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An Introduction to Palaeontology

Edward Wilber Berry (Author)
Synopsis Most elementary texts discuss fossils in their often fragmentary condition as traces of long-dead organisms dug out of the rocks and chiefly useful as indicators of geological horizons. It has always seemed to the author that fossils were quite as wonderful as anything inn human experience-not, however, as dead fragments, or medals of creation, but as once-live organisms. The beginner is not interested in such philosophical questions as What is a species? Nor can he be expected to identify fossil species precisely because this requires not only much experience but also reference collections and much literature. But he is interested in the drama of life as time and evolution have unfolded it, in the way in which the various organisms of the past played their part in the teeming world of long ago. The chief emphasis in the present book is laid on two aspects of the subject: first, resemblances rather than differences, which is only another way of saying that the treatment is, as far as possible, evolutionary; and, second, adaptations of organisms to their environment. Without deviating from the facts, the purpose if to interest rather than to repel the beginner- a pedagogical principle all too frequently ignored. The next is simplified by numerous illustrations the majority of which are original, although the works of many authors have been drawn upon, as indicated in connection with each. Wherever possible, these illustrations are somewhat diagrammatic for the sake of clearness, and those who use this workd should study these figures, since none has been used as mere embellishment, but all are an integral part of the text.
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Bibliographic information

Title An Introduction to Palaeontology
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2003
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 8188836060
length viii+392p., Figures; Maps; Plates; Glossary; Index; 23cm.