Giants of the Lost World: Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Monsters of South America

Giants of the Lost World: Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Monsters of South America

by Donald R. Prothero

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Overview

More than a hundred years ago, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a novel called The Lost World with the exciting premise that dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts still ruled in South America. Little did Conan Doyle know, there were terrifying monsters in South America—they just happened to be extinct. In fact, South America has an incredible history as a land where many strange creatures evolved and died out. In his book Giants of the Lost World: Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Monsters of South America, Donald R. Prothero uncovers the real science and history behind this fascinating story. The largest animal ever discovered was the huge sauropod dinosaur Argentinosaurus, which was about 130 feet long and weighed up to 100 tons. The carnivorous predator Giganotosaurus weighed in at more than 8 tons and measured more than 47 feet long, dwarfing the T. rex in comparison. Gigantic anacondas broke reptile records; possums evolved into huge saber-toothed predators; and ground sloths grew larger than elephants in this strange, unknown land. Prothero presents the scientific details about each of these prehistoric beasts, provides a picture of the ancient landscapes they once roamed, and includes the stories of the individuals who first discovered their fossils for a captivating account of a lost world that is stranger than fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588345738
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date: 10/04/2016
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 619,928
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

DONALD R. PROTHERO specializes in physics, planetary sciences, astronomy, earth sciences, and vertebrate paleontology. He taught for 35 years at the college level at Columbia, Knox, Pierce, and Vassar Colleges, most recently as professor of geology at Occidental College, and lecturer in geobiology at the California Institute of Technology. He has authored or edited more than 30 books and 300 scientific papers.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Lost World ix

1 The Island Continent 1

2 Tyrant Lizard Kings 17

3 Giants among Giants 31

4 Demise of the Dinosaurs 45

5 Living Dinosaurs 61

6 Land of the Reptilian Monsters 73

7 The Old Timers I: Killer Opossums 83

8 The Old Timers II: Pseudo-Elephants, Pseudo-Hippos, and Pseudo-Horses 95

9 The Old Timers III: The Slow Folk 111

10 The Castaways 123

11 Invasion! 135

12 Where Have All the Mammals Gone? 157

Epilogue : The Sixth Extinction 165

Acknowledgements 168

Index 169

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