The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs
This is a comprehensive treatment of dinosaurs designed to be used mainly as a textbook for students in first or second year undergraduate courses, although non-specialists are also sure to find the book of great interest. Nonetheless, it is unique in that it truly portrays dinosaurs from a specialist viewpoint. It is the only comprehensive text that takes an explicitly phylogenetic approach to this group. The geological context of dinosaurs is also stressed, and dinosaurs are presented in the context of contemporary plate tectonic and climatic settings. The authors also cover topics of interest in dinosaur palaeobiology, 'hot-blooded' dinosaurs, aspects of dinosaur functional morphology and the relationships of dinosaurs to birds. All of the discussion is couched in lively and accessible language, and the book is lavishly illustrated by specially commissioned line drawings and colour plates that show dinosaurs in a variety of natural settings.
- Hardback | 479 pages
- 208 x 261 x 35mm | 1,600g
- 29 Mar 1996
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 2 Tables, unspecified; 14 Plates, color; 48 Halftones, unspecified; 217 Line drawings, unspecified
Table of contents
Preface; Part I. Setting The Stage: 1. Introduction/collection; 2. The Mesozoic era: back to the past; 3. Discovering order in the natural world; 4. Interrelationships of the vertebrates; 5. The origin of dinosauria; Part II. Ornithischia: 6. Stegosauria: hot plates; 7. Ankylosauria: mass and gas; 8. Pachycephalosauria: head to head with malice aforethought; 9. Ceratopsia: horns and all the frills; 10. Ornithopoda: the tuskers, antelopes, and mighty ducks of the Mesozoic; Part III. Saurischia: 11. Sauropodomorpha: the big, the bizarre, and the majestic; 12. Theropoda I: nature red in tooth and claw; 13. Theropoda II: the origin of birds; Part IV. Endothermy, Environments, and Extinction: 14. Dinosaur endothermy: some like it hot; 15. Dinosaurs in space and time; 16. Reconstructing extinctions: the art of science; 17. The Cretaceous/Tertiary extinction: the frill is gone; Glossary; Index.
'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 'This book will make an excellent text for any dinosaur class. And, although written as a textbook, its readability and even-handed presentation of timely information also make it appropriate for general public reading. I'm hard pressed to think of another available book as accessible as this for a novice to learn about dinosaurs.' Catherine A. Forster, American 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 'Challenging, but very well written and informative.' Library Journal '... a well-presented survey.' Aslib Book Guide '... the best introductory textbook for students.' Nature 'The presentation of the book is superb ... for palaeontologists it is the best single book on the subject.' Michael J. Benton, Historical Biology