This German book gives a good, modern overview of the history of the class Bivalvia, such as their systematics and evolution, as well as palaeoecological, biogeographical and stratigraphical aspects. Aimed at palaeontologists, it has much to offer not only to the student of palaeontology and biology, but also to the interested layman and the general scientist (e.g. geologist) who wants a key to some aspects of bivalve palaeontology. The book deals primarily with the fossil bivalves but, of course, uses biological information to interpret the fossil evidence. Abundant recent references give an opportunity to catch up with the literature on specific subjects. It becomes obvious from the text that the authors are actively engaged in research and fully aware of the latest views on (for example) the earliest developments of the class and its ties with other mollusc classes, such as the Rostroconchia, the systematics of the group and its evolution, giving their own, well-founded opinion.