early threats can teach us a great deal about today's (and tomorrow's) most dangerous contaminants. While the study of evolution has advanced many other sciences, from conservation biology to medicine, the field of toxicology has yet to embrace this critical approach. In Evolution in a Toxic World, Monosson seeks to change that. She traces the development of life's defense systems—the mechanisms that transform, excrete, and stow away potentially harmful chemicals—frommore thanthree billion years ago to today. Beginning with our earliest ancestors' response to ultraviolet radiation, Monosson explores the evolution of chemical defenses such as antioxidants, metal binding proteins, detoxification, and cell death. As we alter the world's chemistry, these defenses often become overwhelmed faster than our bodies can adapt. But studying how our complex internal defense network currently operates, and how it came to be that way, may allow us to predict how it will react to novel and existing chemicals. This understanding could lead to not onlybetter management and preventative measures, but possibly treatment of current diseases. Development of that knowledge starts with this pioneering book.