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Recommended Reading?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    I know its old but The Dinosaur Heresies by Dr. Robert T. Bakker is still one of the best dinosaur books ever written. Very hard (and pricey!) to get a hold of in this country. As far as I'm aware DCU's library have one in stock.

    edit: Amazon have it, and it's not too dear.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dinosaur-Heresies-Robert-Bakker/dp/0821756087/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238009036&sr=1-2

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 37 ✭✭✭ MataЯ


    Richard dawkins "The Ancestors Tale".


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Couple of ones I've been researching:

    Walking With Dinosaurs: The Facts by Mike Benton (2000)
    - Talks about the research put into making the TV series including what they got wrong and discusses most of the main dinosaur theories. Also contains a handy list of all the dinosaur genera described up to that point, mentioning their describers, year of discovery, family,time period and location. Also points out which are considered invalid.

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    The World Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures by Dougal Dixon (2007)
    - Probably the most up to date encyclopedia book on the market at the moment. Plenty of dinosaurs and lots of other prehistoric animals (always good to see), 1,000 in total featured. Also features 2,000 specially commissioned pictures ie: they are all new and not recycled from older books.

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  • Hosted Moderators Posts: 11,365 ✭✭✭✭ Scarinae


    Richard Fortey is an excellent writer. I'd heartily recommend his book Life: An Unauthorised Biography. A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth for anyone interested in evolution. Fortey is a palaeontologist who used to be based in the Natural History Museum in London, I went to a lecture of his earlier in the year in Trinity and he is captivating. He has another book, Trilobite!, which is supposed to be excellent but I haven't got my mitts on it yet!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,923 Nothingcompares


    Evolution: A Biological and Palaeontological Approach by Skelton.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Was in Easons today and saw this massive (I mean HUGE) book on Dinosaurs by that guy (forget his name) who discovered that new species of Carcharodontosaurus last year.
    Flicked through it. All the images are CG renderings. Looks pretty good although €32 s quite expensive. Probably would have bought it if it werent so bloody massive and I didnt want to awkwardly carry it on the train.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Galvasean wrote: »

    The World Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures by Dougal Dixon (2007)
    - Probably the most up to date encyclopedia book on the market at the moment. Plenty of dinosaurs and lots of other prehistoric animals (always good to see), 1,000 in total featured. Also features 2,000 specially commissioned pictures ie: they are all new and not recycled from older books.

    It is available in Ireland now titled The Complete book Of Dinosaurs and costs only €15 (an absolute steal!) in Eason. Drat, and me going all the way to the National Hisory Museum in London and buying it for £24 (about €32). :mad:
    Galvasean wrote: »
    Was in Easons today and saw this massive (I mean HUGE) book on Dinosaurs by that guy (forget his name) who discovered that new species of Carcharodontosaurus last year.
    Flicked through it. All the images are CG renderings. Looks pretty good although €32 is quite expensive. Probably would have bought it if it werent so bloody massive and I didnt want to awkwardly carry it on the train.

    Bit the bullet today and picked this one up. Interestingly the price quoted on the insert of the book itself was £50 (about $72), so the €32 they have it for in Eason is pretty good value.
    The author's name is Steve Brusatte. Interestingly the eminent Michael Benton acted as consultant (he's had a hand in pretty much every good mainstream book on dinosaurs in for the past two decades, including Walking With Dinosaurs: The Facts which I mentioned earlier in this very thread).
    Havent read the full thing yet but it seems pretty good. Alas the part about Pachyrhinosaurus is now out of date (see 'this' thread for more details). The other gripe I have with the book is that the little silhouettes of the dinosaurs' size compared to man are often completely wrong (example: it shows Caudipteryx being taller than a man) even though the stats have the sizes correct.
    The reason for it's outlandish size? Life size pictures of Archaeopteryx and Microraptor! ;)
    Overall it seems pretty good.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Galvasean wrote: »
    It is available in Ireland now titled The Complete book Of Dinosaurs and costs only €15 (an absolute steal!) in Eason. Drat, and me going all the way to the National History Museum in London and buying it for £24 (about $32). :mad:

    Aha! The Complete book Of Dinosaurs does not feature those creatures that lived before or after the dinosaurs, just the Mesozoic creatures themselves. The one I got has them too. :cool:


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 10,073 marco_polo


    Anyone read 'Evolution: What the fossils say and why it is important' by Donald Prothero?

    Just ordered the Hardback on Amazon yesterday but looking at the delivery estimates I will be lucky to see it a few days before Christmas. :mad:

    Looks like a good read though.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 194 ✭✭ sdep


    marco_polo wrote: »
    Anyone read 'Evolution: What the fossils say and why it is important' by Donald Prothero?

    Just ordered the Hardback on Amazon yesterday but looking at the delivery estimates I will be lucky to see it a few days before Christmas. :mad:

    Looks like a good read though.

