In the history of life on Earth, 99.9 percent of all species have gone extinct. But a few animals have survived since the time of the dinosaurs, or since long before the dinosaurs. Charles Darwin famously called them “living fossils.”
Living Fossils: Survivors from Earth's Distant Past shines a spotlight on six wonderfully living fossils: the horseshoe crab, the chambered nautilus, the African lungfish, the tuatara, the duck-billed platypus, and the venomous solenodon.
While researching these animals, I talked with scientists on four continents. I am extremely grateful to these gifted scientists for taking time to talk with me and share their knowledge and insight. I send my sincere thanks to Jennifer Basil, Jeak Ling Ding, Josh Griffiths, Marc Jones, Heather King, Carlos Meloro, and José Nuñez-Miño. Thanks to their help, the book includes new discoveries about living fossils and what they reveal about the history of life.
Once I began talking to these dedicated men and women I realized that most of these species are endangered by human activity. And so conservation became a core part of the story.
In a shining review, Kirkus called Living Fossils “well-organized, clearly written, nicely designed, and including new research… a satisfying selection of nature’s survivors for readers intrigued by the animal world.” The book is a Junior Library Guild selection.
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