Other surprising discoveries hail from Alaska, Siberia, Canada, Burma, and South Africa. Why did dinosaurs grow so huge? How did they spread across the world? Did they all have feathers? What do sauropods have in common with 1950s vacuum cleaners? The stuff of adventure movies and scientific revolutions, Weird Dinosaurs examines the latest breakthroughs and new technologies that are radically transforming our understanding of the distant past. Pickrell opens a vivid portal to a brand-new age of fossil discovery, in which fossil hunters are routinely redefining what we know and how we think about prehistory's most iconic and fascinating creatures.
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With excitement and driving intelligence, Richard Fortey guides us from the barren globe spinning in space, through the very earliest signs of life in the sulphurous hot springs and volcanic vents of the young planet, the appearance of cells, the slow creation of an atmosphere and the evolution of myriad forms of plants and animals that could then be sustained, including the magnificent era of the dinosaurs, and on to the last moment before the debut of Homo sapiens.
Ranging across multiple scientific disciplines, explicating in wonderfully clear and refreshing prose their findings and arguments--about the origins of life, the causes of species extinctions and the first appearance of man--Fortey weaves this history out of the most delicate traceries left in rock, stone and earth. He also explains how, on each aspect of nature and life, scientists have reached the understanding we have today, who made the key discoveries, who their opponents were and why certain ideas won.
Brimful of wit, fascinating personal experience and high scholarship, this book may well be our best introduction yet to the complex history of life on Earth.
A Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection With 32 pages of photographs
From the Hardcover edition.
Using DNA collected from remains as a genetic blueprint, scientists aim to engineer extinct traits--traits that evolved by natural selection over thousands of years--into living organisms. But rather than viewing de-extinction as a way to restore one particular species, Shapiro argues that the overarching goal should be the revitalization and stabilization of contemporary ecosystems. For example, elephants with genes modified to express mammoth traits could expand into the Arctic, re-establishing lost productivity to the tundra ecosystem.
Looking at the very real and compelling science behind an idea once seen as science fiction, How to Clone a Mammoth demonstrates how de-extinction will redefine conservation's future.
We live in a golden age of paleontological discovery—the perfect time to dig in to the spectacular world of dinosaurs. From Aardonyx, a lumbering beast that formed a link between two and four-legged dinosaurs, to Zuniceratops, who boasted a deadly pair of horns, Dinosaurs—The Grand Tour details everything worth knowing about every important dinosaur that scientists know about—more than 300 in all.
In Dinosaurs you’ll learn all the gory details—about geology, anatomy, evolution, astronomy, and even Native American and Chinese mythology. Stories of harrowing paleontological expeditions conjure the thrills of history’s most famous dinosaur hunters. Highlights of recent research reveal what’s going on in the world of dinosaurs today, including scientists’ recent discovery of pigments embedded in dinosaur fossils that shed light, for the first time, on dinosaurs’ true coloration. Illustrations on virtually every page bring these prehistoric creatures to life in all their razor-sharp, long-necked, spiny, scaly glory.
And for readers inspired to test their dino-expertise in the field, renowned paleontologist Jack Horner’s field notes will help enthusiasts set out on their own expeditions. Track down dinosaur footprints at Horner’s recommended sites, head out on a cross-country dinosaur road trip using Horner’s list of top North American dinosaurs as your map, and learn what it’s like to be a leading paleontologist who’s been part of some of the most sensational dinosaur discoveries ever—and how you can get involved, too!
Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs.
Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings—established and speculative—regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the Universe, our galaxy, our Solar System, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos’ history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.
Tim M. Berra, whose "Darwin: The Man" lectures are in high demand worldwide, tells the fascinating story of the person and the idea that changed everything. Berra discusses Darwin’s revolutionary scientific work, its impact on modern-day biological science, and the influence of Darwin’s evolutionary theory on Western thought. But Berra digs deeper to reveal Darwin the man by combining anecdotes with carefully selected illustrations and photographs.
This small gem of a book includes 20 color plates and 60 black-and-white illustrations, along with an annotated list of Darwin’s publications and a chronology of his life.
