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With an extensive catalog at its heart, Prehistoric Life profiles hundreds of fascinating species in incredible detail. The story starts in earnest 3.8 billion years ago, with the earliest-known form of life on Earth, a bacteria that still exists today, and journeys through action-packed millennia, charting the appearance of new life forms as well as devastating extinction With an extensive catalog at its heart, Prehistoric Life profiles hundreds of fascinating species in incredible detail. The story starts in earnest 3.8 billion years ago, with the earliest-known form of life on Earth, a bacteria that still exists today, and journeys through action-packed millennia, charting the appearance of new life forms as well as devastating extinction events. Of course, the ever-popular and endlessly intriguing dinosaurs feature large, but Prehistoric Life gives you the whole picture, and the plants, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, reptiles, and mammals that are the ancestors of today's species also populate its pages, making this book unprecedented in its coverage of prehistory. Specially commissioned artworks use cutting-edge technology to render species in breathtakingly realistic fashion, with astonishing images of prehistoric remains, such as skeletons and fossils, to complete the story. To put all the evidence in context, the concept of geological time is explored, as is the classification of species and how the evidence for their evolution is preserved and can be deciphered. New technologies have brought new life to inanimate fossils. CT scanning, for example, unlocks a 3D image of a plant or animal from a piece of rock, which can then be viewed from all angles revealing never-before-seen details. From this researchers can fill in missing pieces and even simulate how an animal might have moved. Panels explore these and numerous other scientific techniques for recovering, dating, and reconstructing, as well as profiling individuals, key excavations and discoveries, and some of the unique anatomical features that nature has developed over the course of time. The last section of the book looks at the development of humans and the eventual rise to dominance of Homo sapiens, exploring not only their changing anatomy as revealed by the fossils but also the evidence for culture and society as evidenced by extraordinary cave paintings and intricately worked tools. In combination, the stunning visuals, captivating, authoritative text, and comprehensive approach make Prehistoric Life a fascinating and revealing encyclopedia that will appeal to the whole family. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. LIVING PLANET (38 pp) Foundations of a living planet. The Earth's structure. Plate tectonics, formation of oceans and continents. Changing climate. factors that contribute to climate change, how those can be seen in the geological record, and how that has affected life on Earth. Reconstructing the past. Using the present to understand the past (rocks and the rock cycle, layers of rock and dating) Fossils. Types of fossils, how they form, reconstructing the past from them (digging up, analysis), reconstructing past environments, dating using fossils. Geological timescale. Explanation of geological time. Life on Earth. What is life? Natural selection, DNA, molecular clocks, mass extinctions. Timeline of Evolution. Broad-scale look at major evolutionary markers through time. Classification. How we classify living organisms. The kingdoms of life. 2. ON EARTH (398 PP) This chapter will be organized so that pages can be removed to leave a section of 360pp. his consists of a catalog divided into geological periods. Each period introduction covers the conditions on Earth at the time (geology and climate) and includes a chart showing the evolution of the main forms of life. The subsequent catalog entries are organized into groups: Microscopic life; Plants and Fungi; Invertebrates; and Vertebrates, with each having an introduction detailing the main evolutionary developments within the group. Archean 3.8-2.5 billion years ago (4pp) Period introduction. (1p) Archean life intro - (1p) the rise of life. Biology of cells; prokaryotes, cyanobacteria, stromatolites. Catalog of species. Proterozoic 2.5 billion-543 mya (6pp) Period introduction. (2pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Cambrian 543-490 mya (20pp) Period introduction (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (3pp) Invertebrates intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (8pp) Vertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Ordovician 490-443 mya (14pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species.(1p) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (3pp) Vertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Silurian 443-417 mya (20pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (7pp) Vertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (3p) Devonian 417-354 mya (34pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (7pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (7pp) Vertebrates intro. (2p) Catalog of species. (10pp) Carboniferous 354-290 mya (38pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (8pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (9pp) Vertebrates intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (10pp) Permian 290-248 mya (26pp) Period introduction. (Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (3pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (7pp) Vertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (7pp) Triassic 248-206 mya (30pp) Period introduction. (Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (5pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (3pp) Vertebrates intro. (1pp) Catalog of species. (13pp) Jurassic 206-144 mya (56pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (5pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (9pp) Vertebrates intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (24pp) Cretaceous 144-65 mya (54pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (10pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (9pp) Vertebrates intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (24pp) Paleogene 65-23.8 mya (34pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (6pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (6pp) Vertebrates intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (12pp) Neogene 23.8-1.8 mya (32pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (6pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (7pp) Vertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (10pp) Quaternary 1.8 mya-Present (26pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (5pp) Vertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (8pp) 3. THE RISE OF HUMANS (44PP) Timeline of human evolution. Coverage of: Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Orrorin tugenesis, Ardipithecus kadabba, Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus anamensis, Australopithecus afarensis, Kenyanthropus platyops, Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus aethiopicus, Australopithecus garhi, Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis, Paranthropus boisei, Homo ergaster, Paranthropus robustus, Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo sapiens. Themes of anatomy, DNA, global expansion, tool use, diet, communication, ecology, society, and culture run through the section. Glossary/Index/Acknowledgements


