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Department of Paleobiology

Burgess Shale - Introductory Reading

The Burgess Shale. 1985. H. B. Whittington. Yale University Press. 151 pp. (An excellent description of the discovery and setting of the Burgess Shale, along with a summary of the fossils.)

The Fossils of the Burgess Shale. 1994. Derek E. G. Briggs, Douglas H. Erwin, and Frederick J. Collier. Smithsonian Institution Press. 238 pp. (History of Walcott's discovery and subsequent research; geologic setting in the Canadian Rockies; the Cambrian explosion; and descriptions and illustrations of 84 Burgess Shale fossils.)

Fossils of the Burgess Shale. A National Treasure in Yoho National Park, British Columbia. 1985. S. Conway Morris and H. B. Whittington. Geological Survey of Canada Miscellaneous Report #43. 31 pp. Available from the Canadian Government Publishing Centre, Ottowa, Canada K1A 0S9. (An informative pamphlet with drawings and photographs designed to explain the Burgess Shale and the significance of its famous fossils to the interested public.)

Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History. 1989. Stephen J. Gould. W. W. Norton & Co. 347 pp. (Eminently readable introduction to the creatures, their place in evolutionary science and natural history, and the questions they pose about the interpretation of animal origins.)

Composition of Scientific Words. 1956. Roland Wilbur Brown. Smithsonian Institution Press. 882 pp. Subtitled "A manual of methods and a lexicon of materials for the practice of logotechnics." (A standard sourcebook for Greek and Latin forms used in coining scientific terms.)

Links to the Burgess Shale: Home Page / Specimen Index / Cambrian World

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