Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 607–608 | Cite as

P. D. Taylor (ed), Extinctions in the History of Life

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004, xii + 191 pp, Hardback, £40.00, ISBN 0-521-84224-7
  • David J. HorneEmail author
Book Review

Extinction is a fact of life; it is estimated that more than 99% of the species that have ever lived on our planet are now extinct. Interest has focused on mass extinctions, geologically short intervals in the fossil record with exceptionally high extinction rates, which have “cleared the table”, making space for evolutionary radiations of survivor groups. There are many books about mass extinctions and their causes. This one arose from a symposium held at the University of California in Los Angeles; it brings together six authors, with whose names students of extinction will already be familiar, with the aim making current debates and key findings accessible at undergraduate level. It succeeds admirably. The six chapters are both comprehensive in their coverage and succinct in their presentation; even for those already familiar with the vast literature on extinctions in the fossil record, this would be a valuable summary and a benchmark for future reading.

The first chapter, by Paul...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, Queen MaryUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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