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With an extensive catalog at its heart, Prehistoric Life profiles hundreds of fascinating species in incredible detail. The story starts in earnest 3.8 billion years ago, with the earliest-known form of life on Earth, a bacteria that still exists today, and journeys through action-packed millennia, charting the appearance of new life forms as well as devastating extinction With an extensive catalog at its heart, Prehistoric Life profiles hundreds of fascinating species in incredible detail. The story starts in earnest 3.8 billion years ago, with the earliest-known form of life on Earth, a bacteria that still exists today, and journeys through action-packed millennia, charting the appearance of new life forms as well as devastating extinction events. Of course, the ever-popular and endlessly intriguing dinosaurs feature large, but Prehistoric Life gives you the whole picture, and the plants, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, reptiles, and mammals that are the ancestors of today's species also populate its pages, making this book unprecedented in its coverage of prehistory. Specially commissioned artworks use cutting-edge technology to render species in breathtakingly realistic fashion, with astonishing images of prehistoric remains, such as skeletons and fossils, to complete the story. To put all the evidence in context, the concept of geological time is explored, as is the classification of species and how the evidence for their evolution is preserved and can be deciphered. New technologies have brought new life to inanimate fossils. CT scanning, for example, unlocks a 3D image of a plant or animal from a piece of rock, which can then be viewed from all angles revealing never-before-seen details. From this researchers can fill in missing pieces and even simulate how an animal might have moved. Panels explore these and numerous other scientific techniques for recovering, dating, and reconstructing, as well as profiling individuals, key excavations and discoveries, and some of the unique anatomical features that nature has developed over the course of time. The last section of the book looks at the development of humans and the eventual rise to dominance of Homo sapiens, exploring not only their changing anatomy as revealed by the fossils but also the evidence for culture and society as evidenced by extraordinary cave paintings and intricately worked tools. In combination, the stunning visuals, captivating, authoritative text, and comprehensive approach make Prehistoric Life a fascinating and revealing encyclopedia that will appeal to the whole family. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. LIVING PLANET (38 pp) Foundations of a living planet. The Earth's structure. Plate tectonics, formation of oceans and continents. Changing climate. factors that contribute to climate change, how those can be seen in the geological record, and how that has affected life on Earth. Reconstructing the past. Using the present to understand the past (rocks and the rock cycle, layers of rock and dating) Fossils. Types of fossils, how they form, reconstructing the past from them (digging up, analysis), reconstructing past environments, dating using fossils. Geological timescale. Explanation of geological time. Life on Earth. What is life? Natural selection, DNA, molecular clocks, mass extinctions. Timeline of Evolution. Broad-scale look at major evolutionary markers through time. Classification. How we classify living organisms. The kingdoms of life. 2. ON EARTH (398 PP) This chapter will be organized so that pages can be removed to leave a section of 360pp. his consists of a catalog divided into geological periods. Each period introduction covers the conditions on Earth at the time (geology and climate) and includes a chart showing the evolution of the main forms of life. The subsequent catalog entries are organized into groups: Microscopic life; Plants and Fungi; Invertebrates; and Vertebrates, with each having an introduction detailing the main evolutionary developments within the group. Archean 3.8-2.5 billion years ago (4pp) Period introduction. (1p) Archean life intro - (1p) the rise of life. Biology of cells; prokaryotes, cyanobacteria, stromatolites. Catalog of species. Proterozoic 2.5 billion-543 mya (6pp) Period introduction. (2pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Cambrian 543-490 mya (20pp) Period introduction (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (3pp) Invertebrates intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (8pp) Vertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Ordovician 490-443 mya (14pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species.(1p) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (3pp) Vertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Silurian 443-417 mya (20pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (7pp) Vertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (3p) Devonian 417-354 mya (34pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (7pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (7pp) Vertebrates intro. (2p) Catalog of species. (10pp) Carboniferous 354-290 mya (38pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (8pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (9pp) Vertebrates intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (10pp) Permian 290-248 mya (26pp) Period introduction. (Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (3pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (7pp) Vertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (7pp) Triassic 248-206 mya (30pp) Period introduction. (Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (5pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (3pp) Vertebrates intro. (1pp) Catalog of species. (13pp) Jurassic 206-144 mya (56pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (5pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (9pp) Vertebrates intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (24pp) Cretaceous 144-65 mya (54pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (10pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (9pp) Vertebrates intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (24pp) Paleogene 65-23.8 mya (34pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (6pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (6pp) Vertebrates intro. (2pp) Catalog of species. (12pp) Neogene 23.8-1.8 mya (32pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (6pp) Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (7pp) Vertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (10pp) Quaternary 1.8 mya-Present (26pp) Period introduction. (4pp) Microscopic life intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (1p) Plants and fungi intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (Invertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (5pp) Vertebrates intro. (1p) Catalog of species. (8pp) 3. THE RISE OF HUMANS (44PP) Timeline of human evolution. Coverage of: Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Orrorin tugenesis, Ardipithecus kadabba, Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus anamensis, Australopithecus afarensis, Kenyanthropus platyops, Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus aethiopicus, Australopithecus garhi, Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis, Paranthropus boisei, Homo ergaster, Paranthropus robustus, Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo sapiens. Themes of anatomy, DNA, global expansion, tool use, diet, communication, ecology, society, and culture run through the section. Glossary/Index/Acknowledgements

