Spirit Whales and Sloth Tales: Fossils of Washington State (Paperback)

Spirit Whales and Sloth Tales: Fossils of Washington State By Elizabeth A. Nesbitt, David B. Williams Cover Image

Spirit Whales and Sloth Tales: Fossils of Washington State (Paperback)


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A guide to discovering the fascinating natural history beneath your feet

From trilobites near the Idaho border and primitive horses on the Columbia Plateau to giant bird tracks near Bellingham and curious bear-like beasts on the Olympic Peninsula, fossils across Washington State are filled with clues of past life on Earth. With abundant and well-exposed rock layers, the state has fossils dating from Ice Age mammals only 12,000 years old back to marine invertebrates more than 500 million years old.

In Spirit Whales and Sloth Tales, renowned paleontologist Elizabeth A. Nesbitt teams up with popular science writer David B. Williams to offer a fascinating, richly illustrated tour through more than a half billion years of natural history. Following an introduction to key concepts, twenty-four profiles--each featuring a unique plant, animal, or environment--tell the incredible stories of individual fossils, many of which are on display in Washington museums. The spectacular paleontology of Washington is brought to life with details of the fossils' discovery and extraction, their place in geological time, and the insights they provide into contemporary issues like climate change and species extinction.

Elizabeth A. Nesbitt is curator emerita of invertebrate and micropaleontology at the Burke Museum and associate professor of earth science at the University of Washington. Her distinguished scientific contributions to the paleontology of the Pacific Northwest have earned many awards and honors, including having a whale named for her, the Maiabalaena nesbittae. David B. Williams is a naturalist, author, and educator. His many books include the award-winning Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound and Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle's Topography.

Product Details ISBN: 9780295752327
ISBN-10: 0295752327
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication Date: October 24th, 2023
Pages: 224
Language: English