If you think the title Dinosaurs: the Encyclopedia has a movie-sequel ring, you're only partly mistaken; editor Donald F. Glut has already authored The Dinosaur Dictionary and The Complete Dinosaur Dictionary. But you'll find no T. rex running amok here; this is a dense and rigorously scientific tome meant for only the most dedicated dinosaur lover. Part 1 contains an excellent background history of scientific findings in this rapidly changing field. (Also here is a wonderful, paragraph-long sentence detailing possible causes of the dinosaurs' demise, including "brains too small" and "inability to mate, sexual frustration, suicide.") Once into the alphabetical listings, however, it's easy for the layman to get lost. If the description "articular facets of prezygapophyses much enlarged in anterior caudals" makes your eyes cross, perhaps this is not the reference for you. But if your amateur paleontologist shows signs of getting serious, you won't get much more detailed, thorough, or reliable information than that contained here. And there's always the glossary in back, wherein you'll find words such as "ginglymus" and "astragalus" defined in everyday English.
From Library Journal
Here are two new encyclopedias for the more serious dinosaur enthusiast. Intended as a companion to the classic taxonomic reference, The Dinosauria (LJ 3/15/91), Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs emphasizes discoveries published in the scientific literature since 1990. In this context, the paucity of maps and illustrations seems a less serious omission. Written by well-known paleontologists and organized alphabetically by subject, the signed articles cover kinds of dinosaurs, biology, geology, research, and museums where dinosaurs are on display, including a worldwide list of museums and sites. There is some overlap with The Dinosauria in dinosaur descriptions, but this encyclopedia offers authoritative articles on many topics not covered in that work, such as "color," "intelligence," and "ornamentation." While the language may sometimes be too technical for the general reader, Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs provides a nice link between popular and scientific dinosaur studies. The author of The Complete Dinosaur Dictionary (Carol Pub., 1995), which was aimed at young adults, Glut now offers a far more detailed and technical work oriented toward dinosaur material in museum collections. Following 74 pages of background information, the encyclopedia is devoted to an alphabetical list of dinosaur genera. Each entry tells the date of discovery, name derivation, occurrence, age, and diagnosis; gives a list of key print references; and refers to important museum specimens that have furthered the study of dinosaur paleontology. The black-and-white illustrations are mainly photos of museum specimens and reconstructions, with a deliberate avoidance of fanciful interpretation. The emphasis on museum collections makes this a unique work. Both titles are recommended for academic and larger public libraries.?Amy Brunvand, Univ. of Utah Lib., Salt Lake City
See all Editorial Reviews
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.