Those who perhaps have had only a fleeting association with any form of vertebrate palaeontology should not be dissuaded by the title of this book. Thomson carefully uses the initial discoveries of the massive fossil bones from the saline springs of Big Bone Lick, Kentucky in the 1750s to begin the chronology of many of the major North American vertebrate fossil finds up until the late 1890s. These were the bones which were only later referred to as those of the Mastodon (Mammut americanum). The resultant timeline not only charts the development of this branch of palaeontology in...

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