Darwin’s Fossils: Discoveries that shaped the theory of evolution


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Darwin’s Fossils: Discoveries that shaped the theory of evolution Author: Format: Paperback / softback First Published: Published By: The Natural History Museum Illustrations and other contents: Colour illustrations throughout Language: English ISBN: 9780565093921 Categories: , , , , ,

Charles Darwin’s voyage on the HMS Beagle was a journey that would revolutionise our understanding of the natural world and our place in it. The magisterial work it spawned, On the Origin of Species, is widely associated with the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. Less well known is Darwin’s passion for geology and how his fossil discoveries in South America – by demonstrating the relationship between extinct lifeforms and living species – shaped his theory of evolution. This is the story of those fossil-hunting adventures in the 1830s, the pioneering science behind the fossils he found, and how these remarkable discoveries played a crucial role in forging Darwin’s revolutionary ideas.

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'A deft, beautifully illustrated account.' Nature 'This thoroughly researched and well-written volume provides a comprehensive overview of Darwin's work with fossils of all kinds... with a very interesting chapter on Darwin's influential theory of coral reef formation, the subject of his first scientific monograph in 1842. The book is beautifully and abundantly illustrated, including dozens of colour photographs of many of Darwin's specimens some still affixed with the renowned English naturalist's original field numbers. There is also an assortment of useful maps and sidebars explaining various geological phenomena, including geological time, plate tectonics, and extinction, among others. The volume seems to be intended for general readers, yet it also has much to offer to professional palaeobiologists or historians of science.' Quarterly Review of Biology 'This is an absolutely gorgeous book. Highly recommended... Every double-page spread contains at least one wonderful illustration, many of which were specially commissioned for the book.' Friends of Darwin 'This is a must-read for those interested in fossils, nature, and evolution' Argentinian Association of Paleontology

Author Biography

Adrian Lister is a Merit Researcher in the Earth Sciences Department at the Natural History Museum. His research is centred on Quaternary mammal fossils to enhance our understanding of processes of evolution and species extinction. He is a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London and writes and contributes regularly to publications and books.