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Palaeontology and Geology Books

The best palaeontology and geology books for all ages and levels, including kids books. Read a review for featured books below or explore ALL BOOKS.

Beginners Library

Beginners library Geology and Palaeontology are Everywhere You Look! Update your knowledge with these beautifully written books, become an amateur palaeontologist and fossil hunter, or learn something new!Beginners Palaeontology, dinosaurs, and prehistoric animals...

Roadside Geology Series

Roadside Geology Series On the photo I hold a book "Roadside Geology of Washington state" by Dr. Marli Miller and Dr. Darrel Cowan but the series include 34 titles and reveal geology that lies along the road from Washington, Alaska, and California to Florida,...

Palaeontology and Geology Online Classes

Dinosaur Paleobiology is a 12-lesson course teaching a comprehensive overview of non-avian dinosaurs. Topics covered: anatomy, eating, locomotion, growth, environmental and behavioral adaptations, origins and extinction. Lessons are delivered from museums, fossil-preparation labs and dig sites. Estimated workload: 3-5 hrs/week.

Course By: Philip John Currie, PhD

Paleontology: Theropod Dinosaurs and the Origin of Birds is a five-lesson course teaching a comprehensive overview of the origins of birds. This course examines the anatomy, diversity, and evolution of theropod dinosaurs in relation to the origin of birds. Students explore various hypotheses for the origin of flight.

Course By: Philip John Currie, PhD

This course introduces you to the five mass extinctions of the pre-human past, their causes and significance to the history of life on earth, and the current mass extinction happening during our time. We’ll also explore the history of paleontology and geological study and review the key players that influenced the science today.

Regardless of your familiarity with the topic, you’ll get portable handouts, lively demonstrations, and quizzes that bridge and enhance your knowledge.

Course By: Anthony J. Martin

How are all of the species living on Earth today related? How does understanding evolutionary science contribute to our well-being? In this course, participants will learn about evolutionary relationships, population genetics, and natural and artificial selection. Participants will explore evolutionary science and learn how to integrate it into their classrooms.

Course By: Joel Cracraft, Ph.D.

Learn about the origin and evolution of life and the search for life beyond the Earth.

Course By: Charles Cockell

Paleontology: Ancient Marine Reptiles is a four-lesson course teaching a comprehensive overview of the evolutionary changes that occur when air-breathing terrestrial animals return to water. This course examines the diversity, adaptations, convergence, and phylogenetic relationships of extinct marine reptiles. Students will explore three major groups of marine reptiles: ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and mosasaurs.

Course By: Michael Caldwell, PhD

Paleontology: Early Vertebrate Evolution is a four-lesson course teaching a comprehensive overview of the origin of vertebrates. Students will explore the diversity of Palaeozoic lineages within a phylogenetic and evolutionary framework. This course examines the evolution of major vertebrate novelties including the origin of fins, jaws, and tetrapod limbs. Students also explore key Canadian fossil localities, including the Burgess Shale (British Columbia), Miguasha (Quebec), and Man On The Hill (Northwest Territories).

Course By: Alison Murray, Ph.D

How did life emerge on Earth? How have life and Earth co-evolved through geological time? Is life elsewhere in the universe? Take a look through the 4-billion-year history of life on Earth through the lens of the modern Tree of Life!

This course will evaluate the entire history of life on Earth within the context of our cutting-edge understanding of the Tree of Life. This includes the pioneering work of Professor Carl Woese on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus which revolutionized our understanding with a new “Tree of Life.” Other themes include: -Reconnaissance of ancient primordial life before the first cell evolved -The entire ~4-billion-year development of single- and multi-celled life through the lens of the Tree of Life -The influence of Earth system processes (meteor impacts, volcanoes, ice sheets) on shaping and structuring the Tree of Life.

Course By: Bruce W. Fouke, Ph.D.

Rockhounding and Fossils Clubs

This photo was taken at the Gem and Mineral Show 2020 in Puyallup, Washington state from Charles Tiblow’s booth.

Charles Tiblow collected every specimen from all the different states of USA.

