Dinosaurus : The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-10-01
  • Publisher: Firefly Books Ltd
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Organized by the major dinosaur families, "Dinosaurus" identifies 500 species, creature by creature, from the voracious flesh-eaters to the egg-stealers and the vegetarians, detailing what they looked like, what they ate, and how they fought, lived, and died.

Table of Contents

Early Life
Conquerors of the Land
The First Dinosaurs
The Small Meat-eaters
The Great Predators
Ostrich Dinosaurs
The Giants
Bird-foot Dinosaurs
The Duckbills
The Boneheads
Armored Dinosaurs
Plated Dinosaurs
Horned Dinosaurs
Other Creatures of the Dinosaur Age
After the Dinosaurs
Main Fossil Sites
Where to see dinosaurs
Picture credits and Acknowledgements
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


ForewordAlmost everyone is interested in dinosaurs at some point in his or her life -- be it at the age of five or 95. Even the great fact and fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke traces his early interest in science to dinosaurs, recalling that his first exposure to these "saurians" as a boy in rural England was a series of cards his father gave him.Why the great interest in this long-gone group? What is it about dinosaurs that has drawn our attention so intensely for so long? Maybe it has been simply because some dinosaurs are big, and nasty and, more importantly -- extinct! Perhaps this ongoing infatuation is that there are so many different kinds of dinosaur.Most of the well-known dinosaurs are from either North America, typically the west (Wyoming, Montana and Alberta), or Eurasia, for example Mongolia. More recent finds in South America, Australia, Antarctica and Alaska are not so widely known, but it will not be long before younger generations are picking their way through such new discoveries for themselves.The latest finds of bigger and smaller dinosaurs in places like Argentina, and of a range of small but varied polar dinosaurs have combined with studies showing that many dinosaurs were anything but big, slow moving and dimwitted, to change common perceptions of this very successful group. We now know that some dinosaurs had feathers and were at least gliding if not flying. Furthermore the discovery of a variety of tough little critters that lived near the North and South Poles, suggests that some of these dinosaurs must have been warm-blooded to deal with such severe conditions.What has made dinosaurs even more interesting in recent years are the many studies that have centered on the companions of these creatures and the environments in which they lived during the Mesozoic Era. Current research focuses on why so many of these otherwise successful animals were nearly wiped out 65 million years ago and on how they evolved from reptilian ancestors in the first place. The result, as shown here, is an extensive resource on the world in which dinosaurs prospered -- and died -- with as much detail on the ancient habitat as on the inhabitants themselves.Dinosaurus cannot hope to include every known dinosaur -- we would need a small library for that -- but it certainly offers excellent coverage of many of the creatures that existed, their environment and contemporaries. Many of the newest dinosaurs get a mention too, giving enthusiasts a much broader understanding of the dinosaur system as a whole.Professor Patricia Vickers Rich Chair in Palaeontology, Monash University Founding Director, Monash Science Centre, Melbourne, Victoria AustraliaDr Thomas H. Rich Curator, Vertebrate Palaeontology Museum Victoria Melbourne, Victoria Australia

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