Smithsonian Books (DC), Paperback, 9781588341563, 216pp.
Publication Date: December 1, 2004
Long before there were animals on the earth, many kinds of plants covered the prehistoric planet. The soft remains rarely fossilized, but sometimes leaves, flowers, and branches would fall into soft mud or be encased by the ash of exploding volcanoes. These plants were preserved and now offer a sampling of life in the distant past and a contrast to our present flora.
This complete guide to fossil plants explains both the lives of ancient plants and why certain plants became fossilized. Kenrick and Davies trace the evolution of land plants, ferns, conifers, and their relatives, the flowering plants. Interwoven are snapshots of landscapes and environments of various periods, focusing on plant and animal interactions. The included photographs present these ancient, sometimes delicate, pieces of shale in a unique way, and Kenrick and Davies explain both what they were and what story they tell about the past.