30 review for Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eithan

    The best book of this type!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paul R. Fleischman

    Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth This is a sumptuous and learned book. But it is also unreadable. It serves as a visually beautiful reference book, and a thick-volume to be thumbed through, read in parts, consulted, and used as a stimulus to the sense of wonder. “Prehistoric Life” consists of about 500 richly illustrated colored pages that include many explanatory units of boxed-in text. The book starts with the origin of the Earth, and has separate sections for Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth This is a sumptuous and learned book. But it is also unreadable. It serves as a visually beautiful reference book, and a thick-volume to be thumbed through, read in parts, consulted, and used as a stimulus to the sense of wonder. “Prehistoric Life” consists of about 500 richly illustrated colored pages that include many explanatory units of boxed-in text. The book starts with the origin of the Earth, and has separate sections for each of the geological time periods, starting with the Archean, four billion years ago, and ending with the history of our species, Homo sapiens. Every page you open to is colorful and filled with images of fossils, plants, animals or artistic reproductions of life forms, and every page has scientific text amplifying each separate picture. The scope of this book and the level of knowledge that it contains is astounding and leaves the reader struck with both the artistry of book-making and the rigor of science that is involved with the creation of this text. There is no single author, and as is usual with DK Books, there are many authors, scientific consultants, editors, designers, illustrators, and photographers who had to cooperate to make this rich compendium. Unfortunately, as again is usually true with DK Books, the reader does not know which author or authority wrote the particular prose passage that one is reading. The acknowledgments alone take up three pages of four columns each. Partly because of the encyclopedic information that is discussed, and partly because of the use of text to accompany illustrations, rather than the creation of a continuous single author narrative, this book can be read only in a halting, jumping, discontinuous manner. “Prehistoric Life” contains many excellent features beyond its lush beauty and its factual depth. Every section of geologic history begins with its own map of the globe at that point in time, with a clear time chart, and with a discussion of how the continents and oceans were behaving in continental drift, and what the climate was like. Therefore the reader is not simply guided to pictures of plants and animals, but is constantly reminded of the interactions between geology, climatology, and the evolution of plants and animals. The overall impact of this book is thrilling. It puts the individual reader’s life into the perspective of our planet’s life. It makes us grateful for the accumulation of scientific knowledge, the vast majority of which is less than 200 years old. Both the topic and the minds that clarified it are radiant additions to one’s sense of who one is and how human life has come to be. The information content seems up to date and impeccable. In a book that covers almost everything, 500 glossy pages is not too long, so obviously there is an arbitrary selection of what is included and what is short changed. For example, the stunningly beautiful forty pages on human evolution show the photographs of the exact skulls that have been used to define the earlier species of humankind. Many books discuss the issue of human evolution but few illustrate it with such high color photography. On the other hand, you may find that your favorite dinosaur, or your favorite Pleistocene megafauna has not been included even though there was space enough for the editors to give many pages to something as obscure as carboniferous invertebrates. Pouring over this book has been a delightful, sobering, incomprehensible, and exhilarating experience for me. It is the perfect complement to a book on the sense of wonder. Reviewed by Paul R. Fleischman, author of Wonder: When and Why the World Appears Radiant

