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This textbook introduces research on dinosaurs by describing the science behind how we know what we know about dinosaurs. A wide range of topics is covered, from fossils and taphonomy to dinosaur physiology, evolution, and extinction. In addition, sedimentology, paleo-tectonics, and non-dinosaurian Mesozoic life are discussed. There is a special opportunity to capitalize on the enthusiasm for dinosaurs that students bring to classrooms to foster a deeper engagement in all sciences. Students are encouraged to synthesize information, employ critical thinking, construct hypotheses, devise methods to test these hypotheses, and come to new defensible conclusions, just as palaeontologists do.
- Provides clear and easy to read text with well-defined terminology regarding dinosaurs
- Includes in-class activities (learning tutorials), quizzes, and test banks that encourage full student participation and active learning
- Provides supporting materials – lists of suggested specimens, models for on-line quizzes, etc.
- Includes numerous clear images and diagrams to direct concept learning
- Encourages student curiosity by ending each chapter with a specific “what we don’t know” section
- How Science Operates
- When Dinosaurs Lived
- The dinosaur hunters and the history of paleontology
- Evolutionary processes and principles
- Dinosaurs on the Tree of Life
- Defining a Dinosaur
- Systematics & Phylogenetics
- Bones and Anatomy
- Dinosaurs in Motion
- What did dinosaurs look like? Habitats and ecology
- Physiology and growth
- Dinosaur-bird transitions and the origin of flight
- Not Quite Dinosaurs
Mary Higby Schweitzer received her PhD from Montana State University and did much of her research at the world-famous Museum of the Rockies, which houses one of the best dinosaur fossil collections. She is currently Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University. She is famous for her controversial search for dinosaur macromolecules including proteins and DNA.
Elena R. Schroeter and Doug Czajka are both colleagues of Mary at North Carolina State University.