Flying Dinosaurs: How fearsome reptiles became birds

NewSouth
8
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Dinosaurs didn’t die out when an asteroid hit Earth 66 million years ago. Get ready to unthink what you thought you knew and journey into the deep, dark depths of the Jurassic.

The discovery of the first feathered dinosaur in China in 1996 sent shockwaves through the palaeontological world. Were the feathers part of a complex mating ritual, or a stepping stone in the evolution of flight? And just how closely related T. rex to a chicken

Award-winning journalist John Pickrell reveals how dinosaurs developed flight and became the birds in our backyards. He delves into the latest discoveries in China, the US, Europe and uncovers a thriving black market in fossils and infighting between dinosaur hunters, plus the controversial plan to use a chicken to bring dinosaurs back from the dead. 

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About the author

John Pickrell is an award-winning journalist and the editor of Australian Geographic. He has also worked for Cosmos, New Scientist, Science, National Geographic, and Science News.

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Additional Information

Publisher
NewSouth
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Published on
Jun 1, 2014
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781742241760
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Animals / Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures
Science / Paleontology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. In How to Clone a Mammoth, Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in "ancient DNA" research, walks readers through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used--today--to resurrect the past. Journeying to far-flung Siberian locales in search of ice age bones and delving into her own research--as well as those of fellow experts such as Svante Paabo, George Church, and Craig Venter--Shapiro considers de-extinction's practical benefits and ethical challenges. Would de-extinction change the way we live? Is this really cloning? What are the costs and risks? And what is the ultimate goal?

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.

Praise for the first edition:

A gift to serious dinosaur enthusiasts" —Science

The amount of information in [these] pages is amazing. This book should be on the shelves of dinosaur freaks as well as those who need to know more about the paleobiology of extinct animals. It will be an invaluable library reference." —American Reference Books Annual

An excellent encyclopedia that serves as a nice bridge between popular and scholarly dinosaur literature." —Library Journal (starred review)

Copiously illustrated and scrupulously up-to-date... the book reveals dinos through the fractious fields that make a study of them." —Publishers Weekly

Stimulating armchair company for cold winter evenings.... Best of all, the book treats dinosaurs as intellectual fun." —New Scientist

The book is useful both as a reference and as a browse-and-enjoy compendium." —Natural History

What do we know about dinosaurs, and how do we know it? How did dinosaurs grow, move, eat, and reproduce? Were they warm-blooded or cold-blooded? How intelligent were they? How are the various groups of dinosaurs related to each other, and to other kinds of living and extinct vertebrates? What can the study of dinosaurs tell us about the process of evolution? And why did typical dinosaurs become extinct? All of these questions, and more, are addressed in the new, expanded, second edition of The Complete Dinosaur. Written by many of the world's leading experts on the "fearfully great" reptiles, the book’s 45 chapters cover what we have learned about dinosaurs, from the earliest discoveries of dinosaurs to the most recent controversies. Where scientific contention exists, the editors have let the experts agree to disagree. Copiously illustrated and accessible to all readers from the enthusiastic amateur to the most learned professional paleontologist, The Complete Dinosaur is a feast for serious dinosaur lovers everywhere.

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