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The Illustrated Dinosaur Encyclopedia is an unmatched reference work distinguished by its erudition and beauty – an illustrated who's who of prehistoric life and a source book of more than 500 million years of evolution on Earth.
With entries for more than 600 species, each arranged in its evolutionary sequence, The Illustrated Dinosaur Encyclopedia presents a panorama of enormous diversity, from predatory dinosaurs to primitive amphibians, from giant armored fish to woolly mammoths, saber-tooth tigers, and dire wolves. Each entry features a specially commissioned full-colour painting prepared according to the best research of today in close collaboration with world renowned paleontologists.
The records of rocks – fossil bones, teeth, skin, hair, and even footprints and nests – have been combined with knowledge of the anatomy and behavior of present day descendants to arrive at informed judgments about posture, color, and other aspects of appearance. Lively and informative "biographies" of the creatures accompany these remarkable illustrations: how they moved, what they ate, where they ranged, and the habitats and ecological niches they occupied.
Comparisons are made wherever possible with familiar living animals, highlighting both the contrasts and similarities. Also included are articles on subjects such as the time scale of evolution, fossil formation and interpretation, and convergent evolution. Truly a magnificent source book, The Illustrated Dinosaur Encyclopediaâ is both a triumph of scholarship and a work of art.
Professor Barry Cox is head of the biology department at King's College, University of London. His speciality is mammal-like reptiles, and he teaches vertebrate palaeontology. His publications include Prehistoric Life Explained.
Professor R. J. G. Savage is head of the geology department at the University of Bristol. Author of several books, including Mammal Evolution, he is among the world's foremost experts on mammal fossils.
Professor Brian Gardiner teaches vertebrate palaeontology at King's College, University of London. He is an expert on fossil fishes and amphibians, and advisor on palaeontology to the Natural History Museum in London.
Dr Colin Harrison, an expert on bird zoology and palaeontology, is the former principal scientific officer of ornithology at the British Museum (Natural History) in London.