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


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After the Dinosaurs: The Age of Mammals (Life of the Past) + Megafauna: Giant Beasts of Pleistocene South America (Life of the Past) + Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy
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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: #347,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

More About the Author

Donald R. Prothero has taught geology for over 33 years as Professor of Geology at Occidental College in Los Angeles, and Lecturer in Geobiology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and currently at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA. He earned M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in geological sciences from Columbia University in 1982, and a B.A. in geology and biology (highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of California, Riverside. He is currently the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of 33 books and over 250 scientific papers, including five leading geology textbooks and three trade books as well as edited symposium volumes and other technical works. He is on the editorial board of Skeptic magazine, and in the past has served as an associate or technical editor for Geology, Paleobiology and Journal of Paleontology. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the Paleontological Society, and the Linnaean Society of London, and has also received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Science Foundation. He has served as the Vice President of the Pacific Section of SEPM (Society of Sedimentary Geology), and five years as the Program Chair for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. In 1991, he received the Schuchert Award of the Paleontological Society for the outstanding paleontologist under the age of 40. He has also been featured on several television documentaries, including episodes of Paleoworld (BBC), Prehistoric Monsters Revealed (History Channel), Entelodon and Hyaenodon (National Geographic Channel) and Walking with Prehistoric Beasts (BBC).

Customer Reviews

This book is a most worthy step in removing that status.
Jerald R Lovell
Enjoyed the book, it was a pleasurable read and a terribly interesting topic.
Mac
You can get a lot from this book but it took real work for me to finish it.
Coltrane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful 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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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 8, 2006
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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 6, 2006
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Valdivielso on January 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Susan Bell on May 31, 2013
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on September 23, 2008
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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