CSIRO Publishing, 2018. Paperback, Colour photographs, Illustrations, 224 pages
Explore Darwin’s pioneering work on fossils in this richly illustrated book.
In On the Origin of Species Charles Darwin credited his discoveries of fossils, as much as those of living creatures, as the stimulus for his theory of evolution. Darwin’s Fossils is an accessible account of his pioneering work on fossils, his adventures in South America and his relations with the scientific establishment.
While Darwin’s work on Galapagos finches is celebrated, his pioneering work on fossils is much less well known. He was the first to collect the remains of giant extinct South American mammals; he worked out how coral reefs and atolls formed; he excavated and explained marine fossils high in the Andes; and he discovered a fossil forest that now bears his name. All of this was fundamental in leading him to his theory of evolution. Many of Darwin’s fossils survive, at the Natural History Museum and elsewhere, and recent years have seen a surge of scientific interest and research into them.
Richly illustrated with new photography of many of the fossils, superb line drawings produced in the 19th century, and newly-commissioned artists’ reconstructions of the extinct animals as understood today, Darwin’s Fossils reveals how fossils played a crucial role in the development of his revolutionary ideas.