The World of Fossils Publication date : May 1, 1996
Why is it that, when isolated on an island, men become giants while elephants become dwarfed? What was the climate in Paris 500,000 years ago? Was the human race humanity the result of a prior genocide?Jean Jacques Jaeger responds to these questions and many more, and demonstrates that, for those who know how to observe, these witnesses to the past incarnate and summarize a wealth of information about the extraordinary adventure of Life.An incredible fresco of evolution and it innumerable inventions, this book explores how a species that reigned the earth for millions of years could so quickly disappear, the audacious attempts to conquer hostile environments and merciless confrontations in the quest for the mastery of vast territories.Jean Jacques Jaeger describes hitherto unknown climates, fantastic geographies and forgotten seas and recounts the timid emergence of man who, once separated from his ancestors, began to walk upright, learned to live in communities, discovered fire and spread across the world and its climates.The author demonstrates how, through this kind of meticulous detective work, the past may be reconstituted and how mineral fragments make tangible the story of Evolution. An in depth look at a discipline from the inside out, which though long neglected is one of the most stimulating and fascinating of scientific fields. Jean Jacques Jaeger, a professor at the university of Montpellier, is a research director at the Institute des sciences de l'evolution, which is associated with the CNRS.