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Academic & Professional Books  Palaeontology  Palaeozoology & Extinctions

Beast Companions The Unsung Animals of the Dinosaurs' World

Popular Science New
By: John Foster(Author)
237 pages, 70 colour illustrations, 2 tables
Beast Companions
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  • Beast Companions ISBN: 9780253069405 Hardback Jul 2024 Out of stock with supplier: order now to get this when available
Price: £39.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Despite their fame and reputation, dinosaurs represent only half the story of the Mesozoic Era. In Beast Companions: The Unsung Animals of the Dinosaurs' World, palaeontologist John Foster explores the often-overlooked animals that coexisted with them. These ancient species, often equally remarkable as their dinosaur neighbours, can provide valuable insights into the biotic history of our planet. In some cases, these animals reveal just as much, if not more, about the extinct ecosystems of the time as the dinosaurs themselves.

By drawing on a wealth of current and past discoveries, Foster embarks on a sweeping journey across 164 million years to visit the beast companions of the dinosaurs. Along the way, he examines fish, insects, the first frogs and salamanders, turtles, snakes and lizards, marine reptiles, crocodiles, pterosaurs, birds, mammals, and other animals of the Mesozoic Era.

Beast Companions is a groundbreaking exploration of the story of these contemporaries of the dinosaurs that set the modern world in motion more than 200 million years ago



1. Shadows in the Rain: Beginnings
2. A Critical Mass: Invertebrates
3. Sweet Delta Dawn: Fish
4. Smooth Amphibians: Frogs, Salamanders, and Cohorts
5. Mysteries Dark and Vast: Turtles
6. Beak-Heads: Ancestry of the Tuatara
7. Celebration of the Lizard (and Snake): Squamata
8. In the Realm of Poseidons: Marine Reptiles
9. Age of the Comb Jaws: Choristodera
10. Something Shocking: Crocodile Rocks
11. Wing Fingers: Pterosaurs
12. Feathered Dinosaurian Friends: Birds
13. Copy-Catted: Mammals and Synapsids
14. Epilogue: A Bump in the Road and Beyond


Customer Reviews


John Foster is a palaeontologist at the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum in Vernal, Utah. He has worked in the Mesozoic rocks of more than two dozen stratigraphic formations throughout the western United States for more than 30 years, specializing in the paleoecology of Late Jurassic vertebrates, including dinosaurs and other animals. Although he likes that many of the paleontological sites in the Rocky Mountain and Southwest regions are in gorgeous and wild settings, he would not mind if they were closer to the beach and good waves. He is also author of Jurassic West: The Dinosaurs of the Morrison Formation and Their World and Cambrian Ocean World: Ancient Sea Life of North America.

Popular Science New
By: John Foster(Author)
237 pages, 70 colour illustrations, 2 tables
Media reviews

"Beast Companions does a tremendous service to paleontology now and in the future by collecting pertinent information about all of the animals that inhabited the Mesozoic Era alongside the dinosaurs. Many books are written about different groups of animals that lived during the Mesozoic, but few provide the reader with a comprehensive treatment of all the animals that coexisted across the globe. The book will be an important reference not only to paleontologists but to evolutionary biologists and more broadly to anyone interested in global ecosystems over time."
– Matthew Bonnan, Stockton University

"Despite countless popular and technical books on dinosaurs, Foster finds a story that surprisingly has never been relayed to a wider audience, explaining in vivid detail the biological importance of the non-dinosaurian Mesozoic fauna and how their diversity in form and behavior rivaled (and in some cases exceeded) that of their charismatic reptile overlords [...] It is a compact yet engrossing safari ride through the Mesozoic age of reptiles."
– Adam Huttenlocker, University of Southern California

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