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After the Dinosaurs: The Age of Mammals (Life of the Past) Hardcover – July 13, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Recommended. General readers; interested upper―level undergraduates through faculty/researchers." ―Choice



"... Prothero's new book has the advantage of something for everyone.... A specialist can read it for a fine overview of many aspects of life throughout the age of mammals; a general reader will get the same overview, plus an introduction to a great many new topics to research further. This is about the most readable volume imaginable..." ―Reports of the National Center for Science Education

From the Publisher

2007 AAUP Public and Secondary School Library Selection
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Product Details

  • Series: Life of the Past
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; 1St Edition edition (July 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253347335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253347336
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jerald R Lovell on August 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Owing to the undeniable "glamour" of dinosaurs, mammalian evolution is a sort of neglected stepchild in literature about the unfolding pageant of life. This book is a most worthy step in removing that status.

As with his other works, Dr. Prothero's present text is well organized and easily read, although some prior familiarity with evolution and anatomy is desireable. The very fine graphics and drawn pictures accompany the text rather precisely, and reference to them is made much easier than is the case where one must search elsewhere to to find meaningful illustrations.

Dr. Prothero's research and compilation is outstanding, particularly with respect to lesser known epochs of the Cenozoic Era. As a result of reading this book, I have gained a much greater, clearer understanding of mammalian development as a whole, over the Earth, and not just in one geographical province. This book should be required reading for anyone interested in the development of life, and is an utter necessity to anyone truly into the development of mammals.

I have unhesitatingly given this work a five-star appellation, and would have gone higher had I been able. It will provide the reader with endless hours of enjoyable reading and reams of pertinent information. Just don't loan it out to anyone with a similar interest.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"After the Dinosaurs" is basically an overview of the common fauna of each continent and the environments they lived in. Although there is a lot of good information, if you're looking for specifics on a particular species or group, you might be disappointed. However, if you want a good scientifically sound book summarizing the 'age of mammals', this is an excellent resource.

The first chapter summarizes how fossil evidence is used, and the second deals mainly with theories about the extinction of the dinosaurs. Each subsequent chapter is a description of the progressive periods, including environment and typical fauna of the period being discussed. Those with a casual interest may find it too technical at times, particularly the descriptions of geologic evidence for interpreting the environment.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really wish I had read the reviews more closely before ordering this book. The description makes it sound like it's ABOUT prehistoric mammals, where really it's about climate change and geology and flora. There are just 5 color plates and the rest of the drawings are sketches from 1920's. I was really disappointed as this book tells you NOTHING about the animals themselves, rather just lists where and when they lived. It's an interesting book, but not what was expected by the description.
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Format: Hardcover
AFTER THE DINOSAURS: THE AGE OF MAMMALS finally takes the focus off the dinosaur and into the next era: an age where Earth was inhabited by an array of strange creatures, from huge hornless rhinos to an elephant-like hoofed mammal. Family trees of evolutionary species and discussions of evidence blends with an analysis of climate change and other environmental influences on the age of mammals for college-level audiences and collections strong in science history.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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The book traces history of life after the dinosaurs, with focus on the changing climate and environments, showing life changed in the sea, in the air and on the land. Sea life seem to explain a lot about what was happening both in the waters and on dry land. The only reason I took a star was that the author, in order to keep the pages down to 316 had to smooth out a lot of the history, taking away the details that many people may wish to know, like how the animals lived, loved and died. But if you are looking for a general time line of life just after the death of the dinosaurs and ending in the 21st Century that traces the development of mammals, this is the book for you, new or used.
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I will admit that this book is a little dry, to say the least. But it is extremely interesting, in depth and informative. The author tries to make it accessible to anyone interested in reading it, and for the most part he succeeds, but it will make a lot more sense and be a lot less weary of a reading experience to someone with a basic geology and some pretty intense biology knowledge. Even lacking that with a dictionary and a encyclopedia App in reach, anyone interested in the subject should be able to get through it quite easily. I'll admit I had both handy. The book itself covers an extremely broad subject area, focusing in a way on mammals, but also covering plants, sea life and the global climate through the ages in general very thoroughly. The sea life especially gets covered in great detail. It also covers the last part of the reign of the dinosaur and covers the different extinction events and theories. It also covers all subsequent extinction events and all the factors and ideas surrounding them. All in all, its a really enjoyable book and I'm glad I picked it up. Its one book I've come across so far that could really just give you a solid basic grasp on what's gone on with our planet since the beginning of the end for the dinosaurs.
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Format: Hardcover
For life on the land, it was simply a resetting of the clock. A great rock arrived on Earth to precipitate - or complete - a massive extinction. Successfully dominating the planet for over 120 million years, the hordes of saurians were expunged. The sea-side plains and woodlands they had inhabited were now empty. Not entirely devoid of life, however, for sharp-eyed creatures who had been around as long as those dinosaurs peered out from hiding places, observing the emptiness. They quickly began to occupy it for themselves. In so doing, they founded an immense diversity of lineages, one of which ultimately led to ourselves.

Donald Prothero, who has contributed much to our knowledge of fossils, the scientific process and mammalian evolution, offers here a work of great scope. Tracking the changes in life over 65 million years is no small task, and he copes with the challenge well. In this work, he lists the forms of mammal life, some of the sea life along the shore and in the deep, and the environment shifts in general. Those environment shifts were great prompts to changes in life and he explains as much as is known about what caused the Earth to warm from the end of the Cretaceous through the Eocene when temperatures went into decline.

Although North America receives what seems an inordinate amount of attention, that is due to geophysical conditions here through the Cenozoic and to the rich fossil trove it has produced. That doesn't prevent the author from addressing the rest of the planet, which he does in extensive detail. The interaction of life between Europe, Asia and North America is nearly continuous during the period. Africa remained close, but detached, as was the case with South America for many millennia.
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