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Fossils at a Glance, 2nd Edition

Fossils at a Glance, 2nd Edition

Clare Milsom, Sue Rigby

ISBN: 978-1-118-68781-9

Apr 2013, Wiley-Blackwell

184 pages



Fossils provide a powerful tool for the study of the nearly 4-billion-year history of life, and its role in the evolution of Earth systems. They also provide important data for evolutionary studies, and contribute to our understanding of the extinction of organisms and the origins of modern biodiversity.

Fossils At A Glance is written for students taking an introductory level course in paleontology. Short chapters introduce the main topics in the modern study of fossils. The most important fossil groups are discussed, from microfossils through invertebrates to vertebrates and plants, followed by a brief narrative of life on Earth. 

Diagrams are central to the book and allow the reader to see most of the important data “at a glance”. Each topic covers two pages and provides a self-contained suite of information or a starting point for future study.

This second edition has been thoroughly revised and brought up to date. It includes new line diagrams as well as  photographs of selected fossils 

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1. Introduction.

2. Fossil classification and evolution.

3. Sponges.

4. Corals.

5. Bryozoans.

6. Brachiopods.

7. Echinoderms.

8. Trilobites.

9. Mollusks.

10. Graptolites.

11. Vertebrates.

12. Land plants.

13. Microfossils.

14. Trace fossils.

15. Precambrian life.

16. Phanerozoic life.

Reading list.

Geological timescale.


"Generally, the book by Milsom & Rigby is a must for all beginners (especially undergraduate students) and educators in geosciences (not only palaeontology, but also general and historical geology). Additionally, the reviewer tends to recommend this book strongly for fossil amateurs and field geologists." (Zentralblatt fur Geologie und Palaontologie, 1 January 2011)


  • New edition of successful text, fully updated, and with new and additional illustrations
  • Aimed at introductory level - assumes no prior paleontology knowledge
  • Double page spread for each major group
  • Heavily illustrated throughout
  • Covers all major fossil groups, including vertebrates, plants etc