The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang, China: The Flowering of Early Animal Life (Anglais) Broché – 14 août 2007
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology<!––end––>
"Scratching about in the ancient rock strata of southern China is also producing a fossil bonanza, wonderfully illustrated in Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang. Mainly intended for professional palaeontologists, this spotter′s guide details the amazing fossils, 525 million years old, that have been shaking the tree of life for the past 10 years. Chengjiang′s hundred species, from algae to chordates, challenge North America′s Burgess Shale fauna for the quality and amount of new information they provide."
Douglas Palmer, New Scientist, March 2004
"The authors offer anyone interested in paleontology or evolutionary biology an excellent overview of the setting, study, preservation and paleoecology of the Chengjiang fauna as well as brief descriptions, photographs and reconstructions of more than 90 species."
Science, June 2004
"...this beautifully produced book...is the best systematic compendium of the entire Chengjiang biota, offering a rare view of this great episode in the diversification of animal life."
Zhe–Xi Luo, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Nature, August 2004
"This book is an excellent introduction for anyone interested in the palaeobiology of not only Cambrian ecosystems but also exceptional faunas in general. It is a platform from which to follow discussion on topics such as these, reports of new forms and re–interpretations of those known already, in the coming years. "
Patrick J Orr, University College Dublin, Palaeontological Association Newsletter, September 2004
"...a beautifully illustrated monograph..." from The Ancestor′s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life by Richard Dawkins
"A Chinese–English–Swedish team have combined to produce this summary of the fossils, with the text for each taxon a lucid summary of its points of interest and biological affinities, without the dry words of a technical systematic monograph. Each type of fossil is exquisitely illustrated in this stunning book, with virtually all of the pictures in faithful colour. "
Magazine of the Geologists′ Association, December 2004
"This is a fine book indeed....It is beautifully produced, and all the maps, charts, and photographs are in colour, the latter faithfully reproducing the yellow, brown, red and pink of the flattened fossils and the contrasting paler sediment...Whereas research still continues, this book presents an invaluable summary of knowledge at the present time."
Euan Clarkson, Times Higher Education Supplement, January 2005
"This is one of those rare books...that delights the eye as well as the mind. Layouts, fonts, and illustrations are very pleasingly done; the writing is clear, concise and easy to understand even for the non–specialist. Plus the science is impeccable...one is enchanted by the beauty of the fossils, and the diversity of unusual creatures blows your mind. I found myself having a difficult time putting this book down, and I suspect that you will too."
Fossil News: Journal of Avocational Paleontology, June 2005
"...this is a timely production...[which] can only reinforce our sense of astonishment as to the amazing fossils of Chengjiang..."
Geological Magazine, August 2005
"There is no doubt that the superb photographs of these wonderful fossils are the highlight of this book...This first book in English on the Chengjiang biota is a delight..."
The Journal of Biogeography, September 2005
"I have a shelf of books of superb fossil illustrations, to which I turn late in the day, when weary of analysis, and ready for aestheti recreation. We are lucky that paleontology is rich in such books, and this one deserves pride of place."
Priscum, November 2005
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
There is one incorrect statement regarding the book -"...this is the first book in English to provide fossil enthusiasts.......".
Another excellent publication which has many color plates and reconstructions in English is found in "The Cambrian Explosion and the Fossil Record" ISSN 1015-8448 Bulletin of the National Museum of Natural Science by Junyuan Chen, Yen-Nnien Cheng, H.V. Iten Guest Editors. The book is soft bound and is 316 pages, most of which is on the Chengijang fauna, Publication date 31 Dec. 1997.
These two publications are both excellent and if you have a real desire to find out more about these extraordinary fossils I highly recommend both books.
The Bulletin of National Museum of Natural Science is published by the Division of Collection and Research, National Museum of Natural Science . 1, Kuan-chien Road Taichung, Taiwan 404, R.O.C.
What makes this site so important is, it's 10 million years older than the burgess Shale.
My only objection with this book is the price. I found it a little expensive, but after reading it, it was well worth the cost.
Over the last year and a half I have read all the books on the Burgess Shale-type lagerstatte I could find. These include Stephen Jay Gould's "Wonderful Life", Simon Conway Morris's "The Crucible of Creation", and "The Fossils of the Burgess Shale" by Derek Briggs, et al. Of these three, "The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang China" is most like the last. It is more a photographic and taxonomic survey of these ancient fossils than it is a study of modes of life at the time. There is little discussion in the text regarding the possible relationships between organisms presented, and minimal explanation of how researchers have arrived at the conclusions they have about each fossil. Because of this, I find "The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang China" a disappointment.
As a layperson, I am searching for a deeper understanding of how the researchers engaged in this important and fascinating work do their jobs. What knowledge, understanding, skill, artistry, theory, and simple good fortune does it take to make decisions, for example, about the affinities between arthropods like Kunmingella and Isoxys, for one? Couldn't the authors have taken us through this process, to provide us with opportunities to think? Absent any discussion on such subjects, the book fails to keep me interested, and I feel like I'm not learning as much as I should be. It becomes a pretty picture book.
I've found the law of diminishing returns has been operating for me in this endeavor. The most interesting and engaging of these books has been Gould's (and yes, there are errors and missteps in his work, but it is also the most expansive and carefully explanatory), with Conway Morris's a distant second (though obviously more *accurate*). The photos in Briggs, et al. are wonderful, and really help to enlighten a study of the prior two texts, but they are all in black and white.
It is in the photography, then, where "The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang China" absolutely shines. These photographic plates are all in color, and there are many dozens! One could easily lose hours just staring and the images and saying, "WOW!" I know I have. Being able to see these pictures up close is a treat. I am especially happy with the pictures of the lobopods, the phylum to which mystery animal Hallucigenia belongs. Many mysteries become clearer thanks to that section. The images alone *almost* make the high price tag worth it.
I offer a conditional recommendation for this text. If you are a student of the Cambrian and have read at least one of the other texts mentioned above, I believe you will enjoy this. But remember, if you are a layperson you might be frustrated by the text's lack of detailed context, and you'll be faced with reading many almost impenetrably jargoned sentences like the following: "Distal to the basis, the endopod consists of seven podomeres including a distal claw. At least in the larger appendages the basis and proximal two podomeres each have and endite with spines. The exopod is attached to the basis, and at least the proximal part of the first podomere of the endopod." This gets tiring after a while, even for a relatively well-educated person like me.
This is a beautiful book, and informative to people with a background in paleontology or biology. It fits well next to the other texts mentioned. I'm glad I have it. Even so, I'm less pleased than I'd hoped I would be.