What do you think of when you think of fossils? Most people, I believe, think of a long dead animal from an extinct species frozen for ever in rock. Something that is old and not from the time we live in. I’m sure we’ve all heard that word even applied to people who are relicts of a past age. It’s an example of something in this time that doesn’t really belong.
And in many cases that is true. The dinosaurs are perfect examples of this. These animals don’t walk the earth anymore (even though I’ve heard the stories about Nessie and the Ogopogo) but we can find evidence that they did. However, as this book brings to light, not everything that is fossilized is extinct. The most famous example is of course the Coelacanth. This fish was thought to have died out millions of years ago. It was an index fossil (an index fossil is a fossil that when you find it you can know the rock it is in is XXX years old). But now we know that it is still swimming around in the India ocean (interestingly it is still considered an index fossil).
I read the book, Evolution, the Grand Experiment: Living Fossils from New Leaf Publishing group. The book takes a look at many such examples of fossil species with photographs of living animals that are identical or nearly identical to its fossilized cousin. It’s an interesting book and worth picking up and looking through. While not the heaviest on text content, the pictures are fantastic and in many cases speak for themselves. It also chronicles the journey of compiling the book. While not my favorite book on the subject I would recommend it and am glad to have it in my library. The book does exactly what it sets out to do, I just like a more complete look at these issues (and bigger books).
I’m also supposed to say that Newleaf provided me this copy for the purposes of reviewing it free of charge. This however did not sway my opinion of the book in any way.