Synopses & Reviews
Life on earth is now known to be an astonishing four billion years old. Yet as recently as two hundred years or so ago, much of world believed that all life was created in just six days. Over the past two centuries, the testimony of rocks has slowly revealed the Earth's deep prehistory and now scarcely a week passes without an important new discovery adding to our understanding of life's beginning and evolution. Written for a very wide audience, with an approachable text and many photographs and illustrations, Prehistoric Past Revealed
tells the story of these discoveries. The book gives an overview history of life on Earth, including the most up-to-date research and discoveries from around the world, as it covers a wide range of fascinating topicsand#151;the fossil record, dinosaurs, extinction events, our earliest human ancestors, global environments, climate changeand#151;in a highly accessible format.
Using timelines, diagrams, sidebar discussions, and breaking down complex ideas into digestible topics, Palmer shows how it has been possible to recover the story of life from the petrified remains of shells and bones scattered through rock strata. He takes us from the present day gradually back into the "terra incognita" of the deep past with its extinct life forms, tracing human ancestry back by centering his discussion around internationally famous fossil sites. Each site reveals another episode in the history of life, as Palmer tells how the environment and life of the time have been reconstructed from its rocks and fossil remains. As it reveals the inner secrets of the Earth, Prehistoric Past Revealed also shows how these discoveries have irrevocably changed our worldview.
Over the last 200 years our view of the world has been revolutionized.' Advances in geology and palaeontology, and in scientific techniques, over the past few centuries has led to a radical rethinking of our assumptions about our past. This introduction to our human ancestry is told through a sequence of major discoveries (primarily consisting of stones and bones) relating to four billion years of life on earth. Each episode of the story is based around a major fossil find where Palmer explains the significance and implications of the site and its discovery. With its informative and approachable text, timelines, photographs and artworks, Prehistoric Past Revealed tells the story of our place in nature and how these discoveries have irrevocably changed our world view.'
A concise, colorful history of life on Earth from the present day to the Earth's origin 4.5 billion years ago.
About the Author
Douglas Palmer is Lecturer at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education and Supervisor in Natural Sciences (Geology) for Robinson College. He is the author of several books, including Fossil Revolution (2003); Neanderthal (2000), which accompanied the television series Neanderthal; Atlas of the Prehistoric World (1999); and The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals (1999); and Life Before Man (1997).