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Fossils: Resources

Bird Fossil

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Fossils (Audubon Society Field Guide)

ISBN: 0394524128
Ages: 12 and up

This, the first all-photographic field guide to cover fossils found throughout North America north of Mexico, includes nearly 500 full-color photographs identifying corals, trilobites, shells, teeth, bones, as well as fossil-bearing rocks and outcrop formations. The descriptive text includes information on size, geological period, geographical distribution, and ecology of the animal or plant before it was fossilized. In addition, the book provides lists of Geological Survey offices and major fossil collections, a geological time chart, and a guide to collecting and preserving fossils.

Dino Fossil

Digging Up Dinosaurs (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science Book)

ISBN: 0064450783
Ages: 4-8

A first-person account of a little boy's visit to a museum, presented in clear pictures and easy-reading text, gives simple facts about the work of paleontologists and the skeletal structure, appearance, and eating habits of various dinosaurs.

Butterfly Fossil

Fossils Tell of Long Ago (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science Book)

ISBN: 0064450937
Ages: 4-8

In this revised edition, Aliki has revamped the previous four-color edition with lively full-color illustrations, also adding the pointed, conversational observations of children as they make discoveries along with readers. In clear, precise language, she explains how dinosaur tracks are cast in mud, how insects trapped in sticky tree sap harden into amber, and how fossils of tropical plants are found in very cold places. The children populating these pages are boys and girls of every color, on foot or in wheelchair, all of them active observers with scientific curiosities; they are apparently making these discoveries in a museum, marveling and enjoying the bits of history cast in stone. The book closes with a suggestion for creating a one-minute fossil by making a clay imprint of a hand, letting it dry, and burying it for someone to find a million years from now. [Denia Lewis Hester, Dewey School, Evanston, IL.]

Coelacanth

The Long-Lost Coelacanth and other living fossils (Let's- Read- and- Find-Out Science Book)

ISBN: 0690504780
Ages: 4-8

Aliki tells the story of the discovery in 1938 of a coelacanth by a fisherman. Scientists thought that this animal had vanished from earth about 70 million years ago. They had studied the fossils and now they could study a living fossil!

Ichthyosaur

Stone Girl, Bone Girl: The Story of Mary Anning

ASIN: 0531301486
Ages: 4-8

Mary Anning, born in England in 1799, made an astounding discovery at the age of 12 when she unearthed the first full skeleton of an ichthyosaur in the cliffs above her home in Lyme Regis. Anholt begins his picture-book biography with a dramatic episode in which baby Mary is said to have been struck by lightning. The well-shaped, fictionalized account creates a cozy view of her relationship with her father, who taught her to recognize the many forms of fossils in the crumbly Dorset cliffs before his death when she was perhaps 10 or 11. A mysterious, small dog Mary finds in the cemetery becomes the agent in finding the enormous fossil. Two wealthy women, allegedly scientists, tutor Mary as she develops a small business selling fossils as curiosities to tourists. Pleasing folk-art views spread across the pages in luscious blues and greens, magenta, and pumpkin, following the plucky child's odyssey that led to her lifelong contribution to paleontology. Children will be attracted by the jacket view of dinosaurs climbing the path through the cliffs below Mary. Picture bands bordering one side or the other of most pages handsomely unify each spread. The substantial text reads aloud well. The author provides a short closing note on Anning's place in science and also claims that she is the inspiration of the traditional rhyme “she sells seashells by the seashore.” No attributions of factual material are provided. [Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston]

Plesiosaurus

Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon

ISBN: 0374348405
Ages: 5-10

Mary Anning loved to scour the shores of Lyme Regis, England, where she was born in 1799, for stone sea lilies and shells. Her father had taught her how to use the tools with which she dug into the sand and scraped at the stones that fell from the cliffs. And he had taught her how to look, to look hard, for “curiosities.” One day, when she was eleven, Mary Anning spotted some markings on a wide, flat stone. She chipped at it with her hammer and chisel until the lines of a tooth emerged — and then those of another tooth. Weeks of persistent effort yielded a face about four feet long. But what creature was this? Her brother called it a sea dragon. Many months later, Mary Anning still had not unearthed what she only then learned was called a fossil. But she found out that her discovery was precious and that the painstaking effort to uncover traces of ancient life was profoundly important. Jeannine Atkins's sensitive and engaging portrait is strikingly illustrated by Michael Dooling, whose powerful paintings capture young Mary Anning's devotion to her work, and all the joy she found in it.

