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Glorified Dinosaurs: The Origin and Early Evolution of Birds 1st Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471247234
ISBN-10: 0471247235
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Editorial Reviews


"I think that Luis Chiappe has done an excellent job of producing a book that will be used both by researchers and those seeking to learn more about the birds they see flapping around every day. ... Will sell very well, be widely cited and go onto become a classic in the vertebrate paleontological literature." (Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, June 2008)

"Construction of the book is superb; it is well made and lavish with color photographs and figures on glossy paper. The author provides a glossary, an index, and references for specific readings in support of the dinosaurian origin of birds. The chapters are organized and well written in an authoritative tone by one of the top experts in the field." (PALAIOS, April 2008)

"Should be on the bookshelf of anyone interested in the early evolution of birds. Chiappe's acquaintance with virtually all of the Mesozoic fossils he writes about makes it a competent review of the subject which will stand for years to come." (Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, December 2007)

"Chiappe is to be congratulated on this excellent book. ... It will appeal to a wide audience." (American Scientist, November 2007)

"Chiappe's beautifully illustrated book ... is nothing more or less than a celebration of the feathered dinosaurs." (The Quarterly Review of Biology, September 2007)

"Chiappe, one of the world's leading authorities on birds, offers a thorough, careful, often exhaustive exposition on the anatomy, biology, and paleontologic record of birds and their ancestors." (CHOICE, July 2007)

"Glorified Dinosaurs is a book you won't want to miss." (Fossil News, June 2007)

"…Chiappe's breaking deep ground, escorting us across the threshold of many new and intriguing realms…the full-color illustrations are breath-taking." (Electric Review, March 2007)

"This book is bound to appeal not only to scientists, but also to anyone with an interest in dinosaurs, ornithology, evolution and natural history." (Nature, May 2007)

" invaluable resource for every paleontologist, ornithologist, evolutionary biologist, geology and life sciences student and professional. It is also exciting reading...for all those with a general interest in the topic." (, March 2007)

"...the best summary yet of how dinosaurs evolved into birds." (Books-On-Line)

From the Inside Flap

Within just the last few years it has been established beyond doubt that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Glorified Dinosaurs celebrates the unfolding of this story as it tracks the recent and unparalleled rate of discoveries of early birds and their dinosaurian predecessors from all over the world. The book provides a summary of these extraordinary discoveries and discusses how modern birds evolved from fearsome meat-eating dinosaurs ak in to the celebrated Velociraptor.
Lavishly illustrated and in full color throughout, it contains more than 220 illustrations, including many reconstructions of animals and skeletons, as well as photos of fossils and fossil localities,maps, charts, cladograms, and other line drawings.
Luis Chiappe's evolutionary approach highlights the main characters in the long evolutionary saga of birds and discusses their physical changes in the context of functional advances. Much of this research and the fossil discoveries detailed in this book are new to the public and have not been published in book form previously.

"Exquisite, wonderful, engaging - what more can I ay about a book that rivets the scientist and will be enjoyed by amateur and professional ornithologists/ naturalists the world around. Chiappe has beautifully summarized in words, high-quality photographs, and excellent reconstructions the rich record of fossil birds that has exploded in the last decade. His book is simply a masterpiece presenting front-line, detailed paleontologic research in a very readable and accessible manner."
— Patricia Vickers-Rich, PhD, Director, Monash Science Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

"Glorified Dinosaurs is an Exciting and thorough survey of the revolutionary discoveries in the field of avian origins. It will be a great read for birders, paleontology buffs, and evolution enthusiasts."
— Richard O. Prum, PhD. William Robertson Coe Professor of Ornithology, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary biology, Peabody Natural History Museum, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Liss; 1 edition (February 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471247235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471247234
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.9 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on February 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I think it has come to be pretty well accepted by most scientists that the songbird outside your window is a descendent of the dinasaurs that once reigned supreme.

This book by a renowned paleornithologist, gives the best summary yet of how the dinosaurs evolved into birds. It begins with the development of feathers, and continues with the earliest fossil samples, including the famous archaeopteryx. (As best I can tell there is only one archaeopteryx in the United States at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, Thermopolis. At this date the display for these fossils is being built. It should be open sometime in May, 2007, but check with them first.)

This book is current as to early 2007, reflecting all of the latest findings (especially in China) of the steps in the descent of the modern bird.

This book is lavisly illustrated with hundreds of illustrations from color photographs of fossils to line drawings showing the variations in skeletal structure as the birds developed. It uses high quality paper, printing and binding to insure a long useful life.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michal Ginter on June 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Luis Chiappe is one of the leading paleontologists working on Jurassic and Cretaceous predatory dinosaurs and primitive birds. In his "Glorified Dinosaurs" he summarises in clear words the arguments supporting the idea of close relationships between these two groups, but also discusses the alternative theories on the origin of birds and their flight. The illustrations - photographs, color drawings, reconstructions and diagrams - are of extraordinary quality. Photographs of virtually all the most important relevant fossils, such as Archaeopteryx and perfectly preserved feathered dinosaurs and birds from Liaoning in China, are provided. The book gives a very interesting insight into the history of discoveries and evolution of concepts. It is an invaluable tool for all the vertebrate paleontology teachers and a thrilling lecture for non-professionalists.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By George Olshevsky on March 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book covers all the latest research, with readable text and splendid artwork and photography. It is a deluxe must-have book for dinosaur and paleo-bird enthusiasts everywhere.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Theodore Keer on July 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Having read the other reviews of this book - "lavishly illustrated" "deluxe must-have" "extraordinary quality" - you might think it would be a full-color visual feast. It certainly is an authoritative and scholarly text meant for the educated layman. It has no technical faults. It is scientifically up to date, and comprehensive. But it offers nothing new or terribly exciting, and the illustrations are lifeless and leaden.

Take advantage of the "click to look inside" feature that Amazon offers. The picture of the four-winged Microraptor on the copyright page is representative - exceptional, actually, that it is in full color - an adequate but hardly inspired portrait lacking any ecological setting. While most every other page offers a photograph of a fossil printed in two-tone sienna and grey, there are no dioramas or other dynamically composed images that might excite the imagination.

I suggest looking at this book in a bookstore or a library before purchasing it, and strongly recommend against buying it, unless specifically requested, as a gift. If, like me, your idea of a lavish illustration is something more like those at the American Museum of Natural History, then you will be sorely disappointed. The commissioned artwork neither justifies the glossy pages nor the outrageous price of this otherwise visually mediocre book.
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