The Lost World of Fossil Lake: Snapshots from Deep Time

Author(s): Lance Grande


The landscape of southwestern Wyoming around the ghost town of Fossil is beautiful but harsh; a dry, high mountain desert with cool nights and long, cold winters inhabited by a sparse mountain desert community. But during the early Eocene, more than fifty million years ago, it was a subtropical lake, surrounded by volcanoes and forests and teeming with life. Buried within the sun-baked limestone is spectacular evidence of the lush vegetation and plentiful fauna of the ancient past, a transitional ecosystem giving us clues to how North America recovered from a great extinction event that wiped out dinosaurs and the majority of all species on the planet. Paleontologists have been conducting excavations at Fossil Butte for more than 150 years, and with "The Lost World of Fossil Lake", one of the world's leading experts on the fossils from this spectacular locality takes readers on a fascinating journey through the history of the discovery and exploration of the site.
Deftly mixing incredible color photographs of the remarkable fossils uncovered there with an explanation of their evolutionary significance, Lance Grande presents an unprecedented, comprehensive portrait of the site, its treasures, and what we've learned from them. Grande presents a broad range of fossilized organisms from Fossil Lake - from single-celled algae to palm trees to crocodiles - and together they make this long-extinct community come to life in all its diversity and splendor. A field guide and atlas round out the book, enabling readers to identify and classify the majority of the known fossils from the site. Lavishly produced in full color, "The Lost World of Fossil Lake" is a stunning reminder of the intellectual and physical beauty of scientific investigation-and a breathtaking window onto our planet's long-lost past.

Product Information

"Lance Grande's book is a tour de force celebrating the scientific value, historical background, biodiversity, and sheer beauty of the exquisitely preserved fossils from the Fossil Butte localities in Wyoming. Elegantly written with lucid prose and enjoyable stories about the human culture of fossil collecting, it is an unforgettable, must-have biography of one the world's most significant fossil sites." -John Long, author of The Dawn of the Deed"

Lance Grande has been doing fieldwork in the Fossil Butte Member of south-western Wyoming for more than thirty years. He is senior vice president and head of research and collections at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, and has also been curator in the Department of Geology there since 1983. He is the award-winning author of more than one hundred books and articles, including Gems and Gemstones: Timeless Natural Beauty of the Mineral World, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

General Fields

  • : 9780226922966
  • : University of Chicago Press
  • : University of Chicago Press
  • : 1.724
  • : April 2013
  • : 254mm X 203mm
  • : United States
  • : April 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Lance Grande
  • : Hardback
  • : English
  • : 560.45630978782
  • : 400
  • : 243 colour plates, 1 halftone, 2 line drawings, 3 tables