Ax and Pick

Rare Treasure: Mary Anning and Her Remarkable Discoveries

ISBN: 0395922860
Ages: 4-8

As he did in Alice Ramsey's Grand Adventure, Brown once again salutes a spunky heroine who made history, this time focusing on Mary Anning's archeological finds and their relevance to prehistoric research. He drives home the point that 200 years after her birth in 1799, Mary Anning and her contributions continue to inform the scientific community. Unlike Laurence Anholt's recent Stone Girl, Bone Girl, Brown's succinct text downplays the early death of Mary's father, focusing instead on her commitment to carrying on his fossil-hunting legacy, and plays up her partnership with her older brother, Joseph. The limited palette of blues, grays and browns effectively serves double duty, successfully contrasing the poverty of the Anning family with the richness of the seaside digging sites, while also setting off the fossil discoveries, which are recorded on parchment-like paper with hand-lettered labels. Aspiring scientists will be encouraged by this inspiring portrayal of a woman who made a childhood passion into her life's work.

Paleontologist

Digging for Bird Dinosaurs: An Expedition to Madagascar (Scientists in the Field)

ISBN: 0395960568
Ages: 9-12

Readers of this photographic essay join paleontologist Cathy Forster and a team of scientists hunting for bird-dinosaur fossils on the island of Madagascar, off the coast of Africa. The pictures and text show both the drudgery (chipping away at hard rock in 100-degree heat) and the thrill of discovery as the awl hits something hard that's buried underneath. Then the author, an outstanding photographer known for such titles as Red-Eyed Tree Frog (1999), describes how the scientist scrapes away the sandstone to reveal a tiny pink-brown fossil bone. Dinosaur lovers will not find the dramatic big bones of other field trips in this work, but middle school science enthusiasts will learn about “Scientists in the Field,” as the series title indicates. Photographs and text show the tools and painstaking processes by which scientists uncover, label, excavate, and prepare fossil finds for further study in laboratories and museums. Other sections provided detailed information about methods used to study and classify fossils in the university laboratory. Forster also gives biographical information, explaining her early love of dinosaurs and her current work as a paleontologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. A good look at a contemporary scientist. [Kirkus Associates, 2000]

Amber

Before Time: Prehistoric Insects and Their Relatives

ISBN: 0689820925
Ages: 9-12

A handsome introduction to prehistoric insects and other arthropods. Camper's up-to-date, conversational text and informative captions and data boxes investigate such disparate matters as insect evolution, theories on flight development, continental drift, and fossil formation. While not an in-depth dissertation, there is plenty of meat here for young researchers, assisted by an excellent list of further readings and some Web sites. Kirk's eye-catching, realistic watercolors portray a fascinating array of creatures, some with evolutionary existing descendants: trilobites, ants, eurypterids, and dragonflies among them. Neither an index nor a table of contents is provided, which may cause some dismay, but the chapter headings on every other page (and those nifty illustrations) should assist readers. A colorful time line is appended to assist in placing the discussed creatures in Earth's prehistory, as is a helpful glossary of the many unfamiliar terms. The book is sure to entrance budding entomologists and surprise dinophiles with the Arthropoda's long evolutionary history (which ante- and postdates their beloved beasts by a good many millions of years). [Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY, 2002.]

Fossil

Reading Between the Bones: The Pioneers of Dinosaur Paleontology

ISBN: 0531113248
Ages: 11 and up

Profiles eight scientists whose study of dinosaurs has shaped the field of paleontology over the past two hundred years.