Here is everything young readers want to know about dinosaurs and their world—in one magnificently illustrated, up-to-date family reference.
Profiles all known dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures, from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous eras and beyond. Each main entry has a highly detailed and technically accurate illustration.
The very latest discoveries in paleontology--many of them made by the author and his students--are integrated with emerging insights from molecular biology and earth system science to forge a broad understanding of how the biological diversity that surrounds us came to be. Moving from Siberia to Namibia to the Bahamas, Knoll shows how life and environment have evolved together through Earth's history. Innovations in biology have helped shape our air and oceans, and, just as surely, environmental change has influenced the course of evolution, repeatedly closing off opportunities for some species while opening avenues for others.
Readers go into the field to confront fossils, enter the lab to discern the inner workings of cells, and alight on Mars to ask how our terrestrial experience can guide exploration for life beyond our planet. Along the way, Knoll brings us up-to-date on some of science's hottest questions, from the oldest fossils and claims of life beyond the Earth to the hypothesis of global glaciation and Knoll's own unifying concept of ''permissive ecology.''
In laying bare Earth's deepest biological roots, Life on a Young Planet helps us understand our own place in the universe--and our responsibility as stewards of a world four billion years in the making.
In a new preface, Knoll describes how the field has broadened and deepened in the decade since the book's original publication.
The book's title refers to the 1856 discovery of a clearly very old skull cap in Germany's Neander Valley. The possessor had a brain as large as a modern human, but a heavy low braincase with a prominent brow ridge. Scientists tried hard to explain away the inconvenient possibility that this was not actually our direct relative. One extreme interpretation suggested that the preserved leg bones were curved by both rickets, and by a life on horseback. The pain of the unfortunate individual's affliction had caused him to chronically furrow his brow in agony, leading to the excessive development of bone above the eye sockets.
The subsequent history of human evolutionary studies is full of similarly fanciful interpretations. With tact and humor, Tattersall concludes that we are not the perfected products of natural processes, but instead the result of substantial doses of random happenstance.
The first section of The Dinosauria begins with the origin of the great clade of these fascinating reptiles, followed by separate coverage of each major dinosaur taxon, including the Mesozoic radiation of birds. The second part of the volume navigates through broad areas of interest. Here we find comprehensive documentation of dinosaur distribution through time and space, discussion of the interface between geology and biology, and the paleoecological inferences that can be made through this link. This new edition will be the benchmark reference for everyone who needs authoritative information on dinosaurs.
The authors cull their history from the most recent scientific research conducted on the vast collections of the American Museum of Natural History and other leading institutions. The fossil record of the Canidae, particularly those from their birth place in North America, are the strongest of their kind among known groups of carnivorans. Such a wonderfully detailed evolutionary history provides access to a natural history that is not possible with many other groups of carnivorans.
With their rich fossil record, diverse adaptations to various environments, and different predatory specializations, canids are an ideal model organism for the mapping of predator behavior and morphological specializations. They also offer an excellent contrast to felids, which remain entrenched in extreme predatory specializations. The innovative illustrated approach in this book is the perfect accompaniment to an extremely important branch of animal and fossil study. It transforms the science of paleontology into a thrilling visual experience and provides an unprecedented reference for anyone fascinated by dogs.
One of Amazon's Best Science Books of 2013
A Hudson Booksellers Staff Pick for the Best Books of 2013
One of Publishers Weekly's Top Ten Spring Science Books
Selected by Apple's iBookstore as one of the best books of April
A Bookshop Santa Cruz Staff Pick
Dinosaurs, with their awe-inspiring size, terrifying claws and teeth, and otherworldly abilities, occupy a sacred place in our childhoods. They loom over museum halls, thunder through movies, and are a fundamental part of our collective imagination. In My Beloved Brontosaurus, the dinosaur fanatic Brian Switek enriches the childlike sense of wonder these amazing creatures instill in us. Investigating the latest discoveries in paleontology, he breathes new life into old bones.
