Fossils: The Key to the Past is a comprehensive guide to the study and meaning of fossils. This new paperback edition has been fully revised and updated, reflecting advances in our understanding of the fossil record and the significance of new fossil finds. Palaeontologist Richard Fortey explains in accessible language what fossils are, how they form and how to identify them, and how they help us to understand Earth's geological past and the emergence of life.Drawing on all the latest research, including molecular palaeontology, he discusses evolution and extinction, the economic uses of fossils, such as oil and coal, as well as offering practical advice for making a fossil collection. Extensively illustrated in full colour throughout, with photographs from the collections at the Natural History Museum, Fossils: The Key to the Past will appealto all those with an interest in the history of life itself.
Richard Fortey is a celebrated popular science writer and former senior palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum, London. Richard spent more than 30 years working at the Museum, specialising in trilobites, the distant relatives of crabs and lobsters that lived 260-540 million years ago. He has also been Collier Professor in the Public Understanding of Science and Technologyat Bristol University.His previous books include The Hidden Landscape, which won The Natural World Book of the Year in 1993, Life: An Unauthorised Biography which was shortlisted for the Rhone Poulenc Prize in 1998, Trilobite! Eyewitness to Evolution, which was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize, and Dry Store Room No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum. He has won both the Lewis Thomas and Michael Faraday prizes for his science writing, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1997.
Preface Chapter 1: Buried in the rocks Chapter 2: Time and change Chapter 3: Rocks and fossils Chapter 4: Recognising fossils Chapter 5: Reviving fossils Chapter 6: Origin of life Chapter 7: Extinction & evolution Chapter 8: Human evolution Chapter 9: Fossil DNA Chapter 10: Uses of fossilsChapter 11: Making a collectionFurther informationGlossary index 252