I am very much so an amateur when it comes to the world of fossils and paleontology, but I am slowly learning more little by little as I expand my collection of books and do occasional field work collecting fossils.
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Title: Exceptional Cambrian Fossils from Utah: A Window into the Age of Trilobites by Val G. Gunther, Richard A. Robison and Loren E. Babcock
Review: I’m not going to pretend that I know a lot about the subject of trilobite fossils in Utah, as it’s not really a subject I have spent extensive time reading about, but I will say that the layout of this book is excellent. One of the things I need when reading about fossils is a lot of photos to provide context as to what exactly I’m looking at and to help me interpret what the creature or plant is that I’m looking at. This book does just that. If you want to go trilobite hunting in Utah, I would highly recommend this book.
Title: Fossils by Cyril Walker and David Ward
Review: With the fossil record stretching back billions of years, there is no way that a single book can cover it all, but I do think that looking at many photos of fossils can help you to develop an eye for them in the field and this book does just that. It’s a beginners book, and we all need to start somewhere and for me at the time I got this it was helpful, but for the identification of fossils you will want a book for your geographic area.
Title: Fossils of the World: A Comprehensive, Practical Guide to Collecting and Studying Fossils by V. Turek
Review: I have found this book to be very helpful, being that fossils are somewhat of a side interest for me and I do not dedicate large amounts of time to the subject like I do with rocks and minerals. It’s full of large color photos and many line drawings, the layout of the book is very similar to another title I have Minerals of the World by Rudolf Duda which makes looking up different fossils easy. When I purchased this book in 2021 I got it used for $3.95, and it was worth every penny. I would highly recommend this title if you are just getting to the world of fossils.
Title: Fossils: A Guide to Prehistoric Life by Frank Harold
Review: These little golden guides are rather handy despite their age. This fossil guide came out in 1962, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, since the basic information contained within is still applicable. The illustrations are excellent, and in some situations an illustration is better than a photo since different aspects of the image can be emphasized if need be. I think if you’re a more serious collector of fossils, or you already have some basic knowledge of the subject, this might be a title you will want to pass on, but for those of you new to the world of fossils, this can provide you with the basics you will need to know before moving on to more advanced and modern books on the subject. It’s also important to point out here that over the years they have changed the artwork on the cover of the book a number of times with different reprints of it.
Title: Oregon Fossils by Elizabeth L. Orr & William N. Orr Second Edition
Review: If there is a more definitive source for information about fossils in Oregon, I would like to see it, as this title is undoubtedly the best book I have seen on the subject of fossils in Oregon. It’s not just another identification book, but it does cover that aspect. It also has a lot of information about notable collectors and discoveries made in the state, and no fossil collector in Oregon should be without this.