  3. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Grant

    I accidentally rated it when trying to scroll. Can't figure out how to delete. I accidentally rated it when trying to scroll. Can't figure out how to delete.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    Well ok, I'm not really *finished* finished, but I've read enough of it to put it on my to-buy list (and at $20 CAD at Amazon, it's pretty much a no-brainer). Tons of information, pictures are wonderful interpretations of the fossil record, and my boys and I have enjoyed paging through it and reading about the often strange and fascinating creatures that lived long ago. Our favourite so far - Opabinia, a strange FIVE-eyed creature. Really! My only complaint is the often very small print, made do Well ok, I'm not really *finished* finished, but I've read enough of it to put it on my to-buy list (and at $20 CAD at Amazon, it's pretty much a no-brainer). Tons of information, pictures are wonderful interpretations of the fossil record, and my boys and I have enjoyed paging through it and reading about the often strange and fascinating creatures that lived long ago. Our favourite so far - Opabinia, a strange FIVE-eyed creature. Really! My only complaint is the often very small print, made doubly hard to read on a dark background. I understand that the print had to be small to cram that much information in, but my not-so-young eyes protest! Having recently started work at a Geological Sciences library, this book will be a great beginning source of information on palaeontology, and mentions things I vaguely remember learning in my Evolution and Invertebrate classes in university. I'm really loving these DK Visual Guides and Definitive Visual Histories - pictures and photos are incredible.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dylan Valine

    This book can feel like a bit of a weird mix of coffee table book and reference throughout and that's the best way I can describe it. Definitely more in depth than a kids book but those with wide knowledge on the subject won't gain very much. Interesting book though, also has pictures of the skeleton, an illustration of the animal, or both for the majority of creatures. Another thing to point out is there are significant invertebrate sections and while important I didn't exactly expect to read s This book can feel like a bit of a weird mix of coffee table book and reference throughout and that's the best way I can describe it. Definitely more in depth than a kids book but those with wide knowledge on the subject won't gain very much. Interesting book though, also has pictures of the skeleton, an illustration of the animal, or both for the majority of creatures. Another thing to point out is there are significant invertebrate sections and while important I didn't exactly expect to read so much about coral or bivalves in this work.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    this is a table book, so instead of reading it from cover to cover i'm picking out what I want to have read for right now. this is a table book, so instead of reading it from cover to cover i'm picking out what I want to have read for right now.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    (2012). Prehistoric life: The definitive visual history of life on earth. DK Publishing. Carrie Gupton Type: Encyclopedia Call Number: REF 560 Description: Massive in size as well as scope, it covers everything from the beginnings of the planet until humans settled down and started farming. With breathtaking CG images as well as real pictures of fossils, Prehistoric Life will entrance while its informative text and nicely-arranged narrative will give students all the prehistory they can handle. Revi (2012). Prehistoric life: The definitive visual history of life on earth. DK Publishing. Carrie Gupton Type: Encyclopedia Call Number: REF 560 Description: Massive in size as well as scope, it covers everything from the beginnings of the planet until humans settled down and started farming. With breathtaking CG images as well as real pictures of fossils, Prehistoric Life will entrance while its informative text and nicely-arranged narrative will give students all the prehistory they can handle. Review: Yusko, S. (2010, January 01). Booklist review. Retrieved from http://www.booklistonline.com/Prehist... Scope: This 512 page book covers earth’s history from its formation through the Middle Stone Age. There are dinosaurs, but also paleo-plants, insects, sea life, and environmental conditions. Accuracy, Authority, & Bias: DK has certainly made a name for itself in producing a long line of visually stunning, reference books. Arrangement & Presentation: Divided into three sections, Prehistoric Life begins with a brief look at “Young Earth”. Then volume spends the majority of book discussing “Life on Earth”. The final section delves into “The Rise of the Humans”. Relation to Similar works: DK Publishing has a great many nonfiction reference books in print right now. Any of their works would be a great addition to any library. I recommend Evolution: Story of Life as a companion book. Timeline and Permanence: It doesn't have every single detail about ancient earth, but it does cover ever major geologic era, from the Archean to modern day. The book is modern, may be a bit heavy, but a pleasure to study, also for readers entering the prehistoric age for the first time. Accessibility/Diversity: The relatively low cost will make this book one the libraries will want more than one copy of. Cost: $40

