Book title: The Story of Earth and Life
Subtitle: A southern African perspective on a 4.6-billion-year journey
Editors: Terence McCarthy; Bruce Rubidge
Cape Town, South Africa 2005
ISBN 9781770071483 / ISBN 978-1-77007-148-3
Softcover, 17x24 cm, 336 pages, throughout photos and illustrations
Until now, there has not been a publication that could offer both the interested lay reader and the entry-level tertiary student a concise, yet comprehensive, accurate, topical and readable account of our geological and palaeontological past. 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.
The Story of Earth and Life provides a fascinating insight into this remarkable history. Along the way readers will be enthralled by accounts of the Big Bang that marked the beginning of time and matter, by drifting and colliding continents, folding and fracturing rocks, meteors colliding with the Earth, volcanic eruptions, and the start of life.
Other topics include why South Africa is so rich in minerals, how glacial deposits came to be found in the Karoo, why dinosaurs became extinct, how mammals developed from reptiles, and how closely humans are related to the apes. Anyone interested in the landscape and ecosystems in which we live will be intrigued to discover how our natural landmarks were formed, from the deserts of Namibia to the mountains of the Western Cape or Mpumalanga.