at a 90-degree angle to today's position. Northern Africa was at the South Pole. Well, I'm getting carried away, so will conclude by saying that the author, a British paleontologist, uses biography, natural history, geology, and even a bit of travelogue to reel in the reader. I was enchanted.
I started this with no idea how interesting I'd find it, but it was recommended on one of my LT groups. I could never be a scientist (I haven't the attention span), but I'm now a trilobite fan. Trilobites were a group of arthropods which lived during the pre-Cambrian to Permian time periods. IOW, from approximately 540-250 ma (million years ago). They ranged in size from a less than a millimeter to that of a dinner plate. They were salt-water creatures, some deep water crawlers and blind, some free-swimming, some along shallow shorelines. Their eyes (of those who had them) were made of calcite. Fossils abound worldwide, and that's what makes them particularly interesting even to the layperson: because of how long this class of animals survived, and their easily-fossilized exoskeleton, they have been of crucial help in plotting the movements of continental masses through several comings together and breakups, including Pangaea, about 300 ma, and the previous supercontinent, Pannotia (about 600 ma). For instance, did you know that England and Wales used to be part of a land mass which included eastern (but not western) Newfoundland? The land grouping is now referred to as Avalonia (who said scientists have no sense of humor?) Western Newfoundland was an ocean away. During the Ordovician (say 485 ma), the Laurentian continent, including North America and Greenland, lay along the equator -