Dinosaurs and Other Mesozoic Reptiles of California / Edition 1by Richard P. Hilton, Ken Kirkland
Pub. Date: 08/29/2003
Publisher: University of California Press
One of the most geologically complex and diverse states, California spent much of the age of dinosaurs under water. While most of the fossils found in the state are those of reptiles that lived in the sea (thalattosaurs, ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and turtles), some are those of birds and pterosaurs that soared above it. Other fossils come from
One of the most geologically complex and diverse states, California spent much of the age of dinosaurs under water. While most of the fossils found in the state are those of reptiles that lived in the sea (thalattosaurs, ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and turtles), some are those of birds and pterosaurs that soared above it. Other fossils come from terrestrial animals that died and were washed into the ocean. These include turtles, crocodiles, lizards, and dinosaurs such as armored ankylosaurs, duck-billed hadrosaurs, and a variety of carnivorous dinosaurs.
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.
- University of California Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.50(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.25(d)
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Foreword by Kevin Padian
Part I California During the Age of Reptiles
1. Geologic History
2. The Dinosaurs
3. The Flying Reptiles
4. The Marine Reptiles
Part II The History of Discovery
5. The Northern Provinces
6.The Southern Provinces
Appendix A. Reptilian Family Tree
Appendix B. Summary of the Mesozoic Reptilian Fossils of California.
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This book is basically a collection of all the known information about dinosaurs in Cali and of their discovery. To be clear here, there isn't much, which is why the state never seems to be mentioned in other books. According to this book, California was underwater for most of the Mesozoic and finds from practically every location besides Baja have all been from marine sediments and tend to be broken and scattered. Even with such little information to go on, this book does a good job of presenting it to create a picture of each region in each time period, and explaining the geological processes that created it. There are also illustrated sections on each type of animal that has been found, as well as the standard summaries of plate tectonics and such. Part 2 is about the discovery of fossils, mostly in the first half of the century, and varies with the available info from a list of finds to extremely detailed, almost day-by-day accounts of individual expeditions. For those who are interested specifically in the history of California, it's very helpful that someone took the time to write this book, and it's hard to see how it could have been any better.