• Title: On Methuselah's Trail: Living Fossils and the Great Extinctions
  • Author: Steven M. Stanley, Peter D. Ward
  • Released: 1993-04-01
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 228
  • ISBN: 071672488X
  • ISBN13: 978-0716724889
  • ASIN: 071672488X
From Library Journal Living fossils are species that have survived nearly unchanged since prehistoric times. For scientists they are a window to the past. Ward, an expert on the nautilus, tells us a fascinating story of scientific discovery through a combination of personal narratives and examples of how the study of living creatures helps to interpret the fossil record. Some of the episodes are even dramatic, like the discovery of the lobe-finned coelacanth that had been thought to be extinct also recounted in Keith Stewart Thomson's Living Fossil , LJ 5/15/91, or Ward's struggle to save a living nautilus for an aquarium. In Wonderful Life ( LJ 9/1/89), Stephen Jay Gould made the point that it is impossible to guess from fossils alone which creatures would survive to the present and which would become extinct. The study of "Methuselahs" such as brachiopods or horseshoe crabs shows how different sets of circumstances allowed a few species to endure. Good, entertaining popular science.
- Amy Brunvand, Fort Lewis Coll. Lib., Durango, Col.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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