Dinosaur Lives: Unearthing an Evolutionary Saga

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9780156006071: Dinosaur Lives: Unearthing an Evolutionary Saga

In this “wonderful benchmark of dinosaur studies” (Los Angeles Times), the paleontologist who advised Steven Spielberg on Jurassic Park gives readers an eye-opening tour of dinosaur discoveries and controversies and a close-up look at his own pioneering fieldwork. Line drawings and black-and-white photographs.

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Review:

Dinosaurs fascinate and captivate us, yet we really know relatively little about them--and that only from a fragmentary fossil record painstakingly reconstructed by paleontologists. Dinosaur Lives offers a colorful first-person account of one paleontologist as he uncovers fossilized bones, eggs, and more from the wastelands of Montana. John R. Horner and Edwin Dobb explain the process of prospecting for paleontological clues and what the fossil record tells us about dinosaur anatomy and their behavior. Much of the news is surprising: dinosaurs probably weren't reptiles at all but more closely related to birds, and many were social animals that lived in herds. Especially fascinating is trivia such as the fact that the ostensibly fearsome T. Rex was probably a scavenger akin to a vulture.

From the Publisher:

From the purple phenomenon that is Barney to the blockbuster draw of Jurassic Park, dinosaurs still rule the earth. Dinosaur Lives explores the appeal that dinosaurs have for us, explains the latest scientific research and then takes us into their prehistoric world.

As technical adviser for both Jurassic Park and The Lost World, John Horner has the perfect vantage point for a discussion of dinosaurs' status as pop icons. As the paleontologist whose discoveries fundamentally changed our perceptions of dinosaurs, he can take us from the far-flung digs to the state-of-the-art labs where MRI scans, DNA testing and other new technologies are generating an explosion of new information about dinosaurs, from what sort of noises they made to how smart they were.

In the final section of the book, Horner offers a sweeping, detailed and largely unprecedented vision of the world 709 million years ago -- how dinosaurs evolved, what they ate, how they raised their young, their social structure, their sex lives and more.

With his enormously engaging voice and intimate knowledge of dinosaurs, Horner is sure to revolutionize the way we think about dinosaurs yet again. Dinosaur Lives is destined to be another classic.

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