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Dinosaur Parents, Dinosaur Young: Uncovering the Mystery of Dinosaur Families Hardcover – March 19, 2001
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-Zoehfeld begins with a tale about an Oviraptor father buried by a sandstorm in a seemingly protective posture over a nest of 16 eggs 73 million years ago. She then explores changing theories of dinosaur life based on scientific discoveries-from Roy Chapman Andrews's Gobi Expedition discovery of a birdlike Oviraptor skeleton at the site of a nest of eggs in 1923 to discoveries of fossil evidence of nesting grounds of titanosaurs in Patagonia in 1998. In a concluding chapter on the future of exploration, Zoehfeld clearly points out that new discoveries may lead paleontologists to revise theories about dinosaurs and the way they lived. High-quality, color photographs of fossils of eggs and embryos and of paleontologists at work as well as line drawings and full-color paintings add to this inviting, thought-provoking book. Readers of Nic Bishop's Digging for Bird-Dinosaurs (Houghton, 2000) and Christopher Sloan's Feathered Dinosaurs (National Geographic, 2000) will be intrigued by it.
Carolyn Angus, The Claremont Graduate School, CA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Zoehfeld clearly and carefully guides readers through the complex historical trail of evidence collection and theory development that make up what we currently believe we know about dinosaur family life.
Children will use this substantive, well-organized book for reports, but the attractive design and compelling text will also encourage pleasure reading for dinosaur fans. Booklist, ALA
High-quality color photographs of fossils of eggs abd embryos and of paleontologists at works as well as line drawings and full-color paintings add to this inviting, thought-provoking book.
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Top Customer Reviews
Long version: Read on.
Many popular baby dino books are OK, but not great. There are 3 main reasons for why I think that is: 1) They're mixed bags in terms of paleoart (Quoting Miller: "I bought the book expecting a more technical discussion of the animals discussed therein...but was surprised to find beautiful paintings of questionably-restored dinosaurs"); 2) They're confusing messes in terms of organization; 3) They fail to cover many baby dino-related subjects & those that are covered are done so in an insufficient manner (I.e. Sometimes, they simplify things to the point of being meaningless; Other times, they're just plain wrong). In this review, I list the 3 main reasons why I think Parents succeeds where said books fail.
1) Like a Bakker book, Parents is very well-illustrated:* Shillinglaw should illustrate more dino books; He's that good (E.g. See the very cute Hypacrosaurus on the back cover); You could say that he's the new McLoughlin with Parents basically being a more family-friendly version of "Archosauria: A New Look at the Old Dinosaur" (Google "Let's read _The Archosauria_!" for what I mean). My only gripe is that Shillinglaw didn't do both the black-&-white & full-color illustrations. Instead, Carrick did the full-color illustrations, & he's not that good (E.g. See the very derpy Maiasaura on the front cover).
2) Like a Bakker book, Parents is very well-organized: Chapters 1-6 begin with 1) a day-in-the-life story of an Oviraptor father, & 2) the history of dino science from the 1840s to the 1970s, continue with descriptions of "how scientists are continu-ally making new discoveries and drawing new conclusions about what life was like for dinosaurs and their young", & end with the unsolved mysteries of "tyrannosaurs, stegosaurs, and the hundreds of other types of dinosaurs"; Said descriptions are arranged in roughly chronological order (I.e. 1st Maiasaura, then Hypacrosaurus, Drinker, & Troodon, & then Apatosaurus & Saltasaurus).
3) Like a Bakker book, Parents is very complete & in-depth: For 1 (in reference to "complete"), using Holtz's "Dinosaurs" as a guide, Parents features representatives of 15 different dino groups; Compare that to the 6 different dino groups of Judge's "Born to Be Giants: How Baby Dinosaurs Grew to Rule the World"; For another (in reference to "in-depth"), see the Zoehfeld quote; Parents does more in 2 pages than Judge's book does in 4 pages. Chapter 4 is an especially good example of the latter because of the Orodromeus & Troodon story (I.e. "Another Mistake", which is often not told accurately in popular dino books; Google "Dino Data Adapted from Dino Data Activity" for more info).
*Parents isn't a Bakker book per se, but it might as well be. The Bakker quote on the back cover sums up what I mean.
Quoting Zoehfeld: "In 1986, in northern Montana, Dr. Horner discovered nests, eggs, embryos, and babies of another duckbill dinosaur, a crested lambeosaur called Hypacrosaurus...Dr. Horner and his crew found a large Hypacrosaurus nesting site, where a herd of a thousand or more must have returned each year to lay their eggs.
Early one nesting season, when the babies had just begun to hatch, the adults may have noticed the sky growing dark. Thick clouds of soot and ash spewed forth from volcanoes erupting just to the south of them. When hot cinders and ash began to rain down, the leaders of the herd may have used the echo chambers in their hollow nasal crests to sound a basso alarm call. They urged the mothers to abandon their nests and head north and east, away from the deadly downpour.
Today the entire nesting ground is covered by a layer of solidified volcanic sediment called bentonite, which "froze" the scene almost as it was at the time the adults abandoned it.
Not long after this discovery, Dr. Horner discovered another Hypacrosaurus rookery south of the first one. In Alberta, Canada, just north of the Montana border, Wendy Sloboda, then a high school student, discovered yet another.
Were the Hypacrosaurus helpless and nest-bound as tots, as the Maiasaura most certainly were? From the locations of the baby bones found around the rookeries, it is still not clear. But Dr. Horner thinks they must have been relatively helpless, like certain types of altricial birds, such as the American white pelican.These birds are nest-bound for only a short time, but for up to three months the youngsters stay together in the nesting colony, where the adults can bring them food and look after them.
Close study of the Hypacrosaurus babies' leg bones shows that they were made up of more calcified cartilage and less solid bone than would be expected in a precocial animal. Although there's no evidence that the little ones were completely nest-bound, they did stay within the confines of their nesting ground the way pelicans do today."