This valuable book provides information on fossils, fossil collecting, and price ranges for most specimens illustrated. The comprehensive text begins with the earliest fossil record of life from strata representative of "deep time," called the Precambrian by geologists. Foremost in this early record of life are stromatolites, structures formed by very primitive photosynthetic life forms. Attractive, color photographs illustrate this highly informative section of the book. Also discussed and illustrated are various problematic fossil-like objects found in very ancient rock strata and the different ways in which they have been interpreted. Paleontological puzzles, such as latest Precambrian vendozoans, are covered as well. Other chapters feature fossils of the Cambrian Period, when animal life became obvious. Fascinating color photographs show trilobites (prehistoric creatures second only to dinosaurs in popularity), plus other Cambrian fossils. Includes helpful glossary of terms.