Atlas of Florida Fossil Shells (Pliocene and Pleistocene Marine Gastropods) , by Edward J. Petuch, Ph.D.
Atlas of Florida Fossil Shells (Pliocene and Pleistocene Marine Gastropods) by Edward J. Petuch, Ph.D. Chicago Spectrum Press, 1994. xii + 394 pages, 20 figures, 1 unnumbered photo, 100 plates, all b/w. $60.00.
Anyone collecting Florida fossils has experienced great frustration trying to put names on his
finds using the references available.
All those Siphocypraea are rivalled only by the Busyconidae and Melongenidae for forms and variations.
But Dr. Edward Petuch, of the Department of Geology, Florida Atlantic University, has done us a great service in pulling them all together in his new Atlas of Florida Fossil Shells. (The Pliocene and Pleistocene gastropods, that is.
Eocene and those little Miocene species from the Panhandle are still in limbo for most of us.)
This heavily illustrated reference book is a pleasing 8½" X 11" size, stitched and cloth-bound, and lies open nicely for study at any page.
Open it to the Introduction and you have Dr. Petuch's
interesting and informative overview of fossil study in Florida, including his
own place in this continuum.
Open it to the Acknowledgements and you'll see many familiar names, collectors of molluscs both fossil and Recent, who have assisted Dr. Petuch
Open it to Chapter 1, the Lithostratigraphy and Biostratigraphic Nomenclature of the Floridian Plio-Pleistocene, and you're on your way to learning how to tell a Siphocypraea alligator from a Siphocypraea crocodila (maybe).
Here Dr. Petuch explains all those formations and units and such that keep a novice collector in a state of confusion.
Charts, columns, maps, photos and Dr. Petuch's
own charming drawings, called "ecological block" drawings, aid in our learning process.
Chapters 2 and 3 Cover "Faunal Types" and "Chronologically-Equivalent Units and Faunas."
We can only wish that Dr. Petuch
had been introduced to Dr. Conklin's publisher.