    I've made a start. It seems very readable, and covers all the key times in evolution - the Cambrian, appearance of vertebrates, move to land, evolution of dinosaurs, mammals and apes etc. It draws on the fossil evidence for all of these periods, and is full of illustrations. One curiosity is the attention given to knocking down creationism, but I guess it's aimed at a US audience for whom this is a much greater concern.

    I waited a month for Amazon, yet the delivery times kept lengthening. Eventually I cancelled and bought a copy on Dawson St - I can't remember which of Waterstones or Hodges & Figgis had it in stock.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,226 taram


    Ordered some off this thread for myself for Christmas, thanks people! :)

    Currently finishing up 'The Dinosaur Hunters' by Deborah Cadbury, great insight into the beginning of what the science of palaeontology is today, and excellent detail of how one guy picked up a tooth then all the steps that led to an entire era of creatures being definied and discovered.

    Oh and very randomly, two weeks ago the window of Munich's main train station had a couple of books off this list in a window dedicated to evolution :) Cheered me up no end.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    I'm gonna go ahead and recommend Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp by Carol Diggory Shields (illustrations by Scott Nash)

    http://www.amazon.com/Saturday-Night-at-Dinosaur-Stomp/dp/1564026930

    Got this for my wee cousin for Xmas :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭✭ katzenjammer


    Next on my list is Life: an Unauthorised Biography by R (richard?) Fortey (That guy who wrote that trilobite book which is supposed to be very good, but I also haven't read =[ ) Anyone read it? Any good?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,353 Goduznt Xzst


    It's an area I have growing interest in lately and was wondering if anyone here could recommend a book that accounts an overview of the rise and fall of the dinosaurs. Right from their evolution down to their extinction.

    Does such a book (or series of books) exist? I would like to get a complete overview of what we know about the dinosaurs before looking into some of the areas I find interesting more closely.

    Any ideas? All advice appreciated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    You have just asked a massive question there.
    A good starting point which is a light read and not to technical would be Walking With Dinosaurs: The Facts by Dr. Mike Benton. (published in 2000)

    Chapter 9: Dinosaur Evolution And Birds features a run down of the events directly preceeding the arrival of the dinosaurs and their rise to dominance, citing most of their major evolutionary events.
    Chapter 10: Extinction gives an overview of all the major theories (as well as some of the older more mad cap ones) on the extincyion of the giant dinosaurs.
    Both chapters also mention the dino-bird evolution theory with a significant amount of (but still easily readable) detail.

    The book also has a further reading section recommending other useful sources to further your knowledge.

    The book can be picked up surprisingly cheaply here:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Walking-Dinosaurs-Facts-Mike-Benton/dp/0563537442/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237898540&sr=8-1

    513HMATM18L._SS500_.jpg

    You might also be interested in checking out our very own recommended reading thread here:
    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055340426&highlight=recommended+reading


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,353 Goduznt Xzst


    cheers for that. I will get that book, I'll also watch the show which I missed when it aired.

    Would you know of any books that would go into greater detail, with maybe a cladogram of the more important branches of Ornithodira and explanations, with skeletal illustrations of the known phylogeny and maybe the commonly held hypothesized reasons for these changes, such as environmental pressure... etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    cheers for that. I will get that book, I'll also watch the show which I missed when it aired.

    Show is alot of fun, however a fair bit of teh science is inaccurate (however that book explains parts that the show got wrong).
    Would you know of any books that would go into greater detail, with maybe a cladogram of the more important branches of Ornithodira and explanations, with skeletal illustrations of the known phylogeny and maybe the commonly held hypothesized reasons for these changes, such as environmental pressure... etc.

    As far as cladograms go our good friend Atomic Horror posted up the most recently published 'complete' dinosaur cladogram here:
    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055341591

    You might be interested in the book When Life Nearly Died (by Mike Benton as well! :eek:). It's about the Permian mass extinction, which led to the rise of the dinosaurs. Pretty in depth too.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Life-Nearly-Died-Extinction/dp/050005116X

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    As far as a book with good detailed skeletals, I'm not so sure. I'll have a look when I get home from work tonight (blasted employment, getting in the way of the palaeontological expansion!).


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,353 Goduznt Xzst


    cool! Yeah if I'm going to be getting some books from amazon I'd like to bundle a few now, rather than having to pay shipping twice.

    If you can recommend further reading with detailed skeletons I'd really appreciate it. The evolutionary tree that Atomic Horror linked to is exactly the kind of thing I'm after. I'd like to find a book though that details how we can form it from the evidence that we currently have. Understandably it would be a huge book, so maybe one that details what we know about a particular branch only.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    I'd like to find a book though that details how we can form it from the evidence that we currently have. Understandably it would be a huge book, so maybe one that details what we know about a particular branch only.

