[LMB] OT: just read
hungrycatco at gmail.com
Mon May 21 21:46:28 BST 2012
Heh, great interest from me - although a quick search of abebooks and book
depository show that I will have to save up to purchase. I was thinking in
terms of donating to my local Rock and Mineral Club library. Could you
possibly give me the web site address of the visitor centre or where on the
web there is information on the sites and trails you describe. That is the
sort of thing we like to put into our quarterly news magazine as most
amateur geology, and rockhound folk, like to travel.
Regards Helen Chapman
On 22 May 2012 00:50, Lois McMaster Bujold <lbujold at myinfmail.com> wrote:
> (Cc-ing my blog post to y'all, because why not.)
> _Fossil Horses: Systematics, Paleobiology, and Evolution of the Family
> Equidae_, by Bruce J. MacFadden. First published 1992. Cambridge
> University Press. ISBN 0-521-47708-5
> A few weeks ago, when out to visit my daughter, we took a day to drive
> around to the John Day fossil beds of Central Oregon, which were a
> revelation to both of us. The visitor center was particularly good, with a
> really primo display of well-selected goodies from the Age of Mammals found
> over the past century and a half of local exploration.
> The book I picked up at their book-stand was recommended by the
> clerk/guide when I exclaimed over their fossil horse display. Back when I
> was a horse-crazy little girl in the 1950s, horse evolution was explained
> in the colorfully illustrated pop-sci books of the day by a neat linear
> succession of five species, from the three-toed Eohippis forward to the
> Equus I knew and loved. Everything has changed in the half-century since
> then, including the name of the proto-horse, now Hyracotherium. And the
> neat linear succession of species has been replaced by a tree -- more of a
> shrub, really -- of a cladistically organized array of about a _hundred and
> fifty_ extinct fossil horse species.
> _ Fossil Horses_ is not precisely a book for the general reader -- as I
> plowed through certain chapters, I was profoundly thankful that I didn't
> have to remember all this stuff for a test, or even in the next hour -- but
> it did give an overview of a century and a half of progress in the science,
> all the recent changes (up to the early '90s -- now I wonder if anything
> interesting has cropped up in the two decades since), and, obliquely, a
> picture of how both earlier and modern paleobiologists work and think. It
> reminded me, weirdly, of _De Re Metallica_ that way; though the writers of
> these earnest tomes never parade themselves in front of their text, you can
> watch them slowly take shape behind it.
> It also gave the pleasure of following a really long, sustained,
> supported argument, a sort of anti-Internet experience that was the
> diametric opposite of the "Short-Attention-Span Theater" that I spend so
> much of my reading time on these days. (Though I admit, I didn't read it
> straight through; it took several days.) Recommended if you are either
> interested in how evolution is carefully reconstructed, or were once a
> horse-crazy child -- or better, both.
> I also highly recommend the Sheep Rock visitor center! It's a long
> day's drive around to see all three park sites, and we hit the explanatory
> stuff in the middle -- it would have been better to start there, and have
> two days and more time to hike around the trails. (I was especially
> bemused by the "Don't step on the rattlesnakes!" warnings.) But we did
> pretty well for the time we had.
> Ta, L.
> Lois-Bujold mailing list message sent to hungrycatco at gmail.com
> Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
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