Switek reunites us with these mysterious creatures as he visits desolate excavation sites and hallowed museum vaults, exploring everything from the sex life of Apatosaurus and T. rex's feather-laden body to just why dinosaurs vanished. (And of course, on his journey, he celebrates the book's titular hero, "Brontosaurus"—who suffered a second extinction when we learned he never existed at all—as a symbol of scientific progress.)
With infectious enthusiasm, Switek questions what we've long held to be true about these beasts, weaving in stories from his obsession with dinosaurs, which started when he was just knee-high to a Stegosaurus. Endearing, surprising, and essential to our understanding of our own evolution and our place on Earth, My Beloved Brontosaurus is a book that dinosaur fans and anyone interested in scientific progress will cherish for years to come.
In his New York Times bestseller, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind, renowned paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson told the incredible story of his discovery of a partial female skeleton that revolutionized the study of human origins. Lucy literally changed our understanding of our world and who we come from. Since that dramatic find in 1974, there has been heated debate and–most important–more groundbreaking discoveries that have further transformed our understanding of when and how humans evolved.
In Lucy’s Legacy, Johanson takes readers on a fascinating tour of the last three decades of study–the most exciting period of paleoanthropologic investigation thus far. In that time, Johanson and his colleagues have uncovered a total of 363 specimens of Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy’s species, a transitional creature between apes and humans), spanning 400,000 years. As a result, we now have a unique fossil record of one branch of our family tree–that family being humanity–a tree that is believed to date back a staggering 7 million years.
Focusing on dramatic new fossil finds and breakthrough advances in DNA research, Johanson provides the latest answers that post-Lucy paleoanthropologists are finding to questions such as: How did Homo sapiens evolve? When and where did our species originate? What separates hominids from the apes? What was the nature of Neandertal and modern human encounters? What mysteries about human evolution remain to be solved?
Donald Johanson is a passionate guide on an extraordinary journey from the ancient landscape of Hadar, Ethiopia–where Lucy was unearthed and where many other exciting fossil discoveries have since been made–to a seaside cave in South Africa that once sheltered early members of our own species, and many other significant sites. Thirty-five years after Lucy, Johanson continues to enthusiastically probe the origins of our species and what it means to be human.
From the Hardcover edition.
Scattered across the globe, these remarkable plants and animals continue to mark seminal events in geological time. From a moonlit beach in Delaware, where the hardy horseshoe crab shuffles its way to a frenzy of mass mating just as it did 450 million years ago, to the dense rainforests of New Zealand, where the elusive, unprepossessing velvet worm has burrowed deep into rotting timber since before the breakup of the ancient supercontinent, to a stretch of Australian coastline with stromatolite formations that bear witness to the Precambrian dawn, the existence of these survivors offers us a tantalizing glimpse of pivotal points in evolutionary history. These are not “living fossils” but rather a handful of tenacious creatures of days long gone.
Written in buoyant, sparkling prose, Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms is a marvelously captivating exploration of the world’s old-timers combining the very best of science writing with an explorer’s sense of adventure and wonder.
‘Dry Store Room No. 1’ is an intimate biography of the Natural History Museum, celebrating the eccentric personalities who have peopled it and capturing the wonders of scientific endeavour, academic rigour and imagination.
Behind the public façade of any great museum there lies a secret domain: one of unseen galleries, locked doors, priceless specimens and hidden lives.Through the stories of the numerous eccentric individuals whose long careers have left their mark on the study of evolutionary science, Richard Fortey, former senior paleaontologist at London's Natural History Museum, celebrates the pioneering work of the Museum from its inception to the present day. He delves into the feuds, affairs, scandals and skulduggery that have punctuated its long history, and formed a backdrop to extraordinary scientific endeavour from Darwin to the present day. He explores the staying power and adaptability of the Museum as it responds to changes wrought by advances in technology and molecular biology – 'spare' bones from an extinct giant bird suddenly become cutting-edge science with the new knowledge that DNA can be extracted from them, and ancient fish are tested with the latest equipment that is able to measure rises in pollution.
'Dry Store Room No.1’ is a fascinating and affectionate account of a hidden world of untold treasures, where every fragment tells a story about time past, by a scientist who combines rigorous professional learning with a gift for prose that sparkles with wit and literary sensibility.