    Unfortunately I do not think such a book exists. There may be some that detail certain branches of the dinosaur family tree. I will have to look into them before getting a definitive answer for you.
    The thing is; newly discovered dinosaurs are primarily described in scientific journals/papers which are quite hard to come by for the layman.
    Books on the other hand, while much more easily obtained, tend to skim on the details of more obscure/seemingly less interesting creatures, making them less useful as a resource for the kind of research you appear to be undertaking. After all, they are a product to be sold and there is probably not much market for a book that goes to great lenghts to detail obscure creatures such as Labocania and Rileyasuchus.

    Nevertheless I will keep an eye open for such resources, as I think I may have an idea what you are planning to do. And if I am correct in my assumption, that may interest me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Well had alook in my local library and came across this gem, Horns And Beaks: Ceratopsian And Ornithopod Dinosaurs by Kenneth Carpenter.

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    Seems to have what you are looking for; detailed descriptions of two families of dinosaur complete with loads of skeletal illustrations and photos. Not to mention that it's all peer reviewed so fairly reliable.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Horns-Beaks-Ceratopsian-Ornithopod-Dinosaurs/dp/025334817X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238003911&sr=8-2

    Check out the links in the 'also baught' section too. Some nice looking stuff there (I'll investigate further later), particularly the one on sauropods (appears to be teh kind of source you're looking for).

    Happy hunting :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,353 Goduznt Xzst


    cheers, definitely loads to look into.

    In regards to further resources, is there any good online sources for current whitepapers and journals?

    <snip>
    Kind of off topic. Excellent find though. Moved to a new thread.
    -Galvasean


  • Registered Users Posts: 17 ✭✭✭ Manuk


    Not sure if it fits in exactly with the rest of the books mentioned above, but I thought Jared Diamond's The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee was very good book describing the evolution of humans and comparing various human behavioural traits and characteristics with other animals. I suppose this is only in part deals with Prehistory, but nevertheless it's a very interesting read.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    A pretty nice looking book (edited by Stephanie Stansbie) for beginners with some great illustrations.
    Should cost under €20 including shipping (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dinosaur-Stephanie-Stansbie/dp/0316035831/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1239625170&sr=8-1).

    I may well pick it up if I spot it on the highstreet.

    Nice website too.
    http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/features/dinosaur/index.html

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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Picked up 3 (no less!) palaeontology books this week.

    Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin, a close examination of the tetrapod Tiktaalic.
    ?0141027584

    Grave Secrets of Dinosaurs: Soft tissues and Hard Science by Phillip Manning, about the well publicised North Dakota dinosaur mummy.
    9781426203848.jpg

    And of course, The Link by Colin Tudge
    the-link-by-colin-tudge.jpg

    All of them can be picked up in that massive book shop (second floor in the Science section) on Dawson St. Dublin (opposite Waterstones), costing €10-13 each.


    ....but which to read first????


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭ Kess73


    Just finished reading Cretaceous Dawn
    by Lisa M. Graziano, and Michael S.A. Graziano.


    Basically it is about a scientific experiment that goes wrong and transports four people and a dog back to the Cretaceous era.

    It follows their travels over a 1,000 mile distance as they try to get home, and has plenty of dino action.

    A lot of the reviews for the book have compared it to Jules Verne, and it does have a lot in common with that style of story telling, but for my money it is closer to the 1959 film adapt than to the original novel. It also has some scenes in common with the first Jurrassic Park film
    T-Rex versus Raptors being one

    There is quite a good cast of dinos in this, hard for it not to when most of it is set in the Cretaceous era.

    All in all it is a good read for dino fans.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Was browsing on Eason.ie and spotted this. Basically it's a hardback dinosaur encyclopedia set to be released on the 1st of January. It's available for preorder now at the price of €49.40 :eek:

    Couldn't find any more info. suffice to say, I'm intrigued.


  • Registered Users Posts: 193 ✭✭ panthera


    i thought the complete guide to prehistoric life by tim haines was a very good visual guide with short narratives on each species.

    Richard dawkins new book is also very good.another people might not know very well is 'what on earth evolved' which is a book on important species before and after man etc.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 10,073 marco_polo


    This looks like it could be a very good new book, seriously considering a purchase.


    Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 842 Weidii


    Saw a book in Easons there yesterday for 15 eur called "Dinosarus"

    It's basically just an encyclopedia of the species, but it's really big and well illustrated and I expected it to cost way more! I'll get it some day when I have nothing else to carry :)


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 10,073 marco_polo


    Weidii wrote: »
    Saw a book in Easons there yesterday for 15 eur called "Dinosarus"

    It's basically just an encyclopedia of the species, but it's really big and well illustrated and I expected it to cost way more! I'll get it some day when I have nothing else to carry :)

    Is it this one? If so I'll be calling in in the next few days.


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