Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution

Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution By Richard Fortey, Trilobite Eyewitness to Evolution With Trilobite Richard Fortey paleontologist and author of the acclaimed Life offers a marvelously written smart and compelling accessible and witty scientific narrative of the most ubiquitous of
  • Title: Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution
  • Author: Richard Fortey
  • ISBN: 9780375706219
  • Page: 252
  • Format: Paperback
  • Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution By Richard Fortey, With Trilobite, Richard Fortey, paleontologist and author of the acclaimed Life, offers a marvelously written, smart and compelling, accessible and witty scientific narrative of the most ubiquitous of fossil creatures.Trilobites were shelled animals that lived in the oceans over five hundred million years ago As bewilderingly diverse then as the beetle is today, they survWith Trilobite, Richard Fortey, paleontologist and author of the acclaimed Life, offers a marvelously written, smart and compelling, accessible and witty scientific narrative of the most ubiquitous of fossil creatures.Trilobites were shelled animals that lived in the oceans over five hundred million years ago As bewilderingly diverse then as the beetle is today, they survived in the arctic or the tropics, were spiky or smooth, were large as lobsters or small as fleas And because they flourished for three hundred million years, they can be used to glimpse a less evolved world of ancient continents and vanished oceans Erudite and entertaining, this book is a uniquely exuberant homage to a fabulously singular species.
    Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution By Richard Fortey,
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      Richard Fortey

    About "Richard Fortey"

    1. Richard Fortey

      Richard Fortey is a senior paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London and a Fellow of the Royal Society He was Collier Professor in the Public Understanding of Science and Technology at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Bristol in 2002 His books have been widely acclaimed Life A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth Knopf was short listed for the Rh ne Poulenc Prize in 1998, and Trilobite Eyewitness to Evolution Knopf was short listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2001 His latest book, Earth An Intimate History Knopf, 2004 , has been called dazzling, remarkable, splendid, and important and timely.

    854 thoughts on “Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution”

    1. Trilobite Eyewitness to Evolution covers all aspects of trilobites, from the numerous subspecies to fossils and all points in between.Confession time I love fossil hunting and I ve stooped so far as to buy a small trilobite fossil at a rock swap I ve found trilobites fascinating since I was a little fossil hunter back in the day so I was pretty stoked to read this.I had no idea there were so many subspecies of trilobite and how widespread the species was The fossil photos were pretty cool This m [...]

    2. Reading the other reviews here, it appears a lot of other people don t agree with me, but I found the author s chatty, self satisfied style extremely annoying At times it seemed like he d written the book to impress us with how clever he was, and how well educated in the English classic canon, than to teach us about trilobites The prose is overly florid, filled with unnecessary words and phrases that the author clearly thought were clever and which might have worked in the context of an informa [...]

    3. This book taught me all I need to know and about trilobites, the arthropod that s 300 million existence is so impressively preserved in the fossil record The subject itself doesn t necessarily speak to me, but I appreciate anyone who is passionate and interested in a subject as author Richard Fortey is in his.Here s one lyrical passage I underscored, about fossil rich Cornwall in England How can we conceive of the time needed to wear away these cliffs to nothing, to convert all the massed slate [...]

    4. While mostly good, it was so terribly terribly BRITISH Dry borderline unfunny anecdotes about some forgotten aspect of English culture went on for far too long when he could have been talking about his theories of trilobite interactions with their ecology or their particular curiosities of morphology of which there is never ever enough discussion for my satisfaction There is a hell of a lot of good and interesting information in here, but the too fluffy emphasis on POP in an admittedly pop sci [...]

    5. This is a recreation of these creatures which used to roam the sea floors in prehistoric times, explained by an expert The basic pattern of body, head and tail in segments, with legs allowed for astonishing variations as some creatures adapted to shallow or deep waters, mud floors, rocky or sandy The trilobites three lobes had two eyes made of a solid crystal, amazingly While all palaeontologists study no longer living creatures, some have left descendants such as modern sharks or crocodiles and [...]

