General Books on the Fossil Record and Evolution

  • Allmon, W. D., 2009, Evolution & Creationism: A Very Short Guide, 2nd edition, Paleontological Research Institution, Ithaca, NY, 128 pp.
  • Benton, M. J., 2008, The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 170 pp.
  • Fenton, C. L., and M. A. Fenton, 1958, The Fossil Book: A Record of Prehistoric Life, Doubleday, Garden City, NY, 482 pp. (A well-illustrated classic.)
  • Fortey, R. A., 1998, Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 346 pp.
  • Knoll, A. H., 2003, Life On a Young Planet: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 277 pp.
  • Prothero, D. R., 2006, After the Dinosaurs: The Age of Mammals, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 362 p.
  • Sampson, S. D., 2011, Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 352 pp.
  • Shubin, N., 2009, Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body, Vintage Books, NY, 256 pp.
  • Switek, B., 2010, Written In Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place In Nature, Bellevue Literary Press, New York, 320 pp.
  • Thomson, K. S., 2005, Fossils: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 147 pp.

Guides to Collecting and Identifying Fossils

  • Arduini, P., G. Teruzzi, and S. S. Horenstein, 1986, Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Fossils, Simon & Schuster, New York, 317 pp.
  • Garcia, F. A., & D. S. Miller, 1998, Discovering Fossils: How To Find and Identify Remains of the Prehistoric Past, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 212 pp.
  • Lichter, G., 1993, Fossil Collector’s Handbook: Finding, Identifying, Preparing, Displaying, Sterling Publishing Company, New York, 160 pp.
  • Macdonald, J. R., 1983, The Fossil Collector’s Handbook: A Paleontology Field Guide, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 193 pp.
  • Murray, M., 1967, Hunting for Fossils: A Guide to Finding and Collecting Fossils in All Fifty States, Macmillan Company, Toronto, Canada, 348 pp.
  • Nudds, J. R., and P. A. Selden, 2008, Fossil Ecosystems of North America: A Guide to the Sites and their Extraordinary Biotas, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 288 pp.
  • Parker, S., 1990, The Practical Paleontologist. A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding, Studying, and Interpreting Fossils, Simon & Schuster, New York, 159 pp.
  • Parker, S., 2007, Fossil Hunting: An Expert Guide to Finding and Identifying Fossils and Creating a Collection, Southwater, London, UK, 96 pp.
  • Ransom, J. E., 1964, Fossils In America: Their Nature, Origin, Identification and Classification and a Range Guide To Collecting Sites, Harper and Row, New York, 402 pp.
  • Thompson, I., 1982, The Audubon Society Field Guide To North American Fossils, Knopf, New York, 846 pp.
  • Walker, C., D. Ward, & C. Keates, 2009, Fossils, Dorling Kindersley (Smithsonian Handbooks), New York, 320 pp.

Fossils of the Northwest Central

  • Benton, Rachel C., Dennis O. Terry Jr., Emmett Evanoff, and Hugh Gregory McDonald, 2015, The White River Badlands: Geology and Paleontology, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 240 pp.
  • Boyd, D. W., and D. R. Lageson, 2014, Self-guided walking tour of Paleoproterozoic stromatolites in the Medicine Bow Mountains, Wyoming, Wyoming State Geological Survey Public Information Circular 45, 26 pp., .
  • Brosius, Liz, 2006, Windows to the Past—A Guidebook to Common Invertebrate Fossils of Kansas, Kansas Geological Survey (Educational Series 16), Lawrence, KS, 56 pp.
  • Cvancara, A. M., 1966, Revision of the fauna of the Cannonball Formation (Paleocene) of North and South Dakota, Part 1. Bivalvia, Contributions from the Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan, 20(10): 1 - 97.
  • Cvancara, A. M., and J. W. Hoganson, 1993, Vertebrates of the Cannonball Formation (Paleocene) in North and South Dakota, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 13(1): 1 - 23.
  • Feldmann, R. M., and R. A. Heimlich, 1980, The Black Hills Field Guide, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, IA, 190 p.
  • Foster, J., 2007, Jurassic West: The Dinosaurs of the Morrison Formation and Their World, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 416 p.
  • Grande, L., 2013, The Lost World of Fossil Lake: Snapshots from Deep Time, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 432 pp.
  • Hagadorn, J. W., 2002, Bear Gulch: An exceptional upper Carboniferous plattenkalk, In: D. J. Bottjer, W. Etter, J. W. Hagadorn, and C. M. Tang, eds., Exceptional Fossil Preservation: A Unique View on the Evolution of Marine Life, Columbia University Press, New York, pp. 167 - 183.
  • Horner, J. R., 2001, Dinosaurs Under the Big Sky, Mountain Publishing, Missoula, MT, 195 p.
  • Johnson, K., 2007, Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway: An Epoch Tale of a Scientist and an Artist on the Ultimate 5,000-mile Paleo Road Trip, Fulcrum Publishing, Golden, CO, 208 pp. [illustrated by Ray Troll]
  • Larson, N. L., S. D. Jorgensen, R. A. Farrar, and P. L. Larson, 1997, Ammonites and the Other Cephalopods of the Pierre Seaway, Geoscience Press, Tucson, AZ, 148 pp.
  • Martin, J. E., and D. C. Parris, eds., 2007, The geology and paleontology of the Late Cretaceous marine deposits of the Dakotas, Geological Society of America Special Paper 427, 256 pp.
  • National Park Service, 1980, Agate Fossil Beds, National Park Service (Handbook 107), Washington, DC, 95 pp.
  • Smiley, C. J., ed., 1985, Late Cenozoic History of the Pacific Northwest: Interdisciplinary Studies on the Clarkia Fossil Beds of Northern Idaho, Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science/California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA, 417 pp.

Fossils of the States of the Northwest Central

The Paleontology Portal. (North American fossil record and geologic and climate histories, by state).


  • Fossils in Idaho: Digital Atlas of Idaho.
  • Ross, S. H., and C. N. Savage, 1967, Idaho Earth Science: Geology, Fossils, Climate, Water, and Soils, Idaho Bureau of Mines and Geology (Earth Science Series 1), Boise, ID, 271 pp.



North Dakota

South Dakota