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The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution Paperback – November 25, 1989

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (November 25, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449904423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449904428
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,250,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In what PW termed "a marvelous excursion into a fantasy that has the trappings of reality," Dixon gives a straightforward account of dinosaur extinction theories. Then, denying that the Great Extinction took place, he introduces us, through animal-encyclopedia-style text and superb illustrations, to his nearly credible creatures of evolutionary projection.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Many sf writers have created worlds where dinosaurs still walk the earth, but Dixon's new book pursues the premise in the most realistic way yet. In After Man: A Zoology of the Future (LJ 10/15/81), Dixon meticulously described a future earth biota 50 million years hence, but in this book he uses a world setting with today's climate and continental configurations, in which the mass extinction that closed the Mesozoic era has not occurred. Dinosaurs and the like have diversified consistent with zoogeographic and evolutionary principles and their own known fossilized morphology and diversity; mammals are small and secretive, and no humanoid has appeared. Intriguing to all. Margery C. Coombs, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kari on November 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have found this book to be fascinating since I first got hold of it as a child. I have always had a fascination with dinosaurs (I'm in college now and majoring in paleontology), so of course I was always plague by the question "What if they hadn't died out?" Dixon answers this question very creatively and to my complete satisfaction. Some of the other reviews on this book claim that many of Dixon's creations are implausible. Well, look around. I see a lot of equally implausible animals roaming the earth today. Have you ever taken a good look at a camel? An anteater? A duckbilled platypus? A porcupine? Think about it. If we hadn't seen them with our own eyes, wouldn't they seem pretty "out there," too? Or some extinct creatures. Anyone with any real knowledge about this subject can tell you that there are some pretty strange creatures represented in the fossil record. To those people who complain about implausibility, all I have to say is this: Go find yourself a nice illustrated book about the Burgess Shale fossils. I recommend "Wonderful Life" by Steven Jay Gould. Spend some time reading up on weird and wonderful critters like Opabinia, Marella, Sidneyia, Aysheaia, Anomalocaris, and Hallucigenia. Then let's hear your views on implausibility.
Dixon has a wonderful imagination, his descriptions are good, he is obviously knowledgeable about the workings of evolution. I find each and every one of his unique critters to be entirely plausible. In fact, every time I read his book, I have this urge to go on some sort of safari to see all those amazing creatures. I will spend the rest of my life regretting that I will never be able to see any of Dixon's wonderful animals except on the pages of his book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
What would have happened if the K-T had never happened? What if the dinosaurs and their relatives had continued their succesful lineage and continued to gradually evolve? Renowned paleontologist Dougal Dixon delves headfirst into this interesting topic. We start our tour with a brief history on the different theories of the extinction of the dinosaurs. We then move into the present-day dinosaurs. We start in the steamy jungles of Africa, where we see "arbrosaurs" (tree-climbing dinosaurs) eating insects and wasps in the canopy. We then see bizarre giraffe-like creatures on what would be the African Savannah, descended from pterosaurs. In the desert, there are "sandles" a subterrenian predator, and Wyrms, which kill and eat small mammals. We move up to North America, in which we see "gestalts" a social dinosaur, with a queen, soldiers, and workers. We see agile brickets (descended from hadrosaurs) and the zwims, aquatic mammals. We move into the tundra, where giant flightless birds (trombles) migrate to breed. Smaller birds (whiffles) follow in their wake. In the colder deserts, we see ankylosaur descendants, adapted for colder weather. In the grasslands, we see gazelle-like sprintosaurs and the raptor-like northclaws. Dinosaurs have even colonized the mountains, like the herbivorus balacvlavs, and their predators, the mountain leapers. In South America, we see manatee-like watergulps and scaly gliders in the rainforests. On the pampas, heavily armoured turtosaurs roam, sharing their food with the larger lumbers. In Asia, we see panda-like Taddeys, and Numbskulls (their real name!) on the steppes of the Asian highlands. In Australia, things get really bizarre. We see flamingo-like dinosaurs (cribrums) and dingums, poisonous dinosaurs. In the trees, we see tubbs, a saurian equivalant of the koala.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Move over, Speculated Dinosaur Project! Long-time time paleomtologist Dougal Dixon has unleashed his view of the Earth right this very second-if the K-T event had not happened, EVER. According to this book, published in the 1980s, the dinosaurs and their relatives would diversify into a varied collection of species that would look as weird as they are magnificent to our very eyeballs. Except our eyeballs would never be able to see them, since we mammals would still remain small (weighing less than 100 killograms)and remain relatively unspecialized.

Some adaptions of the new dinosaur would look weird to a paleobiologist of the 60s but seem to be more accurate now. For instance, some varieties of coelurids, duckbills, and pterodactyls evolve some kind of a furry insulation, like hair or feathers. This is certainly a possibility nowadays. First of all, new evidence from Kazakstan and China suggests that many groups of theropod dinosaurus and pterosaurs had a strange kind of furry body covering. Secondly, if the Cenozoic dinosaurs started moving in habitats with a much cooler climate than they were used to, than highly advacned body covering would have saved them from severe decrease in outside body temperature, as in mammals; this does not mean they were cold-blooded.

My favorite dinosaur in this book is the treewyrn, Arbroseperus longus. This creature evolved from a group of basal compsognathids that, over time, have lost their front limbs to cope with a burrowing lifstyle. The treewyrm, however, has taken the the treetops using its hallax, or first toe, like a thumb to grip on to branches. The dinosaur's long neck is perfectly designed for snatching prey from a distance.
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