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Dinosaur Lives: Unearthing an Evolutionary Saga Paperback – June 15, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (June 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156006073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156006071
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,690,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Dinosaurs fascinate and captivate us, yet we really know relatively little about them--and that only from a fragmentary fossil record painstakingly reconstructed by paleontologists. Dinosaur Lives offers a colorful first-person account of one paleontologist as he uncovers fossilized bones, eggs, and more from the wastelands of Montana. John R. Horner and Edwin Dobb explain the process of prospecting for paleontological clues and what the fossil record tells us about dinosaur anatomy and their behavior. Much of the news is surprising: dinosaurs probably weren't reptiles at all but more closely related to birds, and many were social animals that lived in herds. Especially fascinating is trivia such as the fact that the ostensibly fearsome T. Rex was probably a scavenger akin to a vulture. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Dinosaur doyen Horner changes how we look at thunder lizards.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Eric B. Norris on September 7, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dinosaur Lives introduces the lay reader (that would be you and me) to a number of exciting ideas. The book provides us with an update to Horner's field work since he wrote "Digging Dinosaurs," but it also delves deeper into some of the bigger ideas concerning dinosaurs. A large portion of the book is devoted to speculation about the behavior of dinosaurs, especially the raising of young and herd/pack associations. What interested me most, however, is Horner's deconstruction of Linnean taxonomy, and the description of cladistics as a more powerful tool to look at relationships between living and extinct creatures. For those of us raised on the idea of speciation, this is powerful stuff. You may find, as I did, that light bulbs start popping in your head as you realize that the very way you think about a subject can severely limit your ability to perceive new ideas.
If all this sounds a bit airy-fairy, Horner does a much better job than I can here explaining some pretty complex stuff in a very simple way. My only complaints about the book are that Horner sometimes can be a bit wordy while telling us what he is about to tell us. I could have used a bit more technical detail in some of his descriptions, and certainly the illustrations should have been more complete. These are minor complaints, however. This is a fascinating book for anyone who likes thinking about dinosaurs, and the endless cycles of life. You don't need to have any prior knowledge to thoroughly enjoy this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joe Zika TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Dinosaur Lives: Unearthing an Evolutionary Saga written by John R. Horner is a well-written account of paleontological fieldwork told in an engaging style. This book is the continuation of the book Digging Dinosaurs one of the author's previous books.
Horner is a thinker as has helped out on numerous motion pictures to make the dinosaurs seem real and alive. In this book we get to read (speculation) about dinosaur eggs, their young and their nests as found from the fossil record.
Horner has an infectous style when he write and you can't help but getting into lock-step with him as he writes a telling-tale, making the read feel as if you are there right along side. Our understanding of how dinosaurs grew up, raised their young, and socialized with other dinosaurs are brought out in this book.
There is still a lot of information yet to be discovered, but Horner has been making long strides in elucidating information and answering some of the nagging questions involving dinosaurs. Some of the new evidence and arguments regarding the major dinosaur controversies of the day, being that of warm-blooded verses cold-blooded are tackled in this book.
This book is a quick read and should be on your bookshelf as the author's discoveries regarding the dinosaur are ground-breaking and unparalleled. Paleontologist Robert Bakker is another forward thinker when it comes to dinosaurs.
This book gives some credence to Bakker's theory about the inland sea retreats and the dinosaurs from the eastern part of the North American continent mixed with those of the West, exchanging bacteria and other pathogens for which the recieving group had no inherent resistance. This could be a slow death or a prolonged one depending upon the pathogen involved. Also, climate was changing substantially at that time as well, becoming cooler, and more arid, this could slowly add to the demise of the dinosaurs.
This book was an enjoyable, engaging read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 1998
Format: Hardcover
John Horner presents a very clear picture of what it means to do field work in paleontology. The reader gets a good taste of what it would be like to work on a dig, including the scientific way of looking at things, the down side of heat and hard work, the excitement of discovery, the fun and frustration of trying to figure out how to get a sample safely out of the ground and transported to a waiting vehicle. Horner's enthusiasm and love of his subject come through clearly, but it was also nice to find he is still flexible in his ideas. Revision of ideas, as new facts come to light, is the way good science should work, but often doesn't. This is good science, carefully presenting the evidence that caused Horner to revise his ideas, and build a new picture of some dinosaur behavior and of evolutionary events. Even the amateur enthusiast can learn from his clear explanations and see the relationships over distance and time of some of the well know dinosaur bearing formations like Judith River and Hell Creek. I kept referring back to his diagram as I read, and found it easy to picture the changing environment and the evolutionary pressures brought to bear on his cast of characters. The final discussion of scientific versus commercial imperatives is important, and he is not one-eyed enough to lambast all commercial and amateur work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is not only about dinosaurs. It is also about us. Where we come from, where we are going... There are no answers in the book, but at least you will find a lot of honest thought.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Thompson on December 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Mr. Horner has made an extraordinary accomplishment with 'Diggin Dinosaurs,' as it is able to present relative information regarding the topic at hand in a manner to be easily read by the masses and hold the reader's attention. His ability to stimulate the imagination with his illustrative speach and diction is quite amazing, as is his ability to distill the necessary information from the vast amounts of data that is available for analysis. An amazing breakthrough to be certain.
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