Note that it has not been possible to include the same picture content that appeared in the original print version.
The book has a dedicated website which explores additionalenriching information and discussion, and provides or points to theart for the book and many other images useful for teaching. See: ahref="http://www.wiley.com/go/cowen/historyoflife"www.wiley.com/go/cowen/historyoflife/a.
The People’s Peking Man is a skilled social history of twentieth-century Chinese paleoanthropology and a compelling cultural—and at times comparative—history of assumptions and debates about what it means to be human. By focusing on issues that push against the boundaries of science and politics, The People’s Peking Man offers an innovative approach to modern Chinese history and the history of science.
Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero have written an entertaining, educational, and definitive text on cryptids, presenting the arguments both for and against their existence and systematically challenging the pseudoscience that perpetuates their myths. After examining the nature of science and pseudoscience and their relation to cryptozoology, Loxton and Prothero take on Bigfoot; the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, and its cross-cultural incarnations; the Loch Ness monster and its highly publicized sightings; the evolution of the Great Sea Serpent; and Mokele Mbembe, or the Congo dinosaur. They conclude with an analysis of the psychology behind the persistent belief in paranormal phenomena, identifying the major players in cryptozoology, discussing the character of its subculture, and considering the challenge it poses to clear and critical thinking in our increasingly complex world.
Thirteen respected researchers combine their experiences in Bonebeds, providing readers with workable definitions, theoretical frameworks, and a compendium of modern techniques in bonebed data collection and analysis. By addressing the historical, theoretical, and practical aspects of bonebed research, this edited volume—the first of its kind—provides the background and methods that students and professionals need to explore and understand these fantastic records of ancient life and death.
* Major revision of a 1993 classic reference
* Lavishly illustrated with 1,800 images and user friendly for use by paleobotanists, biologists, geologists and other related scientists
* Includes an expanded glossary with an extensive up-to-date bibliography and a comprehensive index
* Provides extensive coverage of fungi and other microbes, and major groups of land plants both living and extinct
The 14 stunning images in this bookazine reveal the dinosaurs as you have never seen them before. Every poster is accompanied by the facts and figures surrounding the individual dinosaurs, including information about their habitat, food and predators. Featuring a dinosaur family tree and scale pictures to help compare the size and dominance of these incredible beasts, this entertaining and educational collection will captivate and amaze.
Fossils At A Glance is written for students taking anintroductory level course in paleontology. Short chapters introducethe main topics in the modern study of fossils. The most importantfossil groups are discussed, from microfossils throughinvertebrates to vertebrates and plants, followed by a briefnarrative of life on Earth.
Diagrams are central to the book and allow the reader to seemost of the important data “at a glance”. Each topiccovers two pages and provides a self-contained suite of informationor a starting point for future study.
This second edition has been thoroughly revised and brought upto date. It includes new line diagrams as well as photographsof selected fossils
Richard Hilton is the first to tell the unsung story of the dinosaurs and reptiles of land, sea, and sky that lived in California and Baja California during the Mesozoic era (245 million-65 million years ago), in addition to the history of their discovery. Vibrantly illustrated with more than three hundred photographs, paintings, and drawings, this book provides geological and environmental details, describes the significance of the major fossils, and chronicles the adventures involved in the discovery, preparation, and publishing of the finds.
Hilton also includes accounts of the scientists, teachers, students, ranchers, and weekend fossil hunters who endured (and continue to endure) harsh weather, fires, wild animals, and the usual challenges of fieldwork to collect fossil remains and make major discoveries. These enthusiasts managed to safeguard an abundance of fossil resources, some of which would otherwise have been destroyed by quarrying, paving, and housing developments. Dinosaurs and Other Mesozoic Reptiles of California takes this legacy one step further by documenting information about the fossils and their finders in accessible prose and vivid artistic renderings, creating a valuable contribution to our understanding of California’s prehistoric past.
This book received the Award of Excellence in an Illustrated Medical Book from the Association of Medical Illustrators. It is organized by individual organism to facilitate classroom presentation.
