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Book Review: Solving the Mystery of the First Animals on Land - The Fossils of Blackberry Hill

Posted by David Penney on

We are pleased to announce an excellent review of our title: Solving the Mystery of the First Animals on Land - The Fossils of Blackberry Hill by Kenneth (Chris) Gass has just been published in the Newsletter of the Palaeontological Association (2016, number 91, pages 107-108).

From the review
"To cite the author from his first line of the preface to the book: 'A picture book on Blackberry Hills was inevitable. The place is simply too intriguing to remain buried in scientific journals…' I couldn’t agree more." ... "... an excellent introduction for readers who want to dig deeper into the topic and the technical literature. Based on this I would recommend this book to all with an interest in natural history, scholars as well as amateurs."

From the back cover
Solving the Mystery of the First Animals on Land: The Fossils of Blackberry Hill is the first book to cover the unique group of rock outcrops in central Wisconsin that appears to have put an end to a 150 year-old mystery of global interest. Since the mid-1800s, fossilized trackways and footprints have been found on beach deposits that date back to the Cambrian Period, some 500 million years ago in what is now North America – but fossils of the animals that made them were reluctant to reveal themselves. Thanks to Blackberry Hill, the identity of some of the first animals to walk on land is a secret no more.

Numerous color photographs of spectacularly preserved tidal flat trackways, animals, and parts of the habitat itself, all set in stone, help to tell the story of some of the first animals to explore this strange, new, and presumably hostile environment. Current interpretations made possible by the fossil discoveries are presented, including how some of the trackways were made and what might have lured the animals ashore. Peculiar, winding trackways from giant, slug-like organisms and other boneless animals are shown covering entire surfaces. This book also reveals other surprises discovered at Blackberry Hill, including body and trace fossils of another tidal flat dweller never before found in rocks as old as these, and the first evidence showing that large jellyfish were abundant in Cambrian times and were already subject to mass strandings. In this book, Kenneth (Chris) Gass thus demonstrates why Blackberry Hill holds a special place in the history of life on Earth.

click the cover to go to the produce page and remember that you never pay the full RRP when you purchase directly from our website

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