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Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life [Hardcover]

Scott D. Sampson , Philip Currie
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If one day you saw a Torvosaurus looking through your second-story window, would it be able to live on the vegetation it found? Dinosaurs, paleontologist Sampson stresses throughout this book, were part of a complex ecosystem, and to understand these beasts, we must also understand the plants and other animals they shared it with, along with factors such as the position of the continents and climate change. Sampson's sprawling study is one of the most comprehensive surveys of dinosaurs and their worlds to date. The author discusses in detail plant life during different dinosaur eras (e.g., there were no flowering plants) and even what insects would have scurried beneath them. Who knew that fossilized fecal matter hid so many clues to a dinosaur's dinner millions of years ago? Sampson addresses the ever popular subject of dinosaur extinctions and develops a comprehensive theory encompassing various dinosaur generations. Highly recommended for all dinosaur fans, although the writing may prove a bit too scholarly for younger buffs. Color and b&w illus., b&w photos. (Nov.)
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Review

“A wonderful book, crammed with information that will surprise you.”
(Truthdig 2009-12-11)

“This thought-provoking book is a must read not only for dinosaur enthusiasts and science educators but anyone interested in the larger context of life.”
(Magill's Literary Annual / Salem Press 2011-02-04)

“Sampson is right on target. . . . There is no better overview available than ‘Dinosaur Odyssey.’”
(Earth Magazine 2011-01-01)

“A great in-depth read for those seriously interested in the history of dinosaurs.”
(Dig 2011-06-20)

"Ignites our imagination. . . . This is an excellent read for an introduction to dinosaurs and a brilliant tool for teaching ecological first principles."
(David. M. Lovelace Evolution: Education And Outreach 2012-03-12)

From the Inside Flap

"The best general-audience dinosaur book since the Dinosaur Renaissance began in the 1970s."—Philip J. Currie, coeditor of Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs, from the foreword

Dinosaur Odyssey is not only a personable and highly accessible tour of the up-to-date discoveries about the gigantic and famous. It also builds on dinosaur paleontology to far-ranging topics like extinction, climate change, and the possibility of life on Mars. The gift to the reader is both fascination and enlightenment.”—Michael Novacek, author of Terra and Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs

"An odyssey indeed! One of the world's leading dinosaur paleontologists, Sampson draws on a wide variety of sciences, from astronomy and cosmology to microbiology and ecology, in order to portray dinosaurs as living animals. The reader is in for a treat and will emerge with fresh and valuable insights."—Peter Dodson, author of The Horned Dinosaurs

About the Author

Scott D. Sampson is a dinosaur paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and educator. He serves as Research Curator at the Utah Museum of Natural History and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah.  He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he continues dinosaur research and actively pursues writing and consulting projects surrounding education reform and sustainability.
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