This illustrated, full-color primary dissection manual is ideal for use by students or practitioners working with vertebrate anatomy. This book is also recommended for researchers in vertebrate and functional morphology and comparative anatomy. The result of this exceptional work offers the most comprehensive treatment than has ever before been available.* Received the Award of Excellence in an Illustrated Medical Book from the Association of Medical Illustrators
* Expertly rendered award-winning illustrations accompany the detailed, clear dissection direction
* Organized by individual organism to facilitate classroom presentation
* Offers coverage of a wide range of vertebrates
* Full-color, strong pedagogical aids in a convenient lay-flat presentation
Pterosaurs features some 200 stunning illustrations, including original paintings by Mark Witton and photos of rarely seen fossils. After decades of mystery, paleontologists have finally begun to understand how pterosaurs are related to other reptiles, how they functioned as living animals, and, despite dwarfing all other flying animals, how they managed to become airborne. Here you can explore the fossil evidence of pterosaur behavior and ecology, learn about the skeletal and soft-tissue anatomy of pterosaurs, and consider the newest theories about their cryptic origins. This one-of-a-kind book covers the discovery history, paleobiogeography, anatomy, and behaviors of more than 130 species of pterosaur, and also discusses their demise at the end of the Mesozoic.
The most comprehensive book on pterosaurs ever published
Features some 200 illustrations, including original paintings by the author
Covers every known species and major group of pterosaurs
Describes pterosaur anatomy, ecology, behaviors, diversity, and more
Encourages further study with 500 references to primary pterosaur literature
How can paleontologists know what a living dinosaur was like more than a hundred million years ago, particularly when only partial skeletons remain? Focusing on one large carnivorous dinosaur, Acrocanthosaurus (“high-spined lizard”), paleontologist Kenneth Carpenter explains the process, pairing scholarly findings with more than 75 color illustrations to reconstruct “Acro” before readers’ eyes. In Acrocanthosaurus Inside and Out, he offers the most complete portrait possible of this fascinating dinosaur’s appearance, biology, and behavior.
Acrocanthosaurus—similar in size to its later cousin Tyrannosaurus rex, but studded with large spines—roamed what is now the south-central United States 110 to 115 million years ago, during the Early Cretaceous. Carpenter worked on the most complete of the Acrocanthosaurus skeletons (nicknamed “Fran”) that has been found. Here he describes the techniques that tell us about Acro’s biological makeup, movements, and habits. Studies of joints reveal the range of possible motion, while bumps, ridges, and scars on the bones show where muscles, ligaments, and tendons attached. CT scans allow us to peer into the braincase, while microscopes afford a cross-sectional view of bones. These findings in turn offer an idea of how Acro stalked and ate its prey.
Scientific evidence beyond the fossils provides avenues for further inquiry: What does the sedimentary rock encasing Fran’s bones tell us about Acro’s environment? What does our knowledge of Acro’s distant relatives, such as crocodilians and birds, imply about its heart and other soft tissues? Can our understanding of other animals explain Acro’s huge spines?
Carpenter distills all this information into a clear, accessible, engaging account that will appeal to general readers and scholars alike. As the first book-length work on Acrocanthosaurus, this volume introduces a prehistoric giant that once stalked Texas and Oklahoma and offers a rare, firsthand glimpse into the trials and triumphs of paleontology.
Rose surveys the evolution of mammals, beginning with their origin from cynodont therapsids in the Mesozoic, contemporary with dinosaurs, through the early Cenozoic, with emphasis on the Paleocene and Eocene adaptive radiations of therian mammals. Focusing on the fossil record, he presents the anatomical evidence used to interpret behavior and phylogenetic relationships. The life's work of one of the most knowledgeable researchers in the field, this richly illustrated, magisterial book combines sound scientific principles and meticulous research and belongs on the shelf of every paleontologist and mammalogist.
Closed to the West since the 1920's, the remote sands of Mongolia's Gobi Desert constitute the richest fossil site in the world. In Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs, Novacek invites the reader along with his team as he recounts the day-to-day drama of field exploration and discusses the remarkable discoveries that he and his colleagues unearthed, fossil finds that have helped to reshape our understanding of the dinosaur and early mammal era.
