The sheer beauty of Big Bend National Park, along the shores of the Rio Grande in west Texas, never fails to astonish. Yet what lies beneath this natural treasure may be even more extraordinary than what meets the eye. Hidden in the rocks of Big Bend are the remains of giants: toothy sea lizards, enormous flying reptiles, and dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs and Other Ancient Animals of Big Bend is a field guide to what once was. Inspired by the latest research, Cindi Sirois Collins and Asher Elbein imagine what it was like to walk among the plants and animals whose fossil remains tell the story of evolution and geological transformation in this singular landscape. We glimpse the drama of Big Bend's rugged landscape in creation – the desert's emergence from retreating oceans and volcanic eruptions. Immersive vignettes introduce dinosaurs, giant fish, and sabre-toothed cats. And the history of discovery in the park proves a gripping tale, as palaeontologists sifted major scientific insights from the soils, rocks, and riverbeds. Complete with vivid illustrations, this is a wholly original sensory and narrative experience that will deepen any reader's knowledge and sense of wonder.
Chapter 1. Fossil Hunting in Big Bend
Chapter 2. The March of Time in Big Bend
Chapter 3. Marine Big Bend: The Boquillas and Pen Formations
Chapter 4. Dinosaur Floodplains: The Aguja, Javelina, and Cretaceous Black Peaks Formations
Chapter 5. Rivers and Ash: The Paleogene Black Peaks, Hannold Hill, and the Combined Formations
Chapter 6. Cool Forests, Drying Plains: The Delaho, Banta Shut-In, and the “Pleistocene” Formations
Suggestions for Further Reading
Cindi Sirois Collins is a retired Texas science teacher whose love of geology and Big Bend’s Fossil Discovery Exhibit led her to research the park’s paleontological past and inspired her passion for dinosaurs and other ancient animals.
Asher Elbein is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, and Audubon magazine, among other publications.
"Big Bend National Park is a fossil wonderland, its desert rocks brimming with stories of vanished seas, forests, and floodplains. There's no better guide to these otherworldly slices of time than Dinosaurs and Other Ancient Animals of Big Bend. Part field guide, part imaginative exploration of long-gone creatures and their habitats, this book is essential reading for anyone who wonders what life was like all those thousands and millions of years ago."
– Riley Black
"This book is a comprehensive field guide to the ancient world of the Big Bend, compiling more than a century's worth of paleontological discoveries. The authors chronicle the geologic events that sculpted Big Bend's prehistoric landscapes and describe the exotic animals that once inhabited the region. A must for anyone visiting Big Bend."
– Thomas Shiller