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.
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.
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.