Books  Palaeontology  Palaeozoology & Extinctions 

The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs

  • Covers all of the latest discoveries in dinosaur paleobiology written by two world experts
  • Comprehensive and detailed, yet utterly readable and entertaining
  • Beautifully illustrated by world-famous dinosaur artist, John Sibbick

By: David E Fastovsky(Author), David B Weishampel(Author), John Sibbick(Illustrator)

500 pages, 25 b/w photos, 225 b/w illustrations

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Apr 2005 | Edition: 2 | #146117 | ISBN: 0521811724
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £49.99 $69/€57 approx

About this book

This new edition of The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs is a unique, comprehensive treatment of this fascinating group of organisms. It is a detailed survey of dinosaur origins, their diversity, and their eventual extinction. The book can easily be used as a teaching textbook for a class, but it is also written as a series of readable, entertaining essays covering important and timely topics appealing to non-specialists and all dinosaur enthusiasts: birds as `living dinosaurs', the new feathered dinosaurs from China, `warm-bloodedness'. Along the way, the reader learns about dinosaur functional morphology, physiology, and systematics using cladistic methodology – in short, how professional paleontologists and dinosaur experts go about their work, and why they find it so rewarding. The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs is spectacularly illustrated by John Sibbick, a world-famous illustrator of dinosaurs, commissioned exclusively for this book.

From reviews of the previous edition:

"The book amply fulfils its objective of providing an authoritative, stimulating and lively introduction to dinosaurs. There are not many textbooks to which the epithets 'lively' and 'entertaining' apply, and that are friendly enough for a general reader [...] I can also warmly recommend it to interested general readers as the best available and thoroughly accessible account of dinosaurs and how they fit in with current scientific thinking – with the bonus that it presents the facts in an exciting manner, while dispelling the hype."
- Angela Milner, New Scientist

"[...] reflects the rigour of modern palaeontological research, and it will transmit the idea of method and testing to students, especially in terms of cladistic analysis of relationships, studies of macroevolution and of functional morphology. The book also conveys enthusiasm and excitement, two further principles of science that new generations of palaeontologists display in abundance [...] The presentation of the book is superb. The writing style is lively, and there are many amusing anecdotes and sidelines on popular attitudes to dinosaurs [...] There are even 14 colour plates, which is astounding in a textbook at this price."
- Michael J. Benton, Trends in Ecology and Evolution

From reviews of this edition:

"[...] superb [...] It's engagingly written, authoritative, up-to-date, well illustrated, and bursting with enthusiasm. [...] The book is written as a university level text, but could easily be used to develop modular material for teaching at any level. I hope it will be. Highly recommended."
- Biologist

"[...] it serves as an excellent primer on and about dinosaurs. [...] For the uninitiated this should prove to be a thoroughly good read [...]"
- Geological Magazine

"There is much in The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs to appeal to the non-specialist and dinosaur enthusiast as well as to the student market. The book covers exactly what it says on the jacket, including important sections on systematics using cladistic methodology that shows how dinosaurs relate to each other and to other animals. It offers more in-depth coverage of dinosaurs than broader vertebrate palaeontology textbooks [...] very good value."
- Times Higher Education Supplement

"[...] a fascinating and interesting book. Very well illustrated, it is of an easy understanding. Concise and clear [...]"
- Geobios

"One of the real strong features of The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs are its line drawings by John Sibbick, one of the foremost dinosaur illustrators who excels here as a textbook illustrator as well. [...] a great achievement by the authors and a substantial improvement over the first edition. It must have been a real challenge to write an update of this rapidly moving field, but the book very well manages to convey the excitement of the ongoing research on dinosaurs."
- Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research


1. Introduction
2. The Mesozoic era
3. Discovering order
4. Interrelationships
5. Origin of Dinosauria; Saurischia
6. Sauropoda
7. Theropoda
8. The origin of birds
9. Mesozoic birds; Ornithischia
10. Stegosauria
11. Ankylosauria
12. Pachycephalosauria
13. Ceratopsia
14. Ornithopoda
15. Endothermy
16. Dinosaur paleoecology
17. Reconstructing extinctions
18. The cretaceous/tertiary extinction

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