- The Paleontological Society
J. Alan Holman. 2001. In Quest of Great Lakes Ice Age Vertebrates. Michigan State University Press, East Lansing, 230 p.
The intended audience for In Quest of Great Lakes Ice Age Vertebrates includes the general public, students, and teachers, as well as professional biologists and geologists. Despite this incredibly broad range of potential readers, Holman succeeds. The book is directed toward the student end of the above spectrum but there is something special for everyone, even those living beyond the Great Lakes region. Use of “Great Lakes” in the title, however, is somewhat misleading because the book reviews the Pleistocene of states and provinces contiguous to the western Great Lakes. Those states south of Lakes Erie and Ontario, Pennsylvania and New York, are not included
The ten chapters described below are accompanied by extensive list of references, both technical and general. These arranged by individual or multiple chapters. Some are further subdivided by geography, which can complicate an author search. Two indices, one general and the other taxonomic, are well presented and there is a complete faunal list, organized by region, of fossils recovered from the area. The first six chapters are primarily for newcomers, the last four will be appreciated by all.
Chapter 1, “Introduction,” is a primer for geological (e.g., uniformitarianism), biological (what is a vertebrate), and paleontological (fossil preservation) terminology. Each topic is covered concisely, frequently within a paragraph, and will assist students with interpretative aspects of the book.
Chapter 2, “The Pleistocene Ice Age,” reviews the academic history of the Great Ice Age, compares chronological terms used in both North America and Europe, and illustrates the positions of the Wisconsinan ice sheet between 9.9 and 21 k. Most importantly it describes continental-scale habitat destruction inflicted by advancing ice and then the subsequent wasteland open for recolonization …