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Book Review: Fossils of the Milwaukee Formation: A Diverse Middle Devonian Biota from Wisconsin, USA

Posted by David Penney on

We are very pleased to announce the recent review of our title: Gass,  K.C.,  J.  Kluessendorf,  D.G.  Mikulic,  and  C.E.  Brett.  2019. Fossils  of  the  Milwaukee  Formation:  A  Diverse  Middle  Devonian Biota from Wisconsin, USA, just published in Priscum, the Newsletter of the Paleontological Society (May, 2021: 26).

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Edited snippets: This book is a window into the past in two ways: a window into a rich Devonian ecosystem, and a window into paleontology at the turn of the last century. The book is richly illustrated (over 350 figures) with color photographs of all of the groups of macrofossils present in the formation (except invertebrate microfossils). Each fossil group (foraminifers, ostracods, conulariids, rugose corals, tabulate corals, tentaculitoids, bryozoans, hederelloids, brachiopods, hyoliths, mollusks, annelid worms, arthropods, echinoderms, graptolites, conodonts, fish, fungi, land plants, trace fossils) has its own section of text, with an additional section devoted to unidentified body fossils. Both the paleoecology and taphonomy are covered in significant detail. A chapter explores fossil collecting in the Milwaukee Formation. Further chapters discuss fossil preparation, the location of major collections of fossils from the Milwaukee Formation, and the history of the cement industry which helped expose the rocks of the Milwaukee Formation. No book, to my knowledge, explores a complete fauna from North America in this detail. Gass et al.’s book is likely to be the final word on the Milwaukee Formation for the conceivable future. The book will be useful to collectors and professional paleontologists alike.


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