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hyarrowen

    Surely one of the best books produced by high-quality publisher Dorling Kindersley, this history of life on Earth covers the fossil record from earliest times to the present day. Each geological period is given an overview, stunning photographs of the fossils for each phylum that was around at the time, and reconstructions of what the landscape might have looked like. Windows on a lost world indeed – some of those scenes look decidedly alien! There's a lot of information, but the layout is never Surely one of the best books produced by high-quality publisher Dorling Kindersley, this history of life on Earth covers the fossil record from earliest times to the present day. Each geological period is given an overview, stunning photographs of the fossils for each phylum that was around at the time, and reconstructions of what the landscape might have looked like. Windows on a lost world indeed – some of those scenes look decidedly alien! There's a lot of information, but the layout is never too 'busy' or confusing – and, very importantly, dinosaurs are given full weight, with a completele list of non-avian genera. I have to admit that this is a weighty volume... but it's a truly beautiful book, and one which I will be buying as soon as I've saved the money!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dustin McMahon

    Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth is just that- the absolute best visual reference guide to prehistoric life. The guide ranges from the formation of Earth to the emergence of upright primates including Homo Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens. The pages are ripe with current theories on the Earth's foundation, as well as animal and plant life from various pre-history eras. Without a doubt, this book is an absolute must-own for any enthusiast of dinosaurs, paleo-botany, a Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth is just that- the absolute best visual reference guide to prehistoric life. The guide ranges from the formation of Earth to the emergence of upright primates including Homo Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens. The pages are ripe with current theories on the Earth's foundation, as well as animal and plant life from various pre-history eras. Without a doubt, this book is an absolute must-own for any enthusiast of dinosaurs, paleo-botany, anthropology, or science in general.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Visually stunning encyclopedia of prehistoric life. Like all Big History books, starts big and soon zooms in on life, then towards the end on the evolution of primates, and more specifically humans. I don't have the background to tell how accurate the book is, but enjoyed diving into the many fascinating artistic illustrations of prehistoric life forms with detailed descriptions, maps and imaginative landscapes. Superb goodnight read because the pictures are captivating and well supported by the Visually stunning encyclopedia of prehistoric life. Like all Big History books, starts big and soon zooms in on life, then towards the end on the evolution of primates, and more specifically humans. I don't have the background to tell how accurate the book is, but enjoyed diving into the many fascinating artistic illustrations of prehistoric life forms with detailed descriptions, maps and imaginative landscapes. Superb goodnight read because the pictures are captivating and well supported by the descriptions, yet the texts are sufficiently tedious to induce sleep after a little while

  11. 4 out of 5

    Heros

    A truly amazing book; highly recommended to anyone interested in paleontology or prehistoric life, whether it be microscopic or macroscopic. The computer-generated images are breathtaking, and the breadth of topics covered, from the birth of the Earth to the evolution of man, is commendable. Unfortunately, the book does not go into great detail on any particular topic, but as a general reference for anything prehistoric, this book is a must-have.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Loraine

    WOW! Stunning. This DK production is a magnificent tome, loaded with the story of earth's life through the eons of time. The timelines, photos, reconstructions that depict what current knowledge suggests extinct creatures looked like . . . it's got everything. I usually rely on my wonderful library for good reads, but I'm going to have to own this gorgeous book. WOW! Stunning. This DK production is a magnificent tome, loaded with the story of earth's life through the eons of time. The timelines, photos, reconstructions that depict what current knowledge suggests extinct creatures looked like . . . it's got everything. I usually rely on my wonderful library for good reads, but I'm going to have to own this gorgeous book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Al Bokolor

