From the Back Cover
Understanding Fossils is the first introductory level palaeontology text which demonstrates the importance of fossils in geological and biological studies, particularly in understanding evolutionary patterns, palaeoenvironmental analysis, and stratigraphy. The book contains three parts. Part One explores several key concepts: the processes of fossil preservation, the determination of evolutionary patterns, ancient ecologies and use of fossils as stratigraphical tools. Part Two introduces the main fossil groups of value in these applied fields. Each group is described with reference to their most important characters, and each has summaries of classification, evolutionary history and applications. Part Three concentrates on the examination of important case histories which demonstrate the use of fossils in diverse practical examples. Evolutionary studies, palaeoenvironmental analysis and stratigraphical applications are documented using up–to–date examples supported by overviews of the principles.