This edition maintains the strong approach to stratigraphy and paleontology that characterised previous editions, updating new finds in areas of radiometric dating, tratigraphic nomenclature, and renewed ideas in paleontology. Highly detailed paleogeographic maps help students understand the major episodes within each time period.
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Harold ("Hal") Levin began his career as a petroleum geologist in 1956 after receiving bachelor′s and master′s degrees from the University of Missouri and a doctorate from Washington University. His fondness for teaching brought him back to Washington University in 1962, where he is currently professor of geology and paleontology in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. His writing efforts include authorship of six editions of The Earth Through Times; four editions of Contemporary Physical Geology; Essentials of Earth Science; and co–authorship of Earth: Past and Present, as well as six editions of Laboratory Studies in Historical Geology; Life Through Times; and most recently, Ancient Invertebrates and Their Living Relatives.
For his course in physical geology, historical geology, paleontology, sedimentology, and stratigraphy, Hal has received several awards for excellence in teaching. The accompanying photograph was taken during a lecture on life of the Cenozoic Era. The horse skull serves to illustrate changes in the teeth and jaws of grazing animals in response to the spread of prairies and savannahs during the Miocene and subsequent epochs.
Before the age of dinosaurs, and interesting group of reptiles known as pelycosaurs roamed the Earth. Many were similar in general form to large lizards. There were also bizarred–looking pelycosaurs exemplified by the late Permian reptile Dimetrodon. The erect sail is the hallmark of Dimetrodon. The sail probably helped the reptile regulate its body temperature. Dimetrodon was the top predator of it time, measuring over 3 meters in length.
The reconstruction of ancient life and its habitats, as depicted here for the Permian Era, is one aspect of the diverse tasks of the historical geologist.
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