Subtitled ""A Prehistoric Creature Feature,"" this book explains that it all began in the ocean. Troll and Matsen (Planet...

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"RAPTORS, FOSSILS, FINS & FANGS"

Subtitled ""A Prehistoric Creature Feature,"" this book explains that it all began in the ocean. Troll and Matsen (Planet Ocean, 1994) tell how amphibians, reptiles, mammals, Einstein, Elvis, and everyone else started as fish some ""550 million birthdays ago."" In keeping with the evolutionary theory, the book takes readers on a journey from the first visible Cambrian life forms in the ocean through the development of backbones, fins, jaws, teeth, and tails to the Quaternary present. This prehistoric road map through time, marked by a ticker-tape style timeline running across the bottom of each spread, introduces some bizarre-looking monstrous creatures such as eurypterids, trilobites, prehistoric sharks, giant marine reptiles, and other ""way cool creatures of long ago."" Headings--""The Lucky Fish Gets the Cheeseburger"" and ""Good Gracious, Cretaceous"" among them--serve as attention-getters. Written with a smattering of grade-school humor, the irreverent tone of the text demystifies otherwise complex theories and ideas about evolution and paleontology. While occasionally silly, this snappy treatment fills a gap even where dinosaur books abound, tackling a difficult subject riddled with unknowns, shreds of evidence, and scientific guesswork. Clues from skeletons, shapes, and fossils provide inspiration for the largely fanciful illustrations presented in neon pastel drawings with appropriately eerie, cave-like lighting, and a disclaimer about licenses Troll took when grouping species.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996