Life Before Man



In stock



A beautiful copy of the first printing from 1972, featuring cleaner and sharper reproduction of the 162 Burian paintings of prehistoric animal life contained herein than any of the later reprints. Out of print.

From the dustjacket:

Professor Spinar introduces the reader in a fascinating manner to the main forms of prehistoric life on earth. To explain the decisive turning-points in the past ages of life, author and illustrator pool their talents in an outstanding sequence of 162 specially prepared illustrations, more than 140 of them in full color and each with explanatory text. The drawings, accompanied by time charts showing the sequence of geological eras and the points at which various forms of life first appeared, bring vividly to life the conditions on our planet in its early days and the strange and fascinating animal life that once roamed its surface or moved in its seas.

The main text, which is illustrated with special drawings, opens with an account of the various theories that seek to explain the birth of the solar system and its planets. It continues with a detailed explanation of the evolution of living things, from the first signs of single-celled life to the arrival of the first marine vertebrates, from the appearance of giant reptiles and the earliest mammals to the emergence of the first ape-like ancestors of modern man. The book also includes an essay on the modern classification of plants and animals, a glossary of more than 100 useful terms, and an index. Throughout, the text is clear and readable, and no specialist knowledge is assumed. Zdenek Burian, the Czech artist working with Professor Spinar, is known internationally for his illustrations of prehistoric times.

162 color illustrations, 26 line drawings and diagrams, and 5 charts.


Zdenek Burian
Zdenek Spinar

Condition & Attributes

Fine in Near Fine dustjacket (only light wear to dustjacket)



Publishing Information

New York
1st American

Physical Description

11.2 inches
8.6 inches
228 pages
162 color and 26 black & white illustrations