The region around Cincinnati, Ohio, is known throughout the world for the abundant and beautiful fossils found in limestones and shales that were deposited as sediments on the sea floor during the Ordovician Period, about 450 million years ago - some 250 million years before the dinosaurs lived. In Ordovician time, the shallow sea that covered much of what is now the North American continent teemed with marine life. The Cincinnati area has yielded some of the world's most abundant and best preserved animals such as trilobites, bryozoans, brachiopods, molluscs, echinoderms, and graptolites. So famous are the Ordovician fossils and rock of the Cincinnati region that geologists use the term "Cincinnatian" for strata of the same age all over North America.
This generously illustrated book refines more than 150 years of research in this fossil treasure trove. It details the life habits of these ancient animals, their communities, their living relatives, the environmental conditions of the ancient sea, as well as the nature of the rock strata in which the fossils are found. The book also traces the long history of scientific study in this "field laboratory" that spawned generations of paleontologists and geologists who were inspired by the Cincinnatian fossils. Intended for amateur scientists as well as trained students and researchers, this exceptional volume reveals not only what we know, but how we know what we know about this remarkable "sea without fish."