    6. Normally I quite like Richard Fortey s chatty style, but I think maybe there was a bit too much of it, here He got me interested in geology, so he should ve been able to keep me interested in trilobites, but sadly my interest did start to flag The slight self deprecating note of some of his other books isn t as much in evidence here, and he definitely came across as British and stuck up without that to mitigate it a bit and make him a bit less of a clich.Trilobites are still interesting, and I [...]

    7. Great book with plenty of fine illustrations in line and photographs When I was studying this sort of thing the textbooks were dull and thick and the writing far too small I would have loved to have had this book then by way of an exciting introduction I used to be mad about dinosaurs, as are most kids, but trilobites took over later on and I actually dug up a few myself on the Yorkshire coast.

    8. I recently read Trilobite, Eyewitness to Evolution by Richard Fortey, 2001 I found it to be a delightful read and I learned all sorts of new things about these fascinating fossil creatures and the worlds they inhabited for 300 million years Many thousands of species have been described and are being discovered every year.Trilobites have played a major role in paleontology and have been used as index fossils correlating the ages of geological layers around the globe.They range in size from large [...]

    9. _Trilobite_ by Richard Fortey is a wonderful, witty, charming, very well written, and very richly illustrated homage to the trilobite, an arthropod that teemed in the millions in the seas of the ancient earth for 300 million years before becoming extinct Fortey is an enthusiastic expert on all things trilobite having studied them for over 30 years and did an excellent job in conveying his passion for these long extinct creatures in a very readable format with many dozens of excellent photographs [...]

    10. Absolutely amazing I ve read Fortey before, and always been impressed, but I d grown tired of pop sci type stuff, and it had been a while One of my problems with this type of scientific story for the masses book is that they generally seem to be a three hundred page book for a fifty or one hundred page story What starts out really grabbing my attention tends to lose steam about half way through Fortey doesn t have that problem, because he s not a writer who s found an interesting scientific stor [...]

    11. I ve been disappointed by Richard Fortey s book before, I felt that both Life An Unauthorised Biography and Earth An Intimate History tried to cover too much ground and ended up being unsatisfying reads.However, despite this and the fact that on his otherwise interesting TV programme on prehistoric animals he seemed almost obsessed with eating the nearest relative of every extinct creature, I do have a lot of respect for Fortey as a scientist Given also that Trilobites are his specialism I expec [...]

    12. The lack of illustrations has a bigger impact than I anticipated I m not sure why the eBook version couldn t have them I had to pause reading often to look up the species and places Mr Fortey referred to, and as they lacked his annotations I still didn t get the full experience.I like Fortey s writing style readable, dotted with humour, not pompous I didn t feel patronised OR out of my depth, as someone who knew very little about trilobites before I began reading It was a little drawn out and I [...]

    13. I really enjoyed many parts of the book but I think for a general reader there are parts you will want to skip I d still recommend this book and immersing yourself in deep history though don t chastise yourself if you don t make it all the way through There is a lot of 5 star content in this book.The imaginings of being on a boat sampling the mud and the diversity that you would have that appears near the end that was gold.The chapter about the eyes that is one that will stay with me.I want to s [...]

    14. Trilobite with the exclamation mark is Richard Fortey s passionate account of trilobites their physiology, their crystal eyes, legs, development, evolution and history This book grew out of the author s love of trilobites His stated aim is to invest the trilobites with all the glamour of the dinosaur and to see the world through the eyes of a trilobites This enthusiastic account of trilobites is written in a colourful narrative style that mixes science with personal anecdotes and historical stor [...]

    15. Did you ever want to know absolutely everything about trilobites This book will tell you the things you didn t even know you wanted to know I found the writing style a tiny bit pompous at times, and the author does like to recount his own achievements while still acknowledging the achievements of others but I found that if you imagine it being said aloud in an upper class British accent, it makes sense.

    16. I didn t get very far into this book because it tells the story of trilobites through describing a contemporary landscape and the author s childhood love of collecting fossils, and that s just not my thing For those who like a very painterly and personal approach to explaining science, it s probably very enjoyable.

    17. Surprising book at the height of evolutionary theory books phenomenon of 2000 s I never understood before that trilobites are such interesting creatures, but they are Part of special experience is the author s enthusiastic writing style that keeps it all rolling.Actually, the title was earlier Trilobite not Trilobite

    18. Richard Fortey is always readable and despite what looks like a rather dry read this is actually very entertaining But there again I am a professional geologist so I may be slightly biased.

