Dinosaurs of the Air

Dinosaurs of the Air : The Evolution and Loss of Flight in Dinosaurs and Birds

3.66 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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Dinosaurs of the Air: The Evolution and Loss of Flight in Dinosaurs and Birds presents the most recent work of renowned evolutionary scientist and dinosaur illustrator Gregory Paul. Dinosaurs of the Air synthesizes the growing body of evidence which suggests that modern-day birds have evolved from theropod dinosaurs of prehistoric times. Paul argues provocatively for the idea that the ancestor-descendant relationship between the dinosaurs and birds can on occasion be reversed, and that many dinosaurs were secondarily flightless descendants of creatures we would regard as birds.Controversial and comprehensive, Dinosaurs of the Air also offers new, firsthand interpretations of major fossils; a balanced, rewarding discussion of the ways we think flight may have evolved (comparing "ground up" and "trees down" scenarios); a close look at the famous urvogel Archaeopteryx, discussing what it can and cannot tell us about bird origins; and in-depth analyses of bird and theropod phylogenetics. Full of rich detail for the specialist but accessible to the intelligent lay reader, the book includes the author's own stunning illustrations and a technical appendix which provides information, for example, on body mass/wing dimension relationships and avian/dinosaurian metabolics.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 472 pages
  • 218 x 280 x 38mm | 1,559.98g
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 59 Line drawings, black and white; 88 Halftones, black and white
  • 0801867630
  • 9780801867637
  • 1,576,277

Review quote

Paul has succeeded in producing a beautiful book that will be an invaluable reference for those interested in avian origins for many years to come. -- Graham K. Taylor * Ibis * If you want to dig seriously into one of today's most fascinating evolutionary debates, and aren't afraid of anatomy, you'll delight in Dinosaurs of the Air. * New Scientist *
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About Gregory S. Paul

Gregory S. Paul is a freelance scientist and scientific illustrator specializing in dinosaur evolution. Illustrations from his book Predatory Dinosaurs of the World, along with specific skeletal studies of theropods he was commissioned to prepare, were used in the making of the Jurassic Park movies.
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Table of contents

Contents:PrefacePART I : Getting StartedChapter 1: A HistoryChapter 2: The Science of Bird OriginsPART II: Skeletons, Bones and Other Remains of the MesozoicChapter 3: SkullsChapter 4: SkeletonsChapter 5: Feathers and Other FluffPART III: Flight: How and Why it Evolves, Why it is Lost, and How to Tell WhenChapter 6: The Beginnings of Flight: From the Ground Up, or the Trees Down?Chapter 7: The Early Evolution of FlightChapter 8: The Loss of FlightPART IV: The Archaeopteryx problemChapter 9: Lifestyle for the UrvogelPART V: Who Is Related to Whom, and Why?Chapter 10: Looking for the True Bird AncestorChapter 11: Were Some Dinosaurs Neoflightless Birds?Chapter 12: A Look at the Phylogenetics of Predatory DinosaursPART VI: A Modest ScenarioChapter 13: The MesozoicChapter 14: The Great ExtinctionChapter 15: The CenozoicAppendixBibliographyIndex
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Rating details

9 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 22% (2)
4 33% (3)
3 33% (3)
2 11% (1)
1 0% (0)
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