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Paleontology

See also: Dinosaurs, Evolutionary Biology, and Archaeology and Anthropology

Selected Books

Acorn, John
Deep Alberta: Fossil Facts and Dinosaur Digs
QE748.A4 A26 2007
A writer, broadcaster, and biologist based in Edmonton, Acorn presented a radio series on the palaeontology of the prairie province beginning in 2005. From the 80 programs, he has chosen topics that he felt would make an interesting book about the dinosaur legacy, the recent Ice Age, and other prehistoric periods, as well as the people and institutions that have investigated them.
 
Benton, Michael
When Life Nearly Died: The Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time
QE721.2.E97 B46 2003
"Today it is common knowledge that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteorite impact 65 million years ago that killed half of all species then living. Far less well-known is a much greater catastrophe that took place at the end of the Permian period 251 million years ago: at least 90 percent of life was destroyed, both on land and in the sea."
 
Dingus, Lowell
Hell Creek, Montana: America's Key to the Prehistoric Past
E78.M9 D56 2004
In this millennia-spanning biography of a single, self-contained locale, Dingus presents an epic tale -from the earthshaking reign of the dinosaurs to the first sett-lers on the land; from Lewis and Clark's adventures with its natural inhabitants to the first discovery of a T-Rex skeleton; and from his own experiences with locals to the frighten-ing 1996 standoff between the FBI and a lawless group of radicals.
 
Feduccia, Alan
Riddle of the Feathered Dragons: Hidden Birds of China
QE871.F43 2012
Feduccia examines the origin of birds and investigates whether they descended from dinosaurs, a theory he disputes.
 
Levy, Sharon
Once and Future Giants: What Ice Age Extinctions Tell Us about the Fate of Earth's Largest Animals
QE721.2.E97 L48 2011
Deftly navigating competing theories and emerging evidence, Once and Future Giants examines the extent of human influence on megafauna extinctions past (mammoths, sabre tooth tigers) and present (elephants and polar bears), and explores innovative conservation efforts around the globe.
 
Martin, Paul S.
Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions and the Rewilding of America
QE721.2.E97 M34 2005
Paleontologist Martin relates how he came to his controversial "overkill" theory that the extinction of North American megafauna (mammoths, giant sloths, sabre-tooth tigers, etc.) at the end of the last Ice Age around 13,000 years ago was caused by the first Americans, who overhunted dozens of species of large mammals.
 
McNamara, Kenneth J.
The Star-Crossed Stone: The Secret Life, Myths, and History of a Fascinating Fossil
QE783.E2 M36 2011
Man has been collecting sea urchin fossils (echinoids) for thousands of years. In The Star-Crossed Stone, Kenneth J. McNamara, an expert on fossil echinoids, takes readers on a fossil hunt, with stops in history, paleontology, folklore, mythology, art and religion.
 
Novacek, Michael J.
Time Traveler : In Search of Dinosaurs and Other Fossils from Montana to Mongolia
QE707.N68 A3 2002
In this book Paleontologist Novacek (American Museum of Natural History, New York) offers a blend of memoir, adventure story, and science reporting, talking about his own beginnings as a "dinosaur dreamer" during childhood in Los Angeles. He then covers political battles that shaped various expeditions across the globe; the pressing issues of paleontology; concepts like evolution, continental drift, mass extinctions, and scientific method; and the tediums and thrills of life in the field.
 
Prothero, Donald R.
After the Dinosaurs: The Age of Mammals
QE881.P76 2006
After the dinosaurs became extinct some 65 million years ago (except for their feathered descendants) there evolved an enormous variety of land creatures, especially the mammals. Gigantic hornless rhinos, sabertooth cats, mastodonts and mammoths, populated a world emerging from the greenhouse conditions of the Mesozoic, warming up dramatically about 55 million years ago, and then cooling rapidly so that 33 million years ago the glacial ice returned.
 
