Acknowledgments.- Preface.- Scleritome.- Christmas Tree Stromatolite.- Archaeocyath Mixotrophy.- Environmental Convergence.- Mat Farmers.- Etch Stop.- Sampling Bias.- Shell Alignment.- Deep Bones.- Dung Stones.- Cambrian Cannibals.- Parenting Skills.- First Fruits.- Pandora's Pithos.- Systematics.- Index.
Mark McMenamin is a Professor of Geology and author or co author of several books and numerous research articles that consider the origin of animals and other forms of complex life, the origin of land plants, and the Snowball Earth glaciation. In 2008, Mark received (as director of the Keck Geology project to study the rocks of the Boston Basin) a teaching award from Southern Utah University for student project excellence (the student in question, Jessica Williams, demonstrated the Snowball Earth glacial origin of the Cambridge Argillite). His 2007 book for the Smithsonian Science Series, Science 101: Geology, has received wide national distribution. In 1988 he received a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, and in 1992-1993 he was named a Sigma Xi National Lecturer. He named the supercontinent Rodinia in The Emergence of Animals (Columbia University Press, 1990). His research was featured in 2006 in the National Geographic Channel program Naked Science: Colliding Continents and in the History Channel's 2007 program How the Earth Was Made. In 1994, Mark and Dianna McMenamin introduced Hypersea theory to explain the diversification of life forms on land. The thesis of their book on the subject, Hypersea: Life on Land, was called one of "seven ideas that could change the world" by Discover magazine.
"The text is a series of case studies that portray the author's
skill at deciphering paleontological puzzles. ... Summing Up:
Recommended. Graduate students; faculty and professionals." (P. K.
Strother, Choice, Vol. 54 (5), January, 2017)
"All author's ideas are well-argued theoretically and supported by facts ... . The illustrations are rich and worth themselves: The reader has a possibility to see really peculiar images of the past life forms. ... McMenamin's book contains a lot of interesting information, original interpretations, and novel ideas, and, thus, it is recommended to palaeontologists, especially palaeobiologists studying the Cambrian Explosion." (Dmitry A. Ruban, Rostov am Don, Zentralblatt fur Geologie und Palaontologie, ISS. 1-2, 2017)