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After the Dinosaurs: The Age of Mammals (Life of the Past) Hardcover – July 13, 2006
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"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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Diane C. Donovan
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author seems to stress warm and cold ocean currents and the land massses sliding on the tectonic plates as the major long term influences on evolution,besides the rotation of... Read morePublished on January 1, 2014 by Douglas E. Libert
I bought this book several years ago and it rekindled an interest in life in the past that continues to this day. Mr. Read morePublished on October 26, 2013 by jdh
First, I thought the book was very good with a couple of caveats that I mention below. While not a criticism, the book seems targeted to a very small audience - paleontologists and... Read morePublished on January 6, 2013 by Coltrane
Prothero is a "go to" authority on this subject. This book is about as clear and authoritative as any. Read morePublished on September 18, 2012 by Wayne Mones
Enjoyed the book, it was a pleasurable read and a terribly interesting topic. I did find the term "non-avian dinosaurs" somewhat tedious and cumbersome after a time. Read morePublished on May 15, 2011 by Mac
This book is a wonderful adaptation of scientific research into a readable story of prehistory. It delves not only into the fossil record of animal and plant history, but also... Read morePublished on October 11, 2009 by J.P.E.W.
This book claims to cover the evolution of mammals during the Cenozoic era. What it actually covers is changes in global climate over the past 65 million years. Read morePublished on March 10, 2009 by M. Greene