Fossils, Rocks, and Time

Available online from the U.S. Geological Survey
Ages: 11 and up

When we talk about recorded history, time is measured in years, centuries, and tens of centuries. When we talk about Earth history, time is measured in millions and billions of years. Time is an everyday part of our lives. We keep track of time with a marvelous invention, the calendar, which is based on the movements of Earth in space. One spin of Earth on its axis is a day, and one trip around the Sun is a year. The modern calendar is a great achievement, developed over many thousands of years as theory and technology improved. People who study Earth's history also use a type of calendar, called the geologic time scale. It looks very different from the familiar calendar. In some ways, it is more like a book, and the rocks are its pages. Some of the pages are torn or missing, and the pages are not numbered, but geology gives us the tools to help us read this book.

Discovering Fossils: How to Find and Identify Remains of the Prehistoric Past (Fossils & Dinosaurs)

ISBN: 0811728005
Ages: 12 and up

Complete beginners guide to fossil collecting. Includes lesser-studied vertebrate fossils. Detailed illustrations for identification and comparison. Earlier life forms are buried all over the earths surface in oceans, on mountain slopes, in our backyards. Discovering Fossils provides an essential background on where to search for fossils, how to scan for the right textures and shapes, and how to properly extract and protect ones finds a perfect reference for new collectors young and old. Includes practical advice on what to wear and which tools to carry as well as an illustrated identification section of common fossil finds. Frank A. Garcia is responsible for more than 30 previously undiscovered species of prehistoric animals. He lives in Ruskin, Florida. Donald S. Miller is a fossil collector, writer, and proprietor of Millers Fossils in Wilmington, Delaware. Artist, author, and fossil collector Jasper Burns lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Dinosaurs Walked Here and Other Stories Fossils Tell

ISBN: 0027545105
Ages: 9 and up

The stories told by fossil bones, teeth, shells, leaf prints, eggs, insects, and animal tracks have unlocked many mysteries about the earth's past.

Fossil

The Best Book of Fossils, Rocks, and Minerals

ISBN: 075345274X
Ages: 9-12

Visually inviting, this series entry has colorful drawings, a minimum of text, and a format dependent upon breaking a large topic into small segments that can be contained on facing pages. Subjects such as “Our rocky world,” “Layers of life,” and “Precious gemstones” are covered briefly in introductory paragraphs and captions accompanying the eye-catching art. Very simplistic in approach (not all aluminum ends up as cans), this slender work will attract browsers in a classroom collection, but is not a first choice for libraries. [Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY, 2000.]

Smithsonian Handbooks: Fossils

ISBN: 0789489848
Ages: 9-12

Authoritative text, crystal-clear photography, and a systematic approach make the DK handbook of Fossils the most comprehensive and concise pocket guide to fossils of the world. Packed with more than 1,000 full-color photographs of over 500 fossils, this handbook is designed to cut through the complex process of identification to enable you to recognize a species instantly. Expertly written and thoroughly vetted, each entry combines a precise description with annotated photography to highlight a fossil's chief characteristics and distinguishing features. A full-color illustration, showing the fossil as a living as a living animal or plant, as well as color-coded bands providing at-a-glance facts for quick reference, complete each entry. For beginners and established enthusiasts alike, the book explains what a fossil is, how fossils are classified, and how to start a collection. To help you in the initial stages of identification, the book provides a visual key that makes it easy to recognize a fossil and place it in its correct genus. Finally, a concise glossary gives instant understanding of technical and scientific terms.

Fossil

Eyewitness: Fossil

ISBN:0789458403
Age: 9-12

Here is an original and exciting new look at fossils — the remains of long-vanished animals and plants. Stunning real-life photographs of the spectacular remains of ancient lives offer a unique “eyewitness” view of what fossils are, how they were formed, and how they lived millions of years ago. See pearls that are 50 million years old, a dinosaur's toe, a troublesome “snake” that was turned to stone, a fossilized human being, and a snail made of precious stones. Learn how fossils are formed, how trilobites have been preserved for 590 million years, where to look for a belemnite, and how fossils helped the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Discover which are the most precious fossils in the world, where ammonites lived, how big mammoths were, what a devil's toenail looks like, and much, much more.

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