Living Fossils: Clues to the Past

Living Fossils: Clues to the Past

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Overview

A fascinating look at how and why some animals haven't changed much since prehistoric times.

Meet the coelacanth, horseshoe crab, dragonfly, tuatara, nautilus, and Hula painted frog. All are living fossils, or modern-day animals that very closely resemble their ancient relatives. Why have they changed so little over time, while other animals evolved or went extinct? Using contrasting "then" and "now" illustrations, veteran nonfiction writer Caroline Arnold alternates between a prehistoric creature in its native environment and its contemporary living-fossil counterpart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623541699
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Publication date: 07/30/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 1,220,745
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range: 3 - 7 Years

About the Author

Caroline Arnold is the author of more than one hundred fifty books for children, most of them about science and nature. Recent titles include Hatching Chicks in Room 6; Living Fossils: Clues to the Past; Too Hot? Too Cold? Keeping Body Temperature Just Right; and A Warmer World.

Andrew Plant is a trained zoologist with a strong interest in paleontology. He has illustrated more than one hundred books for children, including Ancient Animals: Saber-toothed Cat and Ancient Animals: Terror Bird by Sarah L. Thomson and A Platypus, Probably by Sneed B. Collard III. www.andrewplant.com

Read an Excerpt

In December 1938, fishermen off the east coast of South Africa pulled up a strange-looking fish. It was five feet long and pale blue, with an unusually large, lobed tail. The fishermen gave the fish to Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, the curator of a local museum. She had never seen anything like it, so she sent a sketch to Professor J. L. B. Smith, a fish expert. When he saw the drawing, he was astounded. It looked almost exactly like the coelacanth, a fish thought to have died out about sixty-five million years earlier. How could this fish, missing from the fossil record for tens of millions of years, still be swimming in the ocean? Why had it survived when so many other species had become extinct? What could it reveal about life in prehistoric times? The fish appeared to be a “living fossil.”

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