ISBN #: 9780938216810 A
Title: Life in Stone: Fossils of the Southwest (Plateau Magazine)
Author: Christa Sadler
Publication Date: January 1, 1993
Imagine you are hiking in a remote corner of the Colorado Plateau, through colorful clay hills and sheer sandstones cliffs. Rounding a corner, you see something intriguing protruding from a purple shale slope. Stepping closer, you discover the corner of an old bone. "The Envelope of Rocks" Living creatures inhabited all these environments. Ferns on the floodplains of a river, beetles making their way across sand dunes, corals in a shallow tropical sea: all have become the fossils that tell us about our planets past. "Precambrian: deep time" Although the geological time scale does not illustrate this, the Precambrian encompasses about 87 percent of earth's history. "Paleozoic: time of diversity" At the beginning of the Paleozoic Era, evolution took an extraordinary turn. From single-celled creatures and a few more complex organisms, life exploded into an array of forms and adaptations. "Mesozoic: time of dinosaurs" As Earth's great crustal plates collided to form the supercontinent Pangaea in the dying days of the Paleozoic, the effects were felt around the organic world. "Cenozoic: age of modernization" During the reign of the dinosaurs, the mammals remained tiny and nocturnal, relegated to the dark forests of the night to being "underfoot." As long as dinosaurs ruled the land, mammals were destined to remain on the bench. "The Fossil Hunters" Finding evidence of life from an ancient time is and exciting experience. But while it may seem a glamorous "Indian Jones" adventure, more often it is hard, dirty work.