- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Pegasus Books; 1 edition (March 15, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1605987034
- ISBN-13: 978-1605987033
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dinosaurs Without Bones: Dinosaur Lives Revealed by their Trace Fossils 1st Edition
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Magnificent full dinosaur skeletons like Sue, the T. Rex specimen currently housed in Chicago’s Field Museum, have been invaluable to paleontologists in discovering how these reptilian behemoths moved and behaved many millions of years ago. Yet many dinosaur buffs may be surprised to learn just how little current information about these creatures is discovered in their bones. Instead much is learned via the little known field of ichnology, a branch of geology that studies animal burrows, tracks, trails, and feces. As veteran ichnologist Martin explains in this thorough overview of the CSI-like scientific discipline, particularly as it overlaps with paleontology, an astonishing number of features about dinosaur habits, diet, and even migration patterns can be gleaned from abundant “trace” fossils. Some recent, eye-opening discoveries include certain species’ penchant for building nests and, improbably, taking regular swims in rivers and lakes. Martin’s rigorous descriptions of his profession’s painstaking research techniques will probably not endear his work to mainstream audiences but paleontology and forensic science enthusiasts will undoubtedly find it fascinating. --Carl Hays --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Martin’s popular, non-academic debut bubbles over with the joy of scientific discovery as he shares his natural enthusiasm for the blend of sleuthing and imagination that he brings to the field of ichnology―the study of trace fossils and features left by organismal behavior, such as tracks, nests, and burrows. The energy behind Martin’s “what if” saurian life scenarios is no mere distraction; his science is solid and his descriptions of the current state of classification and knowledge are clear, up to date, and detailed. The books is great fun for anyone looking to revive their childhood dinosaur obsessions.”
- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Martin’s greatest talent may be in evoking the lost world brought to light by dinosaur traces. Ichnology is a science of absence, one that re-creates an entire ecosystem out of a few dimples in some rocks. Martin is a skilled tracker and a worthy guide.”
- The Dallas Morning News
“An enjoyable and stimulating read for both the dinosaur fan and expert alike that highlights the extensive and largely unrecognized role ichnology has played in revealing dinosaur behavior and ecology, and the impact dinosaurs may have had on past and modern ecosystems. Anthony Martin uses his extensive experience to provide an amusing, thorough, and provocative review of dinosaur trace fossils, from tacks and burrows all the wya through regurgitates and coprolites.”
- David Varricchio, Associate Professor of Paleontology, Montana State University
“People are amazed what paleontology can deduce from bones―Anthony shows what can be learned with a simple trace in the sand. No other book in recent years expresses the joy of employing the scientific method to reveal the ancient world.”
- James Kirkland, Utah State Paleontologist
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Top customer reviews
I also was pleasantly surprised and really have been enjoying the book. If interested in the subject, and I still like dinosaurs myself, check it out!
There were a lot of jokes and funny comments. Are they appropriate? Well this isn't a text book and they were funny. So we will give him a pass on that.
It was well done and gives many suggestions for future research. You will not be disappointed.
It's perfectly possible to write a dinosaur book for a general audience that stays focused on the paleontology while giving an insight into the working lives of paleontologists; Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life and Jurassic West: The Dinosaurs of the Morrison Formation and Their World (Life of the Past) are fine examples. Dinosaurs Without Bones could have been one too, at half the length. Other than textbooks, there don't seem to be any other books on ichnology (dinosaur or otherwise) out there. The field could really have used a good introduction. Too bad this isn't it.