    Took me six months to finish this book but all in all a great writing on the evolution of life. Publisher had a nice combination mix of short scientific notes/writing along with detailed diagrams/pics to help deliver key concepts in layman's terms. Best thing about this book and the MAIN reason I rated it a 5/5 is due to the fact that it is a science book that reads like a novel! Took me six months to finish this book but all in all a great writing on the evolution of life. Publisher had a nice combination mix of short scientific notes/writing along with detailed diagrams/pics to help deliver key concepts in layman's terms. Best thing about this book and the MAIN reason I rated it a 5/5 is due to the fact that it is a science book that reads like a novel!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    This book really doesn't have a read by date, but I realized I had not rated it yet. I admit, I love dinosaurs and all things prehistoric monsters. This book is gorgeous, and I love sitting down and flipping through it. Even with the 4years I've had it, it's still pretty up-to-date and accurate. This book really doesn't have a read by date, but I realized I had not rated it yet. I admit, I love dinosaurs and all things prehistoric monsters. This book is gorgeous, and I love sitting down and flipping through it. Even with the 4years I've had it, it's still pretty up-to-date and accurate.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    A very thorough and comprehensive collection of both plant and animal evolution, with tons of photos of actual fossils to balance out the usual speculative artwork. You grow up hearing about just a handful of dinosaurs, so I found the sheer diversity of animals described here pretty eye-opening. If you're at all curious about nature, this is a must-read. A very thorough and comprehensive collection of both plant and animal evolution, with tons of photos of actual fossils to balance out the usual speculative artwork. You grow up hearing about just a handful of dinosaurs, so I found the sheer diversity of animals described here pretty eye-opening. If you're at all curious about nature, this is a must-read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Haylee

    My girls and I love looking through this informative book. Full of colorful pictures and facts - based on scientific evolution rather than creationism; however, still full of good, educational information about prehistoric life on earth.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

    This is a huge book and it has so many things about fossils and the kinds of life that existed during prehistoric times. It is almost 2 inches thick, so you can imagine how many thousands of organisms that are covered.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Markie

    I got this book as a birthday present a couple years ago and still love it. The book is broken down into sections based on the time period, each having tons of different animals with amazing art and information about each one. A really good book for prehistoric nerds and kids for sure.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ur Salem

    How come: 1- 'ostracoderms' are not indexed and are not referred to in the book? 2- 'bichir' is not indexed? .. Actinopterygii and Sarcopterygii are listed of course, but 'bichir' is not given any special status or even mentioned for its Tiktaalik-like characteristics. How come: 1- 'ostracoderms' are not indexed and are not referred to in the book? 2- 'bichir' is not indexed? .. Actinopterygii and Sarcopterygii are listed of course, but 'bichir' is not given any special status or even mentioned for its Tiktaalik-like characteristics.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Trilobites Triumph! Ok, I'm a prehistoric critter creep, but life's diversity over the millenia is awe-inspiring. Truly, only nature could have created an odd creature such as Opabinia, a Cambian Explosion oddity amongst oddities. Orthaceras is another oddball. Trilobites Triumph! Ok, I'm a prehistoric critter creep, but life's diversity over the millenia is awe-inspiring. Truly, only nature could have created an odd creature such as Opabinia, a Cambian Explosion oddity amongst oddities. Orthaceras is another oddball.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Reilly

    this is probably the single most informative book i have ever read

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    beautiful, complete, with hundreds (thousands?) of images. organized marvelously. great captions. love the whole thing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Molly Brodak

    my dream book!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

    Add review when I have time.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Liana

    I LOVE the pictures and the descriptions! Reminds me of the book on animals that Craig gave me years ago. Everyone thinks I'm studying for a class, though. I LOVE the pictures and the descriptions! Reminds me of the book on animals that Craig gave me years ago. Everyone thinks I'm studying for a class, though.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mazin123

    good

  27. 4 out of 5

    Glyn

    There were lots of dinosaurs and also a giant beaver, two thumbs up. It ended kind of suddenly though.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Véronique

    This is one of the most (if not the most) beautiful book i own. If you like the subject, this is a must have.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marty O'hara

    Very good. amazing to learn about prehistoric life

  30. 4 out of 5

    Theo Girvan

    It was amazing.

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