- Series: Life of the Past
- Hardcover: 1128 pages
- Publisher: Indiana University Press; Second Edition edition (June 27, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0253357012
- ISBN-13: 978-0253357014
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.9 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Complete Dinosaur, Second Edition (Life of the Past) Second Edition Edition
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The 40-plus chapters in The Complete Dinosaur range from raw, cutting-edge science that drips with original data to surveys of the history of dinosaur collecting that are suitable for even the most jargon-shy readers. Editors James O. Farlow and M. K. Brett-Surman admit that they were "teenage geeks who loved the movies of Willis O'Brien, Ray Harryhausen, and Jim Danforth, and the novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Rice Burroughs," and they do not neglect their roots. There are chapters covering all the hot topics of contemporary dinosaur research, including footprints, metabolism, and meteor strikes; there is also a section on determining how many lawyers you need to feed a captive Tyrannosaurus rex. It's a remarkable fusion between scientific research--warts, conflicts, and all--and public understanding. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Very similar in length and scope to the Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs (LJ 11/1/97), this work features signed articles by many of the same distinguished paleontologists with the goal of providing a single authoritative account of dinosaur paleontology accessible to the general reader. The contributors were instructed to keep technical jargon to a minimum. The articles are grouped by six categories: Discovery of Dinosaurs, Study of Dinosaurs, Groups of Dinosaurs, Biology of Dinosaurs, Dinosaur Evolution, and Dinosaurs and the Media. When controversial topics arise, the editors have provided opposing viewpoints rather than picking sides. For example, the "extinction" article is presented as "A dialogue between a Catastrophist and a Gradualist." Dinosaurs are described by group rather than by individual genera, so this is not the place to find a picture of a specific kind of dinosaur (though the illustrations are generally informative). With simpler language, more background information, and a subject rather than an alphabetical organization that makes for a more coherent presentation, this is a better purchase for public and school libraries than the Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs, which is written as a review of dinosaur research literature for specialists. An excellent encyclopedia that serves as a nice bridge between popular and scholarly dinosaur literature.?Amy Brunvand, Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The start of the book gives a history of human thought about dinosaurs, showing that fossil discoveries were made by many primitive societies and may have been the source of myths about monsters, griffins, or dragons. If you fantasize about going into the field and uncovering the next _T. rex_, there are detailed and basic instructions here. Get the permission of the landowner and respect the landscape are the first rules. "Dinosaurs are no longer trophies. Instead they are scientific specimens whose context is as important as the bones themselves." Mapping has been made much easier with GPS. There is a chapter here on specific modern technology used in the field, like handheld devices to upload notes and descriptions of finds directly into a field office, avoiding much of the confusion from the transcription of field notes (or the theft or loss of field journals). A huge amount of the book deals with just how much information we might draw out of fossils. Muscular tissue is seldom fossilized, but putting flesh on dinosaur bones is essential for understanding what they looked like and how they moved. There is even bone evidence for how nerves ran, or infections, or cancers. Bones are not the only things dinosaurs left behind. Rarely, dinosaurs left footprints, and such variables as hip height, print length, or narrowness of separation between left and right prints can be used to calculate speed. Reflecting on the booming field of investigation of what dinosaurs ate is a message that could apply to many of the other subjects of this book: "There is much here to entertain and frustrate the paleontologists of the future!"
There is so much information here in this enormous book: how different dinosaurs evolved; how they are put up as museum exhibits; their bird descendants; their reproductive biology; and much, much more. I will end with a personal note. Every medical student learns the twelve cranial nerves (along with a more or less silly or ribald mnemonic for their names). If someone had asked me about cranial nerves in other mammals, I would have expected that they'd be there, too. But it was a surprise, in the chapter on dinosaur paleoneurology, to see a cast of the inside of the casing of a _T. rex_ brain, and to find the twelve cranial nerves, all lined up in order just like our own. And in the chapter on ankylosaurs, yet another casting of the inside of a braincase shows all twelve. Dinosaurs have what one author here calls "a high coefficient of weirdness," but I was amazed to learn from these examples that maybe they are not so distant after all.
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With best wishes from Poland