By Scott A. Elias, with foreword by G. Russell Coope.
This book addresses science's long neglect of fossil insects by demonstrating their immense potential contribution to our knowledge of the paleoenvironmental record of the past 1.7 million years. In this first comprehensive survey of the field, Scott A. Elias recounts development of scholarship, reviews the fossil insect record from Quaternary deposits throughout the world, and points to rewarding areas for future research.
Elias discusses the methods used to sample and analyze Quaternary insect fossils as well as the principle characters used in their identification. He describes the mutual climatic range method of paleoclimate interpretation and offers data on distributional shifts and the longevity of modern species through the Quaternary. Using examples from Europe, Greenland, and North America, he reviews the methods employed in archaeological research.
Although nineteenth-century scientists believed that Pleistocene insect specimens belonged to extinct taxa, recent research reveals extraordinary species stability. Insects responded to climatic change by moving rather than evolving. Elias argues that because of this trait, and their more refined environmental sensitivity, fossil insects are often more reliable indicators of past environments and climates than the pollen data now commonly used. Quaternary Insects and Their Environment should be of use and interest to biologists, geologists, environmental scientists, and archaeologists.
31 black & white photographs, 42 line drawings, 6X9", 284 pp. Cloth: 1-56098-303-5H $40.00. Prices may be higher outside the Americas. UK, Europe & the World: contact IBD, Ltd., Campus 400, Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hempstead, Herts HP2 7EZ, England Tel: (0) 442 881900
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To see a summary of my other books, click on one of the following titles:
Ice Age Environments of Alaskan National Parks
Ice Age Environments of National Parks in the Rocky Mountains
Quaternary Entomology Dispatch (a newsletter)
Other natural history titles offered by Smithsonian Institution Press
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