It won’t come as any surprise to a reader of this magazine, but might to the vast majority of the UK population (and probably anyone reading this elsewhere), but this country is a great place to find dinosaurs.
Growing up, I collected and purchased trilobite fossils for my own personal collection, to learn about and understand prehistoric life. They were to me, and still are, a fascinating group of fossils to examine and wonder about how the myriad of different forms evolved.
Patagonia has not always been the cold, arid and dry place it is today. About 17mya – because the Andes were much lower allowing humid winds from the west to reach the area – it consisted of substantial forests and grasslands. It was also inhabited by strange and wonderful animals, many of which are now extinct, such as glyptodonts, huge snakes and the giant, tapir-like astrapotheres.
As the author says, “The abundance and diversity of Foraminifera … make them uniquely useful in studies of modern marine environments and the ancient rock record”. And this book represents an interesting, enjoyable and informative ‘one-stop-shop’ treatment of precisely that subject.
This fascinating book looks at the professional interaction over more than 30 years between a respected husband and wife team of US palaeontologists working for most of their professional lives in Australia (Prof Pat Vickers-Rich and Tom Rich) and a freelance artist (Peter Trusler), as he tries to interpret their work and bring to life ancient organisms and environments.
These three guides by Robert Westwood are in the same simple format. All are local geological guides to specific areas of the UK and all are illustrated by lovely full colour photographs. They all contain simple, introductory geological introductions for the uninitiated, and then more detailed expositions of what makes the regions so special.
In recent years, the Jurassic Coast Trust really has produced some great books and I have had the privilege of reviewing quite a number of them in this magazine. These two companion books are intended as walking guides to the World Heritage Site.
Recently, in the autumn of 2011, a beautiful and richly illustrated book was published by a group of sabre-tooth experts. This new book describes, in detail, the osteology of Xenosmilus and all skeletal elements are depicted in great detail.
Like the book, Applications of Palaeontology: Techniques and Case Studies, which I reviewed in the last issue of this magazine, this book is not for the casual fossil collector. Rather it is for the student, academic, oil industry professional or the more dedicated amateur collector.
I suspect that most people who read this magazine do so because of their amateur love of fossils and geology. They are interested in geology and palaeontology on a curious rather than academic or professional level.
Whether you are an amateur collector, geology student or professional geologist, the Dorset coast will always hold a special place in most geologists’ hearts. The coastline, which forms part of the ‘Jurassic Coast’ World Heritage Site, has been the stamping ground for the historical great and the good, through to the holidaymakers of today collecting fossils for fun.
Nowadays, people don’t do geology – they do ‘earth sciences’ – and this book is very much in that mould. That’s not to say this is a problem.
Here at Deposits, we like our amber and this certainly isn’t the first book on the subject I have reviewed. In fact, over the years, we have published many articles on the fossilised sap and its inclusions, and have just finished publishing a short, two-article series by the authors of this excellent little publication.
I like the GA guides. They are excellent resources for amateurs and professional geologists alike and I frequently browse mine, planning geological trips I will probably never take, because I live in geological unexciting London.
John L Morton certainly came to popular geological publishing by an interesting and circuitous route. Trained as a pilot, he flew Herons, Viscounts, Comets, Boeing 707s and Lockheed TriStars for British European Airways and subsequently published a book on aspects of flying for an airline.
This is the second guide to be published in a series of three books produced by Dunedin (the first of which, Introducing Geology – A Guide to the World of Rocks by Graham Park was reviewed in Issue 23 of Deposits) and this second book does not disappoint at all.
Roderick Impey Murchison must have been a remarkable man. He was one of the first people to rigorously use the principles of stratigraphy discovered by William Smith, which allowed him to erect the Silurian system and to name about 123myrs of geological time.
It is always exciting when Palass publishes a new field guide to fossils. This one, number 12 in the series, is likely to be the constant companion for anyone, who (like me) loves the Gault Clay.
I am a local geology enthusiast and have been leading fossil hunts at Bracklesham for over 30 years. I recently decided that it was time to write a new guide (published April 2009) aimed at visitors who, more often than not, will be faced with a uniform blanket of beach sand and need some idea of where to start.
The Scottish Borders region is famed for its frontier history and attendant myths and ballads. This book concerns its more ancient geological history that is revealed by its rocks. These indicate that the area was once on the edge of a huge ocean.
The Caithness area of Scotland is important for its geology, but is also well known for its palaeontology. The area even once had its own ‘gold rush’ and you can still try your luck at panning there today at Kildonan.
The fossil bearing rocks of the British Isles contain the remains of life from the last 2,900myrs and the UK is seen as the cradle of modern geology. With this is mind, palaeontologist Peter Doyle offers a comprehensive guide to UK fossils.
In this book, you will travel back millions of years in time to join wildlife safaris and visit, as though a time-traveller, ancient environments teeming with life. As the fossils come alive, you will experience and understand the fauna, flora and landscapes seen at ten localities in the geological past of Scotland.
For a long time Watchet has been known to be a superb location for those interested in both fossils and geology but surprisingly, the location has had little in the way of media attention. However, within the last couple of years, this area has begun to attract a lot of interest and this book will further increase its growing popularity.
This small yet informative booklet takes you on a four mile walk to 13 sites and through 15 million years of Earths history. The Mortimer Forest Trail is a geology trail in Shropshire that is famous for its outstanding fossils and varied geology. The trail mostly examines Silurian formations such as the Wenlock and Ludlow series.
The Pentland Hills in Scotland yield a large number of Silurian marine fossils. Although these fossils are only found within a small area of the Pentland Hills, the formations are extremely rich in fossils. The majority of these are preserved as moulds.
Fossil Hunting along the Jurassic Coast is presented by Dr Colin Dawes, a well-known, fossil hunting guide in the world-famous palaeontological site of Lyme Regis. The film is split into sections covering the fossilisation process, fossil hunting hotspots and safety information. It also has aerial views of the fossil hunting sites featured in the DVD.
Dorling Kindersley (DK) are well-known for producing popular reference media for beginners and enthusiasts. No doubt, most readers will be familiar with their ‘Eyewitness Guides’. The Eyewitness Handbook of fossils, certainly makes a useful starting point for anyone new to geology or palaeontology.
Any serious collector of fossils will certainly have heard of the famous Green River, Morrison and Hell Creek formations. These, however, are not commonly detailed in guides that can easily be obtained in the UK.