In this book, Martin Brasier, a leading palaeontologist working on early life, takes us into the deep, dark ages of the Precambrian on a quest to solve a case Darwin found ‘inexplicable’ – the lack of fossils in rocks before the Cambrian, over 540 million years old. Brasier tackles deep and still unresolved questions of evolution: when and how did animals evolve and what drove the great evolutionary innovations of the ‘Cambrian Explosion’? These are areas of intense and exciting current research and Brasier here gives his own take on the emerging answers, as one of the leading players in the field. Brasier also offers a richly readable and engaging account of the trials and tribulations of expeditions to remote places such as Siberia and Outer Mongolia.
304pp. Hardback. 20 b/w halftones. 8pp colour plate section.