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Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs: Evolution, Extinction, and the Future of Our Planet
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Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs: Evolution, Extinction, and the Future of Our Planet [Hardcover]

Donald R. Prothero
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Prothero, a prolific paleontologist (From Greenhouse to Icehouse) at Occidental College, says the goal for his new book is simply to inject the human side of the profession into the story of the research topics he has worked on during his 40-year career—to show science as a human quest, not just dry conclusions. While the goal is admirable, the result is disappointing, largely because, unlike his previous books, this one doesn't have a central theme: it touches on a range of questions paleontologists have addressed and tentatively answered, such as how dinosaurs could have lived in the Earth's polar regions (as fossil evidence suggests). Prothero's constant shifting of focus makes it difficult to grasp all of the technical content, while the overwhelming minutiae he provides makes you feel like you are viewing an endless series of photographs from a friend's summer vacation. While small sections are powerful—such as a discussion of how global warming might paradoxically trigger the next ice age and do so incredibly rapidly—the book never gels into a coherent whole. Photos, illus. (Aug.)
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Prothero has woven together a gripping tale that will fascinate readers with many levels of expertise.

(Fossil News)

Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs should be on the suggested reading list for any undergraduate interested in pursuing paleontology, and as a paleobiological statement, shows that paleontology is more than (fossilized) sticks and stones.

(Geology Today 1900-01-00)

...this is a very enriching, stimulating, and, of course, enjoyable reading.

(Zentralblatt fur Geologie und Palaontologie 1900-01-00)


Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs is a highly readable walk through the career of one of the preeminent writers in Earth sciences. Donald R. Prothero has been in the thick of the major problems in Earth and life history for the past thirty years. In this work, he explains what we can learn from deep-time studies about why we are here in a very enjoyable and informative way. A great book.

(David Bottjer, professor of Earth sciences and biological sciences, University of Southern California)

About the Author

Donald R. Prothero is professor of geology at Occidental College in Los Angeles and lecturer in geobiology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1988 and the Schuchert Award (for an outstanding paleontologist under forty) in 1991. He is the author, coauthor, editor, or coeditor of twenty-four books and over two hundred scientific papers. His titles for Columbia University Press are Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters, From Greenhouse to Icehouse, and The Eocene-Oligocene Transition.

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