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Ancient Forests: A Closer Look at Fossil Wood

Ancient Forests: A Closer Look at Fossil Wood



  • Frank J. Daniels (Photographer)
  • Richard D. Dayvault (Author)  


  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Western Colorado Pub Co (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966293819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966293814
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 11.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 pounds


Book Description


Perhaps the most intriguing, beautiful, and informative fossil wood book of all time, exploring the subject with images to illustrate each point — with Scanning Electron Microscope images, digital micro images, macro photographs, and medium format photographs.

Frank Daniels and geologist Dick Dayvault team up to explore the intricacies of fossil wood by leading the reader on an expedition into the micro world of fossil wood mineralization and cell structures.

1600 color photographs, charts, and diagrams, including 438 fossil wood micro images, 40 Geologic Landscapes ™, and 46 thin section micrographs from modern conifers and hardwoods.

Enormous 7 1/2 pound book with 456 11 by 12 inch pages

Specimen photographs from worldwide locations, including numerous woods, cones, ferns, cycads, and short shoots, and including Acrostichum, Araucaria mirabilis, Araucarioxylon, Aurealcaulis moorei, Behuninia provoensis, Calamites, Carpolithus radiatus, Carporichnus bertheorum, Carya, Casuarina, Cupressinoxylon, Cyathodendron texanum, cycadeoid, Dadoxylon, Ginkgo, Grammatopteris, Hermanophyton glismannii, Hermanophyton taylorii, Jensensispermum redmondi, Juglans, Juniperus, Metasequoia, Osmunda, Palmoxylon, Pararaucaria, Pityoxylon, Platanoxylon, Podocarpoxylon, Protoyucca shadishii, Psaronius, Quercus, Rhexoxylon, Schilderia adamanica, Sequoia, Steinerocaulis radiatus, Taxodioxylon, Tempskya, Tietea singularis, Trochodendron, Ulmus, and Woodworthia arizonica.

Fossil wood specimens from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Gondwana, Great Britain, Greece, Indonesia, Malagasy Republic, Pangea, Paraguay, Turkey and Zimbabwe; and from Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming in the United States.

Major chapters address Fossil Wood Structure and Identification, The Process of Wood Transformation to Stone, Fossil Woods from the Western United States and around the World, and 3 Major Museum Collections of Fossil Woods.

From the Author

I would like to share this review from CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. Science and Technology-Earth Science Daniels, Frank J. Ancient forests: a closer look at fossil wood. by Frank J. Daniels and Richard D. Dayvault; photos by Frank J. Daniels. Western Colorado , 2006. 450p bibl index afp ISBN 0-9662938-1-9, $89.95 . Reviewed in 2006sep CHOICE. Here is a coffee-table quarto-sized work that goes well beyond the insipid into the world of the useful. The book is a photographic survey of most, if not all, of the major petrified wood deposits known to collectors worldwide. Chapter 1 presents visual keys for the identification of polished slabs of petrified wood. A discussion on petrifaction of wood, which is not available in such an accessible form in the primary scientific literature, is a valuable addition to the taphonomy of fossil plants. Browsing through the numerous superb illustrations gives the same feeling as sifting through the dusty drawers of one of the world’s great museums. There is a schism in the paleontology world between "amateurs/collectors" and the "academics/professionals." Though this volume appears to fall on the collector’s side, there is enough crossover to make its purchase a worthwhile addition to the academician’s library. Personally, this reviewer is jealous of the collectors who have the time and resources to produce such a fine work, but it is difficult not to recommend this tome as a tribute to the wonderful world of fossil plants–it is way underpriced. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels. — P. K. Strother, Boston College

About the Author

Frank J. Daniels holds a degree in History from the University of Denver and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a member and past president of the Grand Junction Gem and Mineral Club. In 2004 he was inducted into the National Rockhound Hall of Fame in recognition for his work on Petrified Wood: The World of Fossilized Wood, Cones, Ferns, and Cycads. He was the first inductee in the fossil category for work with plant fossils. He is also a member of American Mensa. He currently works as publisher for Western Colorado Publishing Company and as a landscape and nature photographer.

Richard D. Dayvault holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geology from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina and is a registered geologist in Utah and Wyoming. He is employed as a contractor for the Department of Energy working in environmental restoration projects. Mr. Dayvault has been a consulting editor for Rocks & Minerals magazine for 30 years and has contributed many articles on minerals and fossils for this publication. He is also a member of the Grand Junction Geological Society and the Grand Junction Gem and Mineral Club and has authored a number of articles on the geology and paleontology of Western Colorado and eastern Utah.



The best book on fossil wood bar none, April 10, 2006

I have been an amateur fossil hunter for 60 years and on rare occasion a book of this quality is printed.

The author states that the book is mostly done about beautiful specimens and is not as devoted to the scientific side of fossil wood. For my interests as an amateur there is a great deal of material on how wood is fossilized and the best description I have ever read on how opalization occurs. I think the author does more than he thinks with scientific information.

If you are at all interested in fossils woods from a beauty standpoint then this is a "must have" book.

His previous book (which I also own) "Petrified Wood" is also in the above catagory.

I don’t know how the publisher can produce this book for 85 dollars with the quantity and quality of color plates (1600) and the number of pages (456).

I hope this review has been helpful to the avid amateur collector.  

Magnificent, June 17, 2006

American Forests and his earlier book Petrified Wood are amazingly beautiful books. I have seen a few of the petrified wood samples in museums which are shown in these books, and the photoimages correspond to the authentic samples. I have two other petrified wood photo books that I have loaned out but I don’t remember their titles (mostly chapters by German authors). Daniels two books are the very best. Howard McPherson  


This is a wonderful book. A photographic and scientific masterpiece. The print quality is excellent.

A masterpiece, October 28, 2006