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The Evolving Earth

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-01-09
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Written by award-winning author Donald R. Prothero, The Evolving Earth provides a lively, engaging tour through 4.5 billion years of earth and life evolution. Completely up-to-date, the book focuses on the evidence for "How do we know what we know?"--explaining how geologists and paleontologists developed our knowledge about the ancient past--rather than focusing on memorization.

While covering the conventional topics of earth history, The Evolving Earth also offers an in-depth discussion of the Big Bang theory and the origin of the universe and solar system; an entire chapter on human evolution; and coverage of topics like climate change, the Anthropocene, and possible future scenarios for the earth. Prothero explains topics in terms of the "human interest" stories of the people who made these discoveries, and how they came to understand key evidence about earth and life history. Featuring unique paleogeographic maps of particular time intervals, integrated with photographs of the actual outcrops on which the map reconstruction is based, the book also includes a full appendix--suitable for use in labs on fossils--providing background to the major groups of fossils.

Author Biography

Donald R. Prothero teaches in the Department of Geological Sciences at California State Polytechnic University Pomona, and is a Research Associate in Vertebrate Paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. In 2013, he received the James T. Shea Award from the National Association of Geology Teachers for outstanding writing in the geological sciences.

Table of Contents

Part I: Deciphering The Earth

Chapter 1. The Abyss of Time
Chapter 2. Building Blocks: Minerals and Rocks
Chapter 3. It's About Time! Dating Rocks
Chapter 4. Stratigraphy
Chapter 5. Plate Tectonics and Sedimentary Basins
Chapter 6. Evolution

Part II: Evolution of the Solid Earth

Chapter 7. Birth of the Earth
Chapter 8. The Early Earth: The Precambrian
Chapter 9. The Origin and Early Evolution of Life, (4.6-0.6 billion years ago)
Chapter 10. The Early Paleozoic: Cambrian-Ordovician, 541-444 Ma
Chapter 11. The Middle Paleozoic: Silurian and Devonian, 444-355 Ma
Chapter 12. The Late Paleozoic: Carboniferous and Permian, 355-250 Ma
Chapter 13. The Early Mesozoic: Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous, 250-66 Ma
Chapter 14. The Late Mesozoic: Paleogene and Neogene Periods, 66-2.6 Ma
Chapter 15. The Early Cenozoic: The Pleistocene, 2.6 Ma to 10,000 years ago
Chapter 16. Human Evolution
Chapter 17. The Cenozoic: The Holocene and the Future, 10,000 years ago to the Future

Appendix A: Biological Classification

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