Interweaving the adventure of field research with chapters that bring the reader up to date on contemporary dinosaur theory and science, Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs brings the excitement of scientific discovery to life.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Over a decade after Jurassic Park, Jack Horner and his colleagues in molecular biology labs are in the process of building the technology to create a real dinosaur.
Based on new research in evolutionary developmental biology on how a few select cells grow to create arms, legs, eyes, and brains that function together, Jack Horner takes the science a step further in a plan to "reverse evolution" and reveals the awesome, even frightening, power being acquired to recreate the prehistoric past. The key is the dinosaur's genetic code that lives on in modern birds- even chickens. From cutting-edge biology labs to field digs underneath the Montana sun, How to Build a Dinosaur explains and enlightens an awesome new science.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
geologic epochs and periods, in millions of years instead of centuries.
Man, by this measure, is but a creature of yesterday—his "forty
centuries of civilization" but a passing episode. It is by no means
easy for us to adjust our perspective to the immensely long spaces of
time involved in geological evolution. We are apt to think of all these
extinct animals merely as prehistoric—to imagine them all living at the
same time and contending with our cave-dwelling ancestors for the
mastery of the earth.
In order to understand the place of
the Dinosaurs in world-history, we must first get some idea of the
length of geologic periods and the immense space of time separating one
extinct fauna from another.
The Age of Man.
Prehistoric time, as it is commonly understood, is the time when
barbaric and savage tribes of men inhabited the world but before
civilization began, and earlier than the written records on which
history is based. This corresponds roughly to the Pleistocene epoch of
geology; it is included along with the much shorter time during which
civilization has existed, in the latest and shortest of the geological
periods, the Quaternary. It was the age of the mammoth and the mastodon,
the megatherium and Irish deer and of other quadrupeds large and small
which are now extinct; but most of its animals were the same species as
now exist. It was marked by the great episode of the Ice Age, when
considerable parts of the earth's surface were buried under immense
accumulations of ice, remnants of which are still with us in the icy
covering of Greenland and Antarctica.
The Topics in Paleobiology Series is published in collaboration with the Palaeontological Association, and is edited by Professor Mike Benton, University of Bristol.
Books in the series provide a summary of the current state of knowledge, a trusted route into the primary literature, and will act as pointers for future directions for research. As well as volumes on individual groups, the series will also deal with topics that have a cross-cutting relevance, such as the evolution of significant ecosystems, particular key times and events in the history of life, climate change, and the application of a new techniques such as molecular palaeontology.
The books are written by leading international experts and will be pitched at a level suitable for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers in both the paleontological and biological sciences.
Additional resources for this book can be found at: http://www.wiley.com/go/brusatte/dinosaurpaleobiology.
Praise for previous editions of Dinosaurs and the Expanding Earth
'something completely different ... an original work rather than a re-presentation of existing knowledge ... well presented.' GEOLOGY TODAY - Blackwell Science Ltd.
'Engineers (Hurrell) have shown that dinosaurs' bones could not have borne their weight ... much reduced surface gravity is essential for dinosaurs to have existed.' Professor S. Warren Carey, University of Tasmania.
'... written in a plain straightforward style and its target is a wide public not interested in specialist treatises. Its clear and lively descriptions lead the reader straight to the core of the arguments. ... could well be the topics of joint scientific collaboration between engineers and paleontologists.' ANNALS OF GEOPHYSICS
Birds of Stone makes visible the unexpected avian diversity that blanketed the earth just a short time (geologically speaking) after a dinosaur lineage gave rise to the first birds. Our visual journey through these fossils is guided by Luis M. Chiappe, a world expert on early birds, and Meng Qingjin, a leading figure in China's natural history museum community. Together, they help us understand the "meaning" of each fossil by providing straightforward narratives that accompany the full-page photographs of the Jehol discoveries.
Anyone interested in the history of life—from paleontologists to inquisitive birders—will find Birds of Stone an irresistible feast for the eyes and mind.