Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History
Updated with the material that instructors want, Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History continues to make science exciting and understandable to non-science majors through its narrative of scientific concepts rather than endless facts. It now contains new material on pterosaurs, an expanded section on the evolution of the dinosaurs and new photographs to help students engage with geology, natural history and evolution. The authors ground the text in the language of modern evolutionary biology, phylogenetic systematics, and teach students to examine the paleontology of dinosaurs exactly as the professionals in the field do using these methods to reconstruct dinosaur relationships. Beautifully illustrated, lively and engaging, this edition continues to encourage students to ask questions and assess data critically, enabling them to think like a scientist.
Why a natural history of dinosaurs?
Part I. Reaching Back in Time
1. To catch a dinosaur
2. Dinosaur days
3. Who's related to whom - and how do we know?
4. Who are the dinosaurs?
Part II. Ornithischia: Armored, Horned, and Duckbilled Dinosaurs
5. Thyreophorans: the armor-bearers
6. Marginocephalia: bumps, bosses, and beaks
7. Ornithopoda: the tuskers, antelopes and 'mighty ducks' of the Mesozoic
Part III. Saurischia: Meat, Might, and Magnitude
8. Sauropodomorpha: the big, the bizarre, and the majestic
9. Theropoda I: nature red in tooth and claw
10. Theropoda II: the origin of birds
11. Theropoda III: early birds
Part IV. Endothermy, Endemism, and Extinction
12. Dinosaur thermoregulation: some like it hot
13. The flowering of the Mesozoic
14. A history of paleontology through ideas
15. Dinosaurs: in the beginning
16. The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction: the frill is gone
Index of subjects
Index of genera
Reviews of the first edition:
"[...] the most comprehensive and useful text on dinosaurs on the market. It's both authoritative and whimsical, providing the student with a great background on dinosaurs and on the sciences needed to understand them. It's fun to read and [has] great illustrations too."
- Kevin Padian, Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley
"I am excited to see that the authors have selected not to overwhelm the student with detail."
- Mark Oiumette, Hardin-Simmons University
David Fastovsky is Professor of Geology at the University of Rhode Island and tutor at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. His interest in dinosaurs started as a child when he read about a 1920's fossil collector's adventures in the Gobi Desert. Dinosaurs won out years later when he had the tough decision of choosing between a career in music (he takes his viola on his many field trips) or paleontology, and he has had many of his own adventures in far-flung parts of the world. He's known as a dynamic teacher as well as a respected researcher with a focus on the environments in which dinosaurs roamed. When dinosaur fossils are found he's called on to reconstruct the place where they lived. He has made several television documentary appearances, and was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Geological Society of America in 2006.
David B. Weishampel is professor in the Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution at The Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on dinosaur evolution and how dinosaurs function and he is particularly interested in herbivorous dinosaurs and the dinosaur record of Europe. Among his many publications he is senior editor of The Dinosauria, and has contributed to a number of popular publications including acting as consultant to Michael Crichton in the writing of The Lost World, the inspiration for Steven Spielberg's film Jurassic Park.
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