The oil shales of Tertiary age at Messel, near Frankfurt, are of special interest.. They contain in an exceptional state of preservation the abundant remains of animals and plants that lived some 50 million years ago. Not only the skeletons and other hard parts are preserved in detail but also the soft tissues that are normally lost in the process of fossilization. The animals include insects, lizards, bats, horses and primates. The fossil plant remains include ferns, conifers and palms. All these are descrdibed and illustrated, and the biogeographical problems that they present are discussed. This book will be of value not only to palaeontologists but also to zoologists and botanists, and indeed to all who are interested in the history of life on the earth.
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