“When I was approaching my life as a mature scientist, Stephen Jay Gould was the prime force in palaeontology. He was regarded almost as a demi-god. He’s written a number of good books. He writes extremely well, but the book that touched me most was this one, which actually became an international bestseller. Wonderful Life is about the Burgess Shale, which is a deposit of Cambrian age. The Cambrian is a division of geological time – the first major division bearing numerous fossils of animals we can easily recognise. The base of the Cambrian is now 542 million years old and it lasted for 50 million years or so, and this is when abundant marine life as we know it really got going. That is the first appearance as fossils of many of the ancestors of living things.” Read more...
The best books on Palaeontology