A comprehensive survey of fossils in all their wide range, and a book which complements the authors' Rock Book as well as the less technical books on geology and earth science, of which they have written many. The findings of the last decade -- not to mention those of this century- have changed basically the assumptions of the post-Darwinian era. This book is ne for its more exact definition of terms, its recognition of changing identification and names, its recapitulation of what fossils tell, not only about themselves, but about behavior and environment. Prehistory is of much vaster scope than the popularizers would indicate. The divisions of the earth's history involve overlapping periods and eras, and there can be no continuous story for the different varieties history. Invertebrates are not simple, as their story unfolds over 2 1/2 billion years. For the most part that early history is aquatic and marine. No land fossils antedate the Silurian period, no insects the Devonian, and for the actual ancestors of four-legged air breathers they return to the Old Red Sandstone and Osteolepsis. This study of fossils is predicated on knowledge of how fossils are preserved, the types of rocks where they are found, how their ages are determined. A final chapter summarizes Read...See..Collect. And an excellent bibliography provides source material at various- and so-indicated-more or less advanced levels.