Dinosaurs : A Concise Natural History

4.2 (133 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , By (author) 

List price: US$166.00

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


From the authors of The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs, comes a general introduction to the study of dinosaurs for non-specialists, designed to excite readers about science by using the ever-popular animals - the dinosaurs - to illustrate and discuss geology, natural history and evolution. While it focuses on dinosaurs, it also uses them to convey other aspects of the natural sciences, including fundamental concepts in evolutionary biology, physiology, life history, and systematics. Considerable attention is devoted the nature of science itself: what it is, what it is not, and how science can be used to investigate particular kinds of questions. Dinosaurs is unique because it fills a gap between the glossy, fact-driven dinosaur books for younger readers, and the higher-level academic books, addressing the palaeontology of dinosaurs exactly as professionals in the field do.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 394 pages
  • 222 x 284 x 23mm | 1,310g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0521889960
  • 9780521889964
  • 1,929,727

Table of contents

Preface: why this book?; Part I. Reaching Back in Time: 1. To catch a dinosaur; 2. Dinosaur days; 3. Who's related to whom - and how do we know?; 4. Who are the dinosaurs?; Part II. Ornithischia: Armored, Horned, and Duckbilled Dinosaurs: 5. Thyreophora: the armor-bearers; 6. Marginocephalia: bosses, bumps, and beaks; 7. Ornithopoda: the Tuskers, Antelopes and 'Mighty Ducks' of the Mesozoic; Part III. Saurischia: Meat, Might, and Magnitude: 8. Sauropodomorpha: the big, the bizarre, and the majestic; 9. Theropoda I: nature red in tooth and claw; 10. Theropoda II: the origin of birds; 11. Theropoda III: early birds; Part IV. Endothermy, Endemism, and Extinction: 12. Dinosaur thermoregulation: some like it hot; 13. The flowering of the Mesozoic; 14. Thoughts of a paleontologist: a history of ideas in paleontology; 15. The Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction: the frill is gone.
show more

Review quote

'I am excited to see that the authors have selected not to overwhelm the student with detail.' Mark Oiumette, Hardin-Simmons University 'Does an excellent job of explaining cladistics.' Bill Zinsmeister, Purdue University 'Well written ... the author's sense of humor makes it enjoyable to read; it summarizes most of the important topics in dinosaur paleontology using current information.' Carol Waddell-Sheets, Canisius College 'This is an outstanding contribution for anyone teaching a course involving dinosaurs ... it is reasonably short and very much up to date.' Sherwood Wise, Florida State University 'It's a nice length - subjects are discussed with the appropriate amount of depth and level of coverage. The writing style and tone is engaging and I like the incorporation of phylogeny.' David Varricchio, Montana State University 'Very up-to-date information ... superior illustration.' John Taylor, Indiana University of Pennsylvania 'If you wish to know about the jaw mechanics in Euornithopoda, or if the giant femur of an adult Maiasaura makes you happy, this book will become the best gift for you! ... The indices of subjects and genera are very detailed and useful. It is great that the Latin name is translated for each taxon ... an outstanding synthesis of the modern knowledge on dinosaurs. And it will remain so for at least 1-2 decades. The reviewer has no idea other than to recommend this book strongly for everyone deeply interested in the world of dinosaurs and the evolutionary theory.' Zentralblatt fur Geologie und Palaontologie '... this book aiming to pass on to students numerous concepts of natural sciences via animals that are often dear to them (sometimes a bit too much!) remains a pleasant and interesting attempt.' Geochronique '... it is undoubtedly the case that Fastovsky and Weishampel have been at the forefront of this genre. ... concise as well as being accessible and highly informative on the topic of dinosaurs and the science that can be applied to understanding them. As a well-structured, thoughtful and helpful undergraduate teaching guide it is absolutely excellent.' The Geographical Journal
show more

About David E. Fastovsky

David Fastovsky is Professor of Geology at the University of Rhode Island and tutor at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. His interest in dinosaurs started as a child when he read about a 1920's fossil collector's adventures in the Gobi Desert. Dinosaurs won out years later when he had the tough decision of choosing between a career in music (he takes his viola on his many field trips) or paleontology, and he has had many of his own adventures in far-flung parts of the world. He's known as a dynamic teacher as well as a respected researcher with a focus on the environments in which dinosaurs roamed. When dinosaur fossils are found he's called on to reconstruct the place where they lived. He has made several television documentary appearances, and was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Geological Society of America in 2006. David B. Weishampel is professor in the Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution at The Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on dinosaur evolution and how dinosaurs function and he is particularly interested in herbivorous dinosaurs and the dinosaur record of Europe. Among his many publications he is senior editor of The Dinosauria, and has contributed to a number of popular publications including acting as consultant to Michael Crichton in the writing of The Lost World, the inspiration for Steven Spielberg's film Jurassic Park.
show more

Rating details

133 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 43% (57)
4 39% (52)
3 14% (18)
2 5% (6)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X