Dinosaurs : A Concise Natural History

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Updated with the material that instructors want, Dinosaurs continues to make science exciting and understandable to non-science majors through its narrative of scientific concepts rather than endless facts. It now contains new material on pterosaurs, an expanded section on the evolution of the dinosaurs and new photographs to help students engage with geology, natural history and evolution. The authors ground the text in the language of modern evolutionary biology, phylogenetic systematics, and teach students to examine the paleontology of dinosaurs exactly as the professionals in the field do using these methods to reconstruct dinosaur relationships. Beautifully illustrated, lively and engaging, this edition continues to encourage students to ask questions and assess data critically, enabling them to think like a scientist.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 219 x 275 x 22mm | 1,420g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd edition
  • 325 colour illus.
  • 1107010799
  • 9781107010796
  • 2,902,442

Table of contents

Why a natural history of dinosaurs?; 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. Thyreophorans: the armor-bearers; 6. Marginocephalia: bumps, bosses, 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. A history of paleontology through ideas; 15. Dinosaurs: in the beginning; 16. The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction: the frill is gone; Glossary; Index of subjects; Index of genera.
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Review quote

'... the most comprehensive and useful text on dinosaurs on the market. It's both authoritative and whimsical, providing the student with a great background on dinosaurs and on the sciences needed to understand them. It's fun to read and [has] great illustrations too.' Kevin Padian, Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley Review of the first edition: 'I am excited to see that the authors have selected not to overwhelm the student with detail.' Mark Oiumette, Hardin-Simmons University Review of the first edition: 'Does an excellent job of explaining cladistics.' Bill Zinsmeister, Purdue University Review of the first edition: 'Well written ... the authors' 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 Review of the first edition: '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 Review of the first edition: '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 Review of the first edition: 'Very up-to-date information ... superior illustration.' John Taylor, Indiana University of Pennsylvania 'It's the best fit for my course of any book out there because it's focused less on the dinosaurs themselves and more on how dinosaurs illustrate important lessons in the history of life ... I'm definitely going to adopt it for my course.' J. Bret Bennington, Hofstra University 'Dinosaurs remain a 'hot' topic ... To explore their past world, one needs to have a very good guide. With the publication of the book by Fastovsky and Weishampel, the latter is now available ... demonstrates an outstanding degree of comprehensity ... an outstanding synthesis of the modern knowledge on dinosaurs.' Dmitry Ruban, The German Geological/Palaeontological Journal 'It is an admirable work, something unlike I have seen in other texts in the field. The 240 page lexicon is elegant and freshly instructive. I find this text compact, self-contained and interesting to read.' Gibson Batch, Rheology Bulletin 'Overall I find Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History to be a welcome improvement over what in my opinion was already the best dinosaur textbook on the market.' William Parker, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology '... Fastovsky and Weishampel have been at the forefront of this genre ... One rather interesting section ... deals with slightly more philosophical questions relating to the history of ideas as well as the major contributors to the study of dinosaurs ... It is ... 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.' David Norman, The Geographical Journal
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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 1920s 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 is 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 is 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.
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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)
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