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Hands-On Palaeontology: A practical manual

Product Code: MPHOP
Series: Miscellaneous titles
Author/Editor: By Stephen K Donovan
Publication Date: 22 June 2021
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There are many books on palaeontology, aimed at amateurs, undergraduates and aspiring academics. Perhaps commonest amongst these are guides to fossil identification, from the general (basic texts on fossil variety and morphology) to the specific (field guides to specific groups, localities or horizons). Many of these are readable, comprehensive and provide good advice. This is not such a book - there is more to the subject than just putting a name on a specimen, however important that may be. 

As the book’s title states, this is a practical manual covering the many aspects of palaeontology. It is organised in fifty-two chapters; each chapter focusses on one aspect of palaeontology as viewed with a geologist’s trained eye. It can be read from cover-to-cover or dipped into when an answer to a specific question is needed. The aim is to help the developing palaeontologist move to their skills on to the next level. 

It is aimed, primarily, at the beginner in the broadest sense, both amateur and undergraduate. Palaeontologists and geologists are encouraged to use the book as much as a reference as a reader, dipping in to the chapters that contain relevant tips, hints and comments to enable them to improve their understanding of their current interest. It is informative, readable and, most of all, of practical application for all palaeontologists.

Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN:
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 9781780460970
Publisher: Dunedin Academic Press
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Weight: 0.6 kg


Foreword (by Professor David A.T. Harper, Durham University)
Getting started: 
1. How to collect
2. Where to collect
3. What to collect
4. The field notebook
5. Measuring sections (and why)
6. The Law of Superposition
7. Fossiliferous sedimentary rocks: Siliciclastics
8. Fossiliferous sedimentary rocks: Limestones, cherts and coals
9. Reworked fossils
10. Fossils as way-up structures
11. Fossils as current indicators
12. Your palaeontological library
13. Fossils in caves 
14. Beachcombing
15. Common sense in the field
16. Collecting with a camera
17. Buying specimens
Some theoretical aspects: 
18. Palaeoecology 1: The organism
19. Palaeoecology 2: Organism meets organism
20. Palaeoecology 3: Getting more information from the bed
21. Preservation 1: Fossilization
22. Preservation 2: Death
23. Preservation 3: Disarticulation, transport and residence
24. Preservation 4: Burial and diagenesis
25. Trace fossils
Working on your collection at home:
26. Storage
27. Labelling
28. Photography at home
29. Drawing
30. Specializing in your favourite fossil group
31. Writing descriptions
32. Casting from natural moulds
33. Problems with preservation. The wider field: getting involved
34. Collaboration
35. Scientific societies
36. Conferences
37. Journals and magazines
38. Offprints, PDFs and filing
39. Visiting museums
40. Ideas for further involvement
41. Publishing I: Persuading you to get involved
42. Publishing II: The hard work of self-editing
43. Publishing III: How to publish a new species
Fossils in many fields: 
44. The field guide
45. Field trip: Den Haag, the Netherlands
46. Field trip: The Piltdown Trail
47. Field trip: Overstrand to Cromer, Norfolk
48. Field trip: Cleveleys, Lancashire
49. Field trip: Queen Victoria’s bathing beach, Isle of Wight
50. Field trip: Salthill Quarry, Clitheroe
51. Field trip: Hurdlow, Derbyshire
52. Field trip: Antigua


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