The Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa

Palaeontology Books

The Story of Earth & Life

Bruce Rubidge - Terence McCarthy - The Story of Earth Life

Southern Africa is without equal in terms of geology, a treasure trove of valuable minerals with a geological history dating back some 3 600 million years. In addition, the evolution of plants and animals, especially mammals and dinosaurs, is well preserved in the region, which also has among the best records of the origin of modern man.

The Story of Earth and Life provides a fascinating insight into this remarkable history: how southern Africa's mineral deposits were formed; how its life evolved and its landscape was shaped; the Big Bang that marked the beginning of time and matter; drifting and colliding continents; folding and fracturing rocks; meteors colliding with the Earth; volcanic eruptions, and the start of life.

Author: Bruce Rubidge (Prof); Terence McCarthy
ISBN: 9781770071483
Release Date: October 2005
Imprint: Nature
Pages: 336



Famous Dinosaurs of Africa

Famous Dinosaurs of Africa

Famous Dinosaurs of Africa, the first children's book from distinguished scientist and paleobiologist Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan and illustrated by Luis V. Reywill officially be launched on the 18th April 2008 at the SciFest Africa Festival, sub-Saharan Africa's biggest science festival, held in Grahamstown, South Africa from 16-22 APRIL 2008.

The book is written for children, but has a broad appeal to anyone interested in learning more about dinosaurs - more specifically African dinosaurs, that are in no way less magnificent or intriguing than their better-known cousins.

Fossils of dinosaurs have been discovered across the African continent, ranging from such diverse locations as the sandstone flats of the Karoo to the plains of Kenya, contributing significantly to the field of paleontology.

Short, informative, chapters feature 26 of Africa's best-known dinosaur species. Details on where they were found, their nature, size and diet as well as the meaning of their scientific names are given.

The featured dinosaurs are brought to life by the vivid illustrations of full-time paleo-artist Luis V. Rey, whose digital paintings of dinosaurs have appeared in many publications worldwide. Luis is an illustrator, painter, sculptor and author who lives and works in London. His work has been featured in exhibitions in the USA and the UK.

Famous Dinosaurs of Africa also includes four simple hands-on projects and a fold-out poster.



The Microstructure of Dinosaur Bone:
Deciphering Biology with Fine-Scale Techniques

The Microstructure of Dinosaur Bone: Deciphering Biology with Fine-Scale Techniques

For millions of years, clues to the biology of dinosaurs lie locked within the microscopic structure of their bones. Here one of the world's leading experts on fossil bone microstructure synthesizes more than 150 years of research to expose the meaning of dinosaur bone microstructure.

In this first book dedicated to dinosaur bone microstructure, Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan begins with a general overview of living bone structure and composition and then explains how bone structure changes upon death and during fossilization. She meticulously unravels why the microscopic structure of fossil bone remains intact after millions of years of fossilization. She also provides a photographic atlas of the kinds of bone tissue found in dinosaurs and expounds on their biological significance. The final chapters offer insight into growth patterns of dinosaurs and the biology of Mesozoic birds. The book concludes with a reflective discussion on what bone microstructure can and cannot disclose about dinosaur physiology. Drawing from sources across the field of bone histology, Chinsamy-Turan paints a holistic view of the current state of the science and presents a fresh perspective on the relevance of the field to understanding the Dinosauria.


Publication Date: June 15, 2005 | ISBN-10: 080188120X | ISBN-13: 978-0801881206



Forerunners of Mammals

Forerunners of Mammals - Edited by Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan

About 320 million years ago a group of reptiles known as the synapsids emerged and forever changed Earth's ecological landscapes. This book discusses the origin and radiation of the synapsids from their sail-backed pelycosaur ancestor to their diverse descendants, the therapsids or mammal-like reptiles, that eventually gave rise to mammals. It further showcases the remarkable evolutionary history of the synapsids in the Karoo Basin of South Africa and the environments that existed at the time. By highlighting studies of synapsid bone microstructure, it offers a unique perspective of how such studies are utilized to reconstruct various aspects of biology, such as growth dynamics, biomechanical function, and the attainment of sexual and skeletal maturity.

A series of chapters outline the radiation and phylogenetic relationships of major synapsid lineages and provide direct insight into how bone histological analyses have led to an appreciation of these enigmatic animals as once-living creatures. The penultimate chapter examines the early radiation of mammals from their nonmammalian cynodont ancestors, and the book concludes by engaging the intriguing question of when and where endothermy evolved among the therapsids.


Radiation • Histology • Biology
Edited by Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan
Series: Life of the Past
Distribution: World
Publication date: 10/28/2011
Format: cloth 352 pages, 27 color illus., 78 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-35697-0