Dinosaurs: A Global View

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More About This Book

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760702611
  • Publisher: Sterling Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/5/1996
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 247

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2007

    Very useful book on prehistoric life

    Dinosaurs: A Global View is one of the more handy reference books on my shelves. As an illustrator, writer and armchair palaeontologist, I tend to look for certain things in a book on dinosaurs --- particularly the nitty-gritty details that rarely appear in titles aimed at children (but which are necessary to know when writing or drawing prehistoric scenes). The wealth of information is staggering: details on plate tectonics, climate change, animal range and possible behavior patterns, etc. The illustrations are breathtakingly beautiful. There's even a 'plant index' in the back, where certain illustrations are reproduced with numbered areas outlined in red and the names and taxa of the plants listed alongside. (Palaeobotany is a sadly neglected field, but a necessary one to a researcher.) It also is the only book I have that mentions the first intact Stegosaurus stenops skeleton found --- the one that confirmed the exact number and arrangement of plates on S. stenops' back. (It's not the way it's been pictured all these years.) My only complaint would be that the book needed further editing before publication. The text is riddled with misplaced commas and such --- but more importantly, the index is incomplete and contains errors, a few illustrations are inexplicably out-of-place, and a good deal of statistical data is hard-to-find or just not there. For example, although it's the only book I've seen that mentions metoposaurs (large primitive amphibians), and even shows a picture of them, it does not mention where in the world their fossils were found. (Teratosaurus, an aetosaur and a phytosaur are mentioned and shown in the same chapter. All four have been found together in the Opole Silesia in Poland, along with the very-recently-discovered archosaur Silesaurus Opolensis.) In other chapters, dinosaurs are shown without mention of their size, distribution or location. I feel that the book would have benefited greatly from the inclusion of this information, even if it were in the form of a 'statistical data' page in the indices. Because of these omissions, while using the book as reference for a book I recently wrote and illustrated, I often had to consult other books or websites for further data on species already partly covered in Dinosaurs: A Global View. Technical problems aside, this is still an excellent book --- above-average for books in this field. I highly recommend it to dinosaur enthusiasts of all ages. Although much of the information is directed at older readers, a child would still get a lot out of it. I brought it in to work while conducting my research, and many of my fellow workers in the vicinity borrowed it and enjoyed it. Two even asked me to get copies for them, they liked it so much! And they are not armchair palaeontologists like myself one's studying nursing, and the other is trying to get work as a stockbroker. Apparently the text appeals to the layman as well as the scientist.

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