Cover image for Encyclopedia of prehistory
Title:
Encyclopedia of prehistory
Author:
Lambert, David, 1932-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
400 pages : illustrations, maps ; 29 cm.
Language:
English
Added Corporate Author:
ISBN:
9780816045471
Format :
Book

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QE26.3 .L36 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
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QE26.3 .L36 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
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Summary

Summary

This reference provides a chronicle of the evolutionary history of the Earth, tracing the development of primitive man and wildlife, dinosaurs, and reptiles, as well as the origins of civilized society. More than 1500 illustrations - including clearly labelled diagrams, field-guide illustrations, and maps - help readers to grasp important concepts. Coverage includes: Our planet's origins which examines rocks, rivers, ice, and air, as well as the birth of the solar system; Prehistoric life which looks at fossils, plants, and trees, invertebrates, and reptiles, birds, and mammals; The age of dinosaurs which provides an A-Z section of the many types of dinosaurs and their physical characteristics, behaviour, extinction, and classification; and The first human which gives information on man's ancestors, primates, apes and man, man upright, periods of evolution, international development, adaptation to climate and environmental changes, as well as life-like reconstructions of human skeletons.


Author Notes

David Lambert has written many books on Earth science. Mr. Lambert lives in southeast England
The Diagram Group is a team of writers, researchers, editors, and designers who have specialized in producing a number of highly acclaimed visual reference books since their formation in 1960


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Although its purpose is to "provide a concise, up-to-date key to the processes that forged our planet, and to the vast array of prehistoric animals, plants, and other organisms" that appeared and vanished, this volume also includes plenty of information about modern plants, animals, and geographic features. Typical Diagram Group charts and illustrations help tie old and new together. Arrangement is in four sections ("The Evolving Earth," "Evolving Life," "Dinosaurs," and "The First Humans") that offer a chronological presentation. Within these sections, chapters are divided into one-or two-page spreads that address topics such as "How Lakes Form," "Jawless Fishes," "How Primates Began," and "Neanderthal Toolkits." The two-color drawings, charts, and diagrams are well labeled and very good for showing landforms, body parts, and relationships between modern and ancient organisms. Current evolution and dinosaur theories are presented, often with "probably" and "may have" as qualifiers in the text. The chapter on "Dinosaur Life" states that "much of what we say and show is not proven fact, just plausibly inferred from careful scientific study and research." Specific sources aren't cited, but there are a few references provided at the end of the volume. Also listed are world museums and scientists, although neither listing is detailed or comprehensive. Younger students may the material is challenging reading. An example is this statement on chelonians: "They might be anapsids evolved from pareiasaurs, but molecular studies place them near crocodiles as reptiles that lost their diapsids' skull holes." With some direction from librarians, users will find this work tremendously valuable, especially for the diagrams and charts. Drawings showing how land is shaped by ice, the difference between the monocot and dicot types of flowering plants, the evolution of the horse, and the like fill page after page. Keeping in mind the reading level, the fact that one-fifth of the pages deal with the ever-popular dinosaurs, and that there's nothing quite comparable, many school and public libraries will want to add this title.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Encyclopedia of Prehistory provides a comprehensive yet concise chronicle of the evolutionary history of Earth, tracing the development of primitive man and wildlife, dinosaurs, and reptiles, as well as the origins of civilized society. More than 1,500 distinctive two-color illustrations--including clearly labeled diagrams, field-guide illustrations, and maps--help readers grasp important concepts instantly. The images are integrated with in-depth text that explains key terms in clear language for a visually appealing reference resource for scientists, students, and general readers. Coverage includes: Our Planet's Origins: examines rocks, rivers, ice, and air, as well as the birth of the solar system Prehistoric Life: looks at fossils, plants, and trees; invertebrates; and reptiles, birds, and mammals The Age of Dinosaurs: an A-to-Z section of the many types of dinosaurs and their physical characteristics, behavior, extinction, and classification The First Humans: presents information on man's ancestors, primates, apes and man, man upright, periods of evolution, international development, adaptations to climate and environmental changes, as well as life-like reconstructions of human skeletons An extensive glossary of terms and a comprehensive index. Excerpted from Encyclopedia of Prehistory by David Lambert, Diagram Group All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Section 1 The Evolving Earth
Sizing up the Earthp. 12
The restless crustp. 22
Fiery rocksp. 32
Rocks from scrapsp. 42
Deformed and altered rocksp. 48
Crumbling rocksp. 56
How rivers shape the landp. 62
The work of the seap. 74
The work of ice and airp. 80
Change through the agesp. 90
Section 2 Evolving Life
Fossil clues to prehistoric lifep. 116
Plants and plantlike organismsp. 134
Fossil invertebratesp. 140
Fossil fishesp. 154
Fossil early tetrapods and amphibiansp. 162
Fossil reptilesp. 168
Fossil birdsp. 182
Fossil mammals and their kinp. 188
Section 3 Dinosaurs
Dinosaursp. 220
Dinosaur lifep. 258
Section 4 The First Humans
What are humans?p. 282
Primitive primatesp. 296
Evolving anthropoidsp. 304
Apes and humansp. 314
Human-apesp. 320
Early humansp. 332
The Neandertalsp. 342
Homo sapiens in Europep. 352
Homo sapiens worldwidep. 364
Since the Ice Agep. 372
Further referencep. 386
Indexp. 394