Customer Reviews: The Macmillan Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals: A Visual Who's Who of Prehistoric Life
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on October 22, 2015
I have 2 sons that are obsessed with dinosaurs. We originally borrowed this book from the local public library, and it was in their hands every single day. I decided to come online and find it used.

It is put together well, and the illustrations are well made, too. It is laid out in a fashion that shows the animals in full color on a few pages, then has their information on the following pages, with a small black and white insert of the same images from the previous pages.

They like to use it to play dinosaur war games (They make them up; I can never follow how they play!), look up information on different dinosaurs when they hear of one on tv or online, and memorize facts about weight, height, length, etc.

If you or someone you know wants a book that has lots of general information about not only dinosaurs, but other prehistoric animals, this comes highly recommended!
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on April 5, 1998
This informative and well-illustrated book would be a useful adition to any nature- or science-lover's personal library, or an interesting coffee table book
I've only seen and read the 1988 edition so I don't know how many changes have been made in the new edition, but I assume the format's still the same. Basically this is a very good non-technical introduction to prehistoric vertebrates (animals with backbones - fish, amphbians, reptiles, birds & mammals). Although there are some pages that provide the basic background - how fossils form, continental drift, etc - by the far the most interesting, and indeed the bulk, of the book is the coverage it gives to a large number of individual genera, each of which is illustrated by a color painting. It is the sheer number and diversity of creatures covered here, rather than simply a few dozen types of dinosaurs, that makes this book so interesting. I find the realism of the art work tends to vary - some drawings seem more realistic than others, but I suppose that's just personal taste. The art work is still of good quality thoughout though. The accompanying text is brief but clear and informative, and gives a basic introduction to that type of animal. The best thing about this book is that it's not just about dinosaurs (although these are covered in detail) but also deals with many other types of vertebrate creatures as well. My only real criticism is that despite the title - "animals" - no invertebrate animals were included, no trilobites, eurypterids, nautiloids etc. Still, you can only cover so much in the space available, and this book does a pretty good job.
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on April 19, 2012
I needed this book for a school project, and I can say without a doubt it did not disappoint. I needed it for the information, but more importantly the illustrations. And in both respects, it really provided me with everything I needed. This is a very complete book with hundreds of illustrations of prehistoric creatures. There are plenty of dinosaur books out there, but what's nice about this book is it has loads of other creatures from the prehistoric era.

It is divided into family classifications and chronology. It gives brief information about the families as well as the individual species.

I really have no complaints. The illustrations in this book are just superb. Well worth the price I paid for it! Thorough.
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on March 24, 2013
I purchased this book as a diversion for the daughter of one of my dearest friends. Together we wanted to help her develop her keen interest in science and nature. I confess I "sequestered" it for a couple of weeks myself. Just like any kid, I dove into the T-rex and velociraptor entries and worked my way forward and back. The magnificent artwork and accompanying facts are a work of professional passion. Fortunately, the Encyclopedia is now in the possession the rightful owner, who often chooses passages from The Encyclopedia as her bedtime story.

I encourage a progressive publisher to commit the required resources to turn this treasure into an electronic version that can entertain and educate countless thousands in the future. Contrary to popular belief, I think that eBook circulation will create a greater demand for the print edition and elevate it to heirloom status. If the current publisher cannot pay fitting tribute to the authors, editors, contributors and readers of the existing work, then maybe they will bestow rights to someone who values it more.

The alternative (I suppose) is to let others re-discover this information on their own. In tablet form (pun intended) this scientific, artful and informative work can serve as an inspiring basis for inquisitive and scientific minds of all ages. Imagine this work in the hands of a university with the priorities to devote editorial, graphic and business student resources to re-energizing (and receiving acknowledged credit) the existing assets and text.

Both the Hardcover and (please! electronic versions) should be available at every library in countries who place value on education. I suggest purchasing book for the same reason I did, and I guarantee you that you will not be able to resist cracking it open for several hours as well. My compliments and gratitude to all who made the existing work possible.
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on August 19, 2011
As a child, I must have checked this book out of the library nearly a hundred times. It's got great illustrations and lots of good information. Obviously, advancements have been made in the field of paleontology and some of the information or graphics are no longer accurate, but it's still a good book, especially for a child who is interested in dinosaurs.
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on August 3, 2015
One of the best, if not the best, written and compiled publications pertaining to prehistoric life, and particularly, about dinosaurs. The lifelike illustrations are some of the most fascinating and intriguing artwork I've ever seen, reminiscent of R. Zallinger, J. Sibbick, Z. Burian, S. Czerkas and, yes, Charles Knight. This book is a nice addition to the Dinosaur library and will be appreciated by all palaeo-life enthusiasts. Makes reading enjoyable once again. Highly recommended and very informative.
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on June 16, 2014
The book came on time and was in the condition that it was expected to be in. This book is great for anyone interested in prehistoric life, from the young dinosaur fan to the seasoned paleobiologist (although it should be noted that some of the entries in the book are outdated)
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on December 11, 2013
Extremely good book with a ton of information, I recommend this book to any dinosaur fan, it is a welcome addition to my Dinosaur library!!
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on March 25, 2005
Tracing the history of vertebrates, this interesting book provides good information about animals and how they evolved. The illustrations are also very good and interesting. I've read parts of this book to my little daughter and she loves looking at the pictures and imagining living back in time when these animals roamed the earth.

Young earth creationists might want to avoid this book like the plague. The timelines are very heretical and all those intermediate species show a solid pattern of evolution of life on this planet.

I welcome feedback on this and all reviews at
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on June 6, 2015
Great for adults and children too
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