A History of Plants in 50 Fossils


A History of Plants in 50 Fossils Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: The Natural History Museum Illustrations and other contents: Colour throughout Language: English ISBN: 9780565094850 Categories: , , , , , , , , , , ,

This is the story of plant life on Earth, uniquely retold through a remarkable record of spectacular fossils. Palaeobotanist Paul Kenrick explains the importance of each fossil and how it marks a crucial inflection point in plant evolution. Each discovery is illustrated with special photography featuring many original specimens from the Natural History Museum, London. Beginning with the origins of plant life in the sea, when photosynthesis first evolved in bacteria, Paul Kenrick traces the evolution of plants, through ancient forests and grasslands to familiar flowering plants. From petrified tree trunks to grains of pollen, the breadth of the geological record of plants is quite extraordinary and what emerges are forms that are at first puzzling yet frequently striking and beautiful. The story of each specimen is interwoven with impressions of the Earth’s landscapes and environments at various periods of geological time, revealing the dynamic feedback between plants and animals as well as large-scale planetary processes.

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'Fascinating... scientifically detailed, yet accessible' Nature; 'The Natural History Museum in London is known for publishing excellent books and this is another tour de force to add to its catalogue... an extremely readable and well-illustrated book that is pretty enough to be a 'coffee table' book, but also sufficiently informative to be an academic text.' The Biologist

Author Biography

Paul Kenrick is a research scientist at the Natural History Museum, London. His passion for plants was sparked by an early encounter as a student with the tiny fossil plant Cooksonia. His research focuses on the early evolution of plants during the Palaeozoic Era and their crucial roles in the development of life on land. He is also fascinated by the floras of the Mesozoic Era and how plants and dinosaurs might have co-evolved. Paul has authored over seventy scientific papers and two books on plant evolution.