Sauropod dinosaurs were the largest animals ever to walk the earth, and they represent a substantial portion of vertebrate biomass and biodiversity during the Mesozoic Era. The story of sauropod evolution is told in an extensive fossil record of skeletons and footprints that span the globe and 150 million years of earth history. This generously illustrated volume is the first comprehensive scientific summary of sauropod evolution and paleobiology. The contributors explore sauropod anatomy, detail its variations, and question the myth that life at large size led to evolutionary stagnation and eventual replacement by more "advanced" herbivorous dinosaurs. Chapters address topics such as the evolutionary history and diversity of sauropods; methods for creating three-dimensional reconstructions of their skeletons; questions of sauropod herbivory, tracks, gigantism, locomotion, reproduction, growth rates, and more. This book, together with the recent surge in sauropod discoveries around the world and taxonomic revisions of fragmentary genera, will shed new light on "nature's greatest extravagances."
Kristina A. Curry Rogers is Curator of Paleontology at the Science Museum of Minnesota and a Visiting Assistant Professor in Geology at Macalester College. Jeffrey A. Wilson is Assistant Curator at the Museum of Paleontology and Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Michigan.
CONTRIBUTORS: Paul Barrett, Luis Chiappe, Rodolfo Coria, Kristina Curry Rogers, Lowell Dingus, Gregory M. Erickson, Frankie Jackson, J. Michael Parrish, Paul Sereno, Kent A. Stevens, Paul Upchurch, Matthew J. Wedel, Jeffrey A. Wilson, Joanna Wright