Special Publication 358 - Comparing the Geological and Fossil Records: Implications for Biodiversity Studies

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9781862393363: Special Publication 358 - Comparing the Geological and Fossil Records: Implications for Biodiversity Studies

The past decade has witnessed a major revival in attempts to separate biodiversity signals from biases imposed by sampling and the architecture of the rock record. How large a problem this poses to our understanding of biodiversity patterns remains debatable, and new approaches are being developed to investigate this question. Here palaeobiologists with widely differing approaches and interests explore the problems of extracting reliable information on biodiversity change from an imperfect geological record. Topics covered range from the application of information-theoretic approaches that identify directional causal relationships to an in-depth study of how geological biases could influence our understanding of dinosaur evolution. A wide range of new insights into the links between the land, shallow-marine and deep-sea rock, and fossil records are presented, making this volume invaluable to anyone in the Earth or life sciences who wishes to remain abreast of this dynamic and rapidly evolving research area.

The Geological Society of London

Founded in 1807, the Geological Society of London is the oldest geological society in the world, and one of the largest publishers in the Earth sciences.

The Society publishes a wide range of high-quality peer-reviewed titles for academics and professionals working in the geosciences, and enjoys an enviable international reputation for the quality of its work.

The many areas in which we publish in include:

-Petroleum geology
-Tectonics, structural geology and geodynamics
-Stratigraphy, sedimentology and paleontology
-Volcanology, magmatic studies and geochemistry
-Remote sensing
-History of geology
-Regional geology guides

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The technical quality of the book is generally good, especially the high-quality printing, the numerous, detailed, and sometimes colourful illustrations (with graphs prevailing), and the similar style of the various contributions.

The volume edited by McGowan & Smith is an important contribution, and I recommend it strongly to all specialists in palaeobiology. Some stratigraphers and palaeontologists who are not trained in quantitative analysis of the fossil record, will find a lot of useful information in this book, too, but they may judge it 'too difficult' (all readers of this book need some good background in mathematics for good understanding of some conclusions). The same is also true for students and other beginners in palaeobiology. --Dmitry A. Ruban - Southern Federal University, Rostov na Donu, Russia Review - featured in Geologos 18-1

The 13 papers that follow, not surprisingly, range across geological time periods and continents, and all but two of them are written by two or more authors at universities and research groups throughout the world. Thus a range of geological and paleontological expertise has been marshalled to explore these issues. Some papers are more thematic, addressing the issue of criteria for preservation of fossils in the geological/environmental matrix; others are specific to a region, a time period, a fossiltype or a fossiliferous environment. All of these papers are technical and written primarily for specialists. Nevertheless, any geologist, of whatever 'level' in their studies, will be able to derive much from these papers, even if reading them is a challenge owing to their specialist nature.

......these papers are technical. But there is a richness of data in this anthology from which each reader can explore his or her particular paleontological interest. Each article includes numerous diagrams and charts to summarise the statistics; and has its own extensive list of referenced sources. The book concludes with a seven-page index. --David M. Jones, BA UC Berkeley, MA, PhD UC London, BSc Open, OUGS Journal Editor - Review featured in Open University Geological Society Journal vol 33 (2) 2012

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