Written in Stone: The Hidden Secrets of Fossils

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Icon Books, Jul 1, 2011 - Science - 320 pages
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The first book on the hunt for evolution’s ‘missing links’ over the last three decades – and what palaeontologists’ findings mean for our place on earth.

Darwin’s theory was for more than a century dogged by a major problem: the evidence proving the connections between the main groups of organisms was nowhere to be found. By the 1970s this absence of ‘transitional fossils’ was hotly debated; some palaeontologists wondering if these ‘missing links’ had been so quick that no trace of them was left.

However, during the past three decades fossils of walking whales from Pakistan, feathered dinosaurs from China, fish with feet from the Arctic Circle, ape-like humans from Africa, and many more bizarre creatures that fill in crucial gaps in our understanding of evolution have all been unearthed. These discoveries have revolutionised the way in which the fossil record is read to make sense of life on Earth, including the evolution of human beings.

WRITTEN IN STONE – a hugely compelling scientific history by an up-and-coming star of popular science – is the first account of the remarkable discovery of these gap-fossils and of the new stories they tell about the evolution of life.

  

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Contents

Missing Links
Footprints and Feathers onthe Sands of Time
On a Last
References
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Brian Switek writes a blog for Wired magazine which has been featured in the Guardian, Daily Mail, New Scientist, The New York Times and The Times ('Brilliant writing about palaeontology and evolution, with great daily photos'). He has been a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Material World and written for The Times and the Guardian.

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