The Complete Dinosaur, 2e
(Life of the Past Series)
Edited by M. K. Brett-Surman, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr., and James O. Farlow
Indiana University Press (2012)
Reviewed by Boris Segel - October 28, 2013
Take a trip back in time with The Complete Dinosaur, to an era when dinosaurs' ruled the Earth and mankind was just a seed of evolutionary potential that was yet to bear fruit...
The Complete Dinosaur is a breathtaking and must-have book that will be devoured by everyone, from the youngest readers who have just discovered the wonders of Dinosaurs to Palaeontologists who have made the study of dinosaurs their life's work. Wonderfully illustrated and packed with data on every aspect of dinosaur life from what they ate and looked liked, to how they developed and why they became extinct. This volume, which is encyclopedic in scope, covers just about everything you could want to know about dinosaurs, without getting bogged down with too much technical jargon or overly-detailed scientific minutia. The book was edited by M. K. Brett-Surman, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr., and James O. Farlow, and it includes chapters written by some of worlds the leading palaeontologists and other scientist working on dinosaurs, including Paul M. Barrett (UK), Emily Buchholtz (USA), Richard J. Butler (Germany), Nicholas C. Fraser (Scotland), David W. E. Hone (China), David A. E. Spalding (Canada), Adam M. Yates (South Africa), and many more.
The essays in this collection are organized into five thematic sections covering
Complete with detailed endnotes for each chapter, detailed illustrations and an intuitive layout, The Complete Dinosaur is an almost 'un-put-downable' book. The only thing that will make you put it down is its physical weight. This hardcover contains more than 1,100 pages and it very heavy, forcing you to put it down every once in awhile just to rest your arms! Most of the illustrations in this book are in black and white. However, there is also a section with 32 jaw-dropping color plates in the center of the book.
- The Discovery of Dinosaurs
This section includes a general overview of dinosaur hunting, and hunters, from how the first dinosaur bones were most likely found to the modern day politics of dinosaur hunting.
- The Study of Dinosaurs
The second section in this book covers the scientific basis of studying dinosaurs including such subjects as osteology, paleoneurology, taxonomy, and the molecular history of dinosaurs, as well as geologic time, how and why dinosaurs are exhibited, and the various technologies and new techniques currently in use to study dinosaurs.
- The Clades of Dinosaurs
This section deals with the biological groups that dinosaurs are organized into such as the Theropods, Birds, Prosauropods, Sauropodas, Stegasaurs, Ankylosaurs, Marginocephalia, Ornithopods, and more.
- Paleobiology of the Dinosaurs
The fourth section of this book details such fascinating subjects as what dinosaurs ate, how they grew and developed, and what diseases they suffered from. Chapters in this section also deal with a variety of other topics including the metabolic physiology, reproductive biology, and thermoregulation in dinosaurs.
- Dinosaur Evolution in the Mesozoic
The final section of this book covers topics such as the paleobiogeography of the Mesozoic period, non-dinosaurian vertebrates, the fauna of the period, the extinction of the dinosaurs, and much more.
Now in its second edition, The Complete Dinosaur is a phenomenal resource for both amateur and professional dino-fanatics. This book deserves an honored placed in all libraries, both public and private. And I can assure you, if you are just looking for a unique coffee table book with which to awe your guests, you'll not go wrong with this one - just don't be surprised when all your visitors become armchair dinosaur hunters! Hands down, The Complete Dinosaur is the most comprehensive and riveting one-volume book on dinosaurs that I've ever come across and I heartily recommend this book to anyone with an interest in paleontology, and in particular, in dinosaurs.
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