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Paleontology


The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World Lowest new price: $17.15
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Author: Steve Brusatte

"THE ULTIMATE DINOSAUR BIOGRAPHY," hails Scientific American: A thrilling new history of the age of dinosaurs, from one of our finest young scientists. Now a New York Times bestseller!

"This is scientific storytelling at its most visceral, striding with the beasts through their Triassic dawn, Jurassic dominance, and abrupt demise in the Cretaceous." — Nature

The dinosaurs. Sixty-six million years ago, the Earth’s most fearsome creatures vanished. Today they remain one of our planet’s great mysteries. Now The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs reveals their extraordinary, 200-million-year-long story as never before.

In this captivating narrative (enlivened with more than seventy original illustrations and photographs), Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field—naming fifteen new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies and fieldwork—masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy. Captivating and revelatory, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a book for the ages.

Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.”

Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China.

An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come.

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End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals

End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals Lowest new price: $22.48
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Author: Ross D E MacPhee

The fascinating lives and puzzling demise of some of the largest animals on earth.

Until a few thousand years ago, creatures that could have been from a sci-fi thriller―including gorilla-sized lemurs, 500-pound birds, and crocodiles that weighed a ton or more―roamed the earth. These great beasts, or “megafauna,” lived on every habitable continent and on many islands. With a handful of exceptions, all are now gone.

What caused the disappearance of these prehistoric behemoths? No one event can be pinpointed as a specific cause, but several factors may have played a role. Paleomammalogist Ross D. E. MacPhee explores them all, examining the leading extinction theories, weighing the evidence, and presenting his own conclusions. He shows how theories of human overhunting and catastrophic climate change fail to account for critical features of these extinctions, and how new thinking is needed to elucidate these mysterious losses.

Along the way, we learn how time is determined in earth history; how DNA is used to explain the genomics and phylogenetic history of megafauna―and how synthetic biology and genetic engineering may be able to reintroduce these giants of the past. Until then, gorgeous four-color illustrations by Peter Schouten re-create these megabeasts here in vivid detail.

78 color illustrations

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The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy

The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy Lowest new price: $16.62
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Author: Paige Williams

New Yorker writer Paige Williams "does for fossils what Susan Orlean did for orchids" (Book Riot) in this "tremendous" (David Grann) true tale of one Florida man's attempt to sell a dinosaur skeleton from Mongolia--a story "steeped in natural history, human nature, commerce, crime, science, and politics" (Rebecca Skloot).

In 2012, a New York auction catalogue boasted an unusual offering: "a superb Tyrannosaurus skeleton." In fact, Lot 49135 consisted of a nearly complete T. bataar, a close cousin to the most famous animal that ever lived. The fossils now on display in a Manhattan event space had been unearthed in Mongolia, more than 6,000 miles away. At eight-feet high and 24 feet long, the specimen was spectacular, and when the gavel sounded the winning bid was over $1 million.

Eric Prokopi, a thirty-eight-year-old Floridian, was the man who had brought this extraordinary skeleton to market. A onetime swimmer who spent his teenage years diving for shark teeth, Prokopi's singular obsession with fossils fueled a thriving business hunting, preparing, and selling specimens, to clients ranging from natural history museums to avid private collectors like actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

But there was a problem. This time, facing financial strain, had Prokopi gone too far? As the T. bataar went to auction, a network of paleontologists alerted the government of Mongolia to the eye-catching lot. As an international custody battle ensued, Prokopi watched as his own world unraveled.

In the tradition of The Orchid Thief, The Dinosaur Artist is a stunning work of narrative journalism about humans' relationship with natural history and a seemingly intractable conflict between science and commerce. A story that stretches from Florida's Land O' Lakes to the Gobi Desert, The Dinosaur Artist illuminates the history of fossil collecting--a murky, sometimes risky business, populated by eccentrics and obsessives, where the lines between poacher and hunter, collector and smuggler, enthusiast and opportunist, can easily blur.

In her first book, Paige Williams has given readers an irresistible story that spans continents, cultures, and millennia as she examines the question of who, ultimately, owns the past.

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The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs: Second Edition (Princeton Field Guides)

The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs: Second Edition (Princeton Field Guides) Lowest new price: $22.68
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Author: Gregory S. Paul
Brand: Princeton University Press

The best-selling Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs remains the must-have book for anyone who loves dinosaurs, from amateur enthusiasts to professional paleontologists. Now extensively revised and expanded, this dazzlingly illustrated large-format edition features some 100 new dinosaur species and 200 new and updated illustrations, bringing readers up to the minute on the latest discoveries and research that are radically transforming what we know about dinosaurs and their world.

