This is primarily a book about fossil lagerstätten, those sites of exceptional preservation where, for one reason or another, the usually savage processes of decay and destruction have been slowed and allowed soft-bodied and poorly mineralized, or otherwise delicate, organisms to enter the fossil record. In ‘normal’ conditions these organisms are guzzled by scavengers and bacteria, and physically destroyed by abrasion. It is well known, therefore, that the fossils found in the vast majority of sedimentary rocks are but a small selection of the organisms that lived in the area at the time of deposition and that this record is...

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