Why should you consider joining a club? You are connected with incredible people who are passionate about palaeonlogy and geology, experineced in this field, and know all your local gems and fossils localities. Most clubs have monthly meetings and field trips and provide an access to a club’s gear for their members.

National Organizations

State-By-State Rock and Fossil Clubs

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"Nature has a habit of placing some of her most attractive treasures in places where it is difficult to locate and obtain them."

"Every great anthropologic and paleontologic discovery fits into its proper place, enabling us gradually to fill out, one after another, the great branching lines of human ascent and to connect with the branches definite phases of industry and art. This gives us a double means of interpretation, archaeological and anatomical. While many branches and links in the chain remain to be discovered, we are now in a position to predict with great confidence not only what the various branches will be like but where they are most like to be found."

In Henry Fairfield Osborn, 'Osborn States the Case For Evolution', New York Times (12 Jul 1925), XX1

"I shall collect plants and fossils, and with the best of instruments make astronomic observations. Yet this is not the main purpose of my journey. I shall endeavor to find out how nature's forces act upon one another, and in what manner the geographic environment exerts its influence on animals and plants. In short, I must find out about the harmony in nature."

Letter to Karl Freiesleben (Jun 1799). In Helmut de Terra, Humboldt: The Life and Times of Alexander van Humboldt 1769-1859 (1955), 87.

"In vertebrate paleontology, increasing knowledge leads to triumphant loss of clarity."

Synapsid Evolution and Dentition, International Colloquium on the Evolution of Mammals, Brussels (1962.)

"Cuvier … brings the void to life again, without uttering abracadabras, he excavates a fragment of gypsum, spies a footprint and shouts: “Look!” And suddenly the marbles are teeming with creatures, the dead come to life again, the world turns!"
From 'La Peau de Chagrin' (1831). As translated as by Helen Constantine The Wild Ass’s Skin (2012), 19.

"I am particularly fond of (Emmanuel Mendes da Costa’s) Natural History of Fossils because treatise, more than any other work written in English, records a short episode expressing one of the grand false starts in the history of natural science–and nothing can be quite so informative and instructive as a juicy mistake."

"I want to argue that the ‘sudden’ appearance of species in the fossil record and our failure to note subsequent evolutionary change within them is the proper prediction of evolutionary theory as we understand it ... Evolutionary ‘sequences’ are not rungs on a ladder, but our retrospective reconstruction of a circuitous path running like a labyrinth, branch to branch, from the base of the bush to a lineage now surviving at its top."

"In July [1837] opened first note-book on Transmutation of Species. Had been greatly struck from about the month of previous March on character of South American fossils, and species on Galapagos Archipelago. These facts (especially latter), origin of all my views."

Discours sur les révolutions du globe, (Discourse on the Revolutions of the Surface of the Globe), originally the introduction to Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles des quadrupèdes (1812). Translated by Ian Johnston from the 1825 edition. Online at Vancouver Island University website.

"In July [1837] opened first note-book on Transmutation of Species. Had been greatly struck from about the month of previous March on character of South American fossils, and species on Galapagos Archipelago. These facts (especially latter), origin of all my views."

In Francis Darwin (ed.), The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Including an Autobiographical Chapter (1888), Vol. 1, 276. 

"Kids like their fossils. I’ve taken my godson fossil-hunting and there’s nothing more magical than finding a shiny shell and knowing you’re the first person to have seen it for 150 million years."

"One must believe that every living thing whatsoever must change insensibly in its organization and in its form... One must therefore never expect to find among living species all those which are found in the fossil state, and yet one may not assume that any species has really been lost or rendered extinct."

Système des Animaux sans Vertébres, (1801) trans. D. R. Newth, in Annals of Science (1952), 5, 253-4.

"Taxonomy is often regarded as the dullest of subjects, fit only for mindless ordering and sometimes denigrated within science as mere “stamp collecting” (a designation that this former philatelist deeply resents). If systems of classification were neutral hat racks for hanging the facts of the world, this disdain might be justified. But classifications both reflect and direct our thinking. The way we order represents the way we think. Historical changes in classification are the fossilized indicators of conceptual revolutions."

In Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History (1983, 2010), 72

"The observer listens to nature: the experimenter questions and forces her to reveal herself."

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