The Great Fossil Enigma the Great Fossil Enigma

The Great Fossil Enigma the Great Fossil Enigma : The Search for the Conodont Animal the Search for the Conodont Animal

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Description

Stephen Jay Gould borrowed from Winston Churchill when he described the conodont animal as a "riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." This animal confounded science for more than a century. Some thought it a slug, others a fish, a worm, a plant, even a primitive ancestor of ourselves. The list of possibilities grew and yet an answer to the riddle never seemed any nearer. Would the animal that left behind these miniscule fossils known as conodonts ever be identified? Three times the animal was "found," but each was quite a different animal. Were any of them really the one? Simon J. Knell takes the reader on a journey through 150 years of scientific thinking, imagining, and arguing. Slowly the animal begins to reveal traces of itself: its lifestyle, its remarkable evolution, its witnessing of great catastrophes, its movements over the surface of the planet, and finally its anatomy. Today the conodont animal remains perhaps the most disputed creature in the zoological world.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 440 pages
  • Indiana University Press
  • United States
  • English
  • 0253006066
  • 9780253006066

About Professor Simon J Knell

Simon J. Knell, Professor of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, is renowned for his innovative studies of fossils as scientific and cultural objects. Previously a popular geology columnist for Geology Today, Knell's has published The Making of the Geological Society of London; The Culture of English Geology, 1815-1851; and The Age of the Earth: From 4004 BC to 2002 AD.show more

Review quote

"Quite a remarkable and well-executed story.... It should be of great interest not only to conodontologists but to paleontologists in general as well as to everyone interested in the history of science. I cannot think of any other comparable work dealing so thoroughly with the exploration history of a widespread and important fossil group." --Stig M. Bergstr m, Ohio State University--Stig M. Bergstr m, Ohio State Universityshow more

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