Russell, Dale A.
Islands in the Cosmos: The Evolution of Life on Land
QH366.2.R87 2009
In Islands of the Cosmos, Dale A. Russell traces a path from the dawn of the universe to speculations about our future on this planet. He centers his story on the physical and biological processes in evolution, which interact to favor more successful, and eliminate less successful, forms of life.
 
Sinibaldi, Robert W.
What Your Fossils Can Tell You: Vertebrate Morphology, Pathology, and Cultural Modification
QE841.S56 2010
A member of the Tampa Bay Fossil Club, Sinibaldi offers advice to fellow enthusiasts on interpreting the fossils they collect themselves or see in museums.
 
Ward, Peter D.
The Call of Distant Mammoths: Why Ice Age Mammals Disappeared
QE882.P8 W37 1997
Ward, a University of Washington paleontologist, holds that the disappearance of mammoths, mastodons and other megafauna from the Americas was due to overhunting by the earliest humans.
 
 

Videos

Last Extinction: What Killed the Mammoths?
(DVD) QE721.2.E97 L37 2009x
Nova investigates a provocative new theory that suggests the extinction of more than 34 types of large prehistoric mega-creatures, such as the saber-toothed cat and woolly mammoth, was caused not by climate change or the arrival of the first human hunters, but by the massive breakup of a comet over the Great Lakes region at the end of the last Ice Age, some 12,900 years ago.
 

Browse the Catalog

For additional titles browse the catalog under the subjects:
 

Web Sites

  • Becoming Human
    This website created by the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University, offers information and resources on human origins.
  • Fossil Mysteries
    This online exhibit from the San Diego Natural History Museum includes a Fossil Field Guide.
  • Fossils of Nova Scotia
    For its small size, Nova Scotia is unusually rich in fossils. You can view pictures of over a hundred fossils in the Nova Scotia Museum Fossil Gallery.
  • National Museum of Natural History: Department of Paleobiology
    Visit this Washington DC museum that is part of the Smithsonian.
  • NOAA Paleoclimatology
    Learn about the study of past climates.
  • The Paleontology Portal
    The Paleontology Portal is a resource for anyone interested in paleontology, from the professional in the lab to the interested amateur scouting for fossils to the student in any classroom. It gathers many different resources into a single entry "portal" to paleontological information on the Internet. It is especially useful for finding information on the paleontology of your state. The site was produced by the University of California Museum of Paleontology, the Paleontological Society, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, and the United States Geological Survey.
  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
    Includes an Education and Public Interest Corner with PaleoFAQs, PaleoProfiles, and Resources for Teaching Evolution.
  • The Stone Pages
    "A guide to European megaliths," this site covers prehistoric stone circles, dolmens, standing stones, cairns, barrows and hillforts in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy. In addition it has a well orgazized and comprehensive collection of links to other websites about megaliths.
  • Strange Science: The Rocky Road to Modern Paleontology & Biology
    According it its creator, Micon Scott, this is "an eclectic collection of old illustrations assembled by an ordinary Web user" that illustrates the weird ideas that some biologists and paleontologist had on their way to modern science. A bibliography for further reading is included.

  • University of California, Berkeley Museum of Paleontology
    One of the first paleontological exhibits online, this website has loads of information about paleontology, geologic time periods, a Virtual Paleobotany Lab that is part of Integrative Biology 181/181L, "The Evolution of Plants through Geologic Time" at UC Berkeley.
 

Pittsburgh Region

 

Pennsylvania

 

Nearby States

  • Falls of the Ohio State Park
    The Falls of the Ohio State Park's 386-million-year-old fossil beds are among the largest naturally exposed Devonian fossil beds in the world.
  • Fossil Collecting in Ohio
    This GeoFacts brochure from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources tells about the fossils in Ohio.
  • Plant Fossils of West Virginia
    Plant fossils of the Pennsylvanian Period are showcased, collected from the Allegheny, Kanawha, New River, and Pocahontas Formations