    19. This book does shed light on trilobites their biology, ecology, evolution and even behavior For non scientists, there is plenty of explanation of scientific methods etc These get pretty repetitive, enough so that I suspect everyone will be skimming skipping these sections by half way through Personally I found that it was weighed down by the author s self involvement Fortey attempts to bring the book alive with lots and lots of personal anecdotes It works okay in the beginning but gets old after [...]

    20. The Beetles of the Paleozoic.As this is my first book written by Richard Fortey I didn t quite know what to expect from this British paleontologist Part science, part history and autobiography, Trilobite is written with a poetic slant that can take the reader off on some of the author s personal musings on a variety of subjects that are seemingly unrelated to trilobites but, sooner or later, he reveals the connection Fortey s first job as a professional paleontologist was at a museum, a dream co [...]

    21. Interesting and impassioned book Read this book during my fieldwork in Sulawesi and luckily borrowed it from a friend Many thanks to Adele for lending me this super awesome and well written book TRILOBITES is not only just a fossils says Richard Fortey It contains many stories behind its carrapaces and moulting stages Famous in Cambrian Period and vanished in the end of Ordovician Period, this living fossils manifests extraordinary features and reveals magnificent roles when earth still young an [...]

    22. I have to admit that I read this book purely on a whim, because I wanted something non fiction to read from the library Previously I had never read anything by Fortey nor even heard of him, and always thought that trilobites only came in the classic shape and size of Phacops that I d seen in so many museum gift shops The alarming monstrosity displayed on the cover of this edition piqued my interest, and soon I was away with the humble trilobite.Concepts of evolution where what I found fascinatin [...]

    23. If you ve ever tried to read a science book, especially one written by a respected expert in a given field, then you know that the books can be a bit dry All that material, all of those facts, all of those tables and charts and graphs can be overwhelming to a general reader But every once in a while, a scientist comes along who is so enthusiastic, so passionate, so giddy in love with his subject that you get swept away in the ensuing rush.Trilobites are some of the earliest creatures in existenc [...]

    24. This is clearly titled with an exclamation for a reason Fortey is a man with passion, and everything he studies then writes about is imbued with this passion His greatest love of the not persons kind I will assume is for the trilobite, and this is as much the story of how he fell in love as about the trilobite itself He loves what he does and wants you to love it too it s easy to fall Packed with info, never bogged by facts, always witty with lilting, whimsical, or stoutly direct turns of phrase [...]

    25. The ultimate layman level treatise on these stupendous critters who reigned supreme on Earth well, on the seas, actually for many millennia than dinosaurs Science writing at its best This book is to trilobites what Sagan s Cosmos is to astronomy and history of science what Dawkins The Selfish Gene is to gene centric view of evolution, and what Hawking s A brief history of time is to cosmology and relativity Richard Fortey s style combines the best of those modern science writing authors plus a [...]

    26. P.52 Check out the Cambrian explosion song See below Is this the only song to refer to a trilobite watch v EMwxwRA9Phew, quite a marathon of Trilobite arcana but Fortey s passion for the genera knows no bounds Some surprisingly light hearted moments amongst the weight of knowledge and paleobiology The notion that oceans that no longer exist once teemed with hundreds of thousands of different species of trilobites is mind boggling and the fact that some human beings have made it their l [...]

    27. If you only read one trilobite book you know you should this must be the one Professor Fortey is incapable of writing a boring paragraph and you will learn far than is healthy about these arthropods, that survived 300 million years on earth, and much else besides The author s knowledge and enthusiasm is infectious starting at The Cobweb Inn at Boscastle, Cornwall, Fortey climbs the Cliff With No Name to find the spot where Knight comes face to face with his own mortality in the form of one of t [...]

    28. Trilobites were a class of arthropods in the Paleozoic, as common then as beetles are now They had biramous limbs, like crustaceans, which were undifferentiated no lobster claws for them they were protected by a shield, which fossilized readily Since it was realized in the 17th century that fossils are not just geological formations that happen to look like living things, but remains of living things, trilobites have been studied by several great paleontologists Richard Fortey loves trilobites h [...]

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