Discovering Fossil Fishes

Front Cover
Basic Books, Jan 4, 2001 - Nature - 224 pages
Fishes have a unique evolutionary history that stretches back in time more than 450 million years. They are incredibly ancient-older than the dinosaurs-and include the ancestors of all limbed vertebrates living on land, even humans.In Discovering Fossil Fishes , John Maisey traces the evolution of fishes over the course of nearly half a billion years, describing the discovery of their extraordinary fossil remains and explaining what these ancient animals tell us about our own place in the history of life. Combining current scientific information with entertaining tales about historic and contemporary fieldwork, Maisey brings to life the development of armored fishes, monster sharks, and fishes with arms as he reveals the subtleties of evolution's greatest success story.More abundant and more diverse than their air-breathing cousins, fishes today dominate the seas and freshwaters of Earth. Through outstanding full-color photographs of their fossils and of fossil reconstructions by artists David Miller and Ivy Rutzky, along with informative photographs, charts, diagrams, and drawings, we discover a staggering half-billion-year history in which lies our own watery origins.

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About the author (2001)

John G. Maisey is Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. He is also the science curator for the Hall of Vertebrate Origins at the museum.

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