Written and illustrated by acclaimed dinosaur expert Gregory Paul, this stunningly beautiful book includes detailed species accounts of all the major dinosaur groups as well as nearly 700 color and black-and-white images―skeletal drawings, "life" studies, scenic views, and other illustrations that depict the full range of dinosaurs, from small feathered creatures to whale-sized supersauropods. Paul's extensively revised introduction delves into dinosaur history and biology, the extinction of nonavian dinosaurs, the origin of birds, and the history of dinosaur paleontology, as well as giving a taste of what it might be like to travel back in time to the era when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

  • Now extensively revised and expanded
  • Covers nearly 750 dinosaur species, including scores of newly discovered ones
  • Provides startling new perspectives on the famed Brontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus
  • Features nearly 700 color and black-and-white drawings and figures, including life studies, scenic views, and skull and muscle drawings
  • Includes color paleo-distribution maps and a color time line
  • Describes anatomy, physiology, locomotion, reproduction, and growth of dinosaurs, as well as the origin of birds and the extinction of nonavian dinosaurs

Features:

  • Princeton University Press

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Dinosaurs - The Grand Tour: Everything Worth Knowing About Dinosaurs from Aardonyx to Zuniceratops

Dinosaurs - The Grand Tour: Everything Worth Knowing About Dinosaurs from Aardonyx to Zuniceratops Lowest new price: $12.88
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Author: Keiron Pim
Brand: Experiment Llc

From Aardonyx to Zuniceratops—A Dino-Mite Gathering of All the Dinosaurs (More Than 300!) Worth Knowing About

We live in a golden age of paleontological discovery—the perfect time to dig in to the spectacular world of dinosaurs. From Aardonyx, a lumbering beast that formed a link between two and four-legged dinosaurs, to Zuniceratops, who boasted a deadly pair of horns, Dinosaurs—The Grand Tour details everything worth knowing about every important dinosaur that scientists know about—more than 300 in all.
 
In Dinosaurs you’ll learn all the gory details—about geology, anatomy, evolution, astronomy, and even Native American and Chinese mythology. Stories of harrowing paleontological expeditions conjure the thrills of history’s most famous dinosaur hunters. Highlights of recent research reveal what’s going on in the world of dinosaurs today, including scientists’ recent discovery of pigments embedded in dinosaur fossils that shed light, for the first time, on dinosaurs’ true coloration. Illustrations on virtually every page bring these prehistoric creatures to life in all their razor-sharp, long-necked, spiny, scaly glory.
 
And for readers inspired to test their dino-expertise in the field, renowned paleontologist Jack Horner’s field notes will help enthusiasts set out on their own expeditions. Track down dinosaur footprints at Horner’s recommended sites, head out on a cross-country dinosaur road trip using Horner’s list of top North American dinosaurs as your map, and learn what it’s like to be a leading paleontologist who’s been part of some of the most sensational dinosaur discoveries ever—and how you can get involved, too!

Features:

  • Experiment Llc

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Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline: The Travels of an Artist and a Scientist along the Shores of the Prehistoric Pacific

Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline: The Travels of an Artist and a Scientist along the Shores of the Prehistoric Pacific Lowest new price: $23.83
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Author: Kirk R. Johnson

In this long-awaited sequel Kirk Johnson and Ray Troll are back on a road trip—driving, flying, and boating their way from Baja, California to northern Alaska in search of the fossil secrets of North America’s Pacific coast. They hunt for fossils, visit museums, meet scientists and paleonerds, and sleuth out untold stories of extinct worlds. As one of the oldest coasts on earth, the west coast is a rich ground for fossil discovery. Its wonders include extinct marine mammals, pygmy mammoths, oyster bears, immense ammonites, shark-bitten camels, polar dinosaurs, Alaskan palms, California walruses, and a lava-baked rhinoceros. Join in for a fossil journey through deep time and discover how the west coast became the place it is today.

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Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth

Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth Lowest new price: $18.00
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Author: DK
Brand: DK ADULT

With an extensive catalog at its heart, Prehistoric Life profiles hundreds of fascinating species in incredible detail. The story starts in earnest 3.8 billion years ago, with the earliest-known form of life on Earth, a bacteria that still exists today, and journeys through action-packed millennia, charting the appearance of new life forms as well as devastating extinction events. Of course, the ever-popular and endlessly intriguing dinosaurs feature large, but Prehistoric Life gives you the whole picture, and the plants, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, reptiles, and mammals that are the ancestors of today's species also populate its pages, making this book unprecedented in its coverage of prehistory. Specially commissioned artworks use cutting-edge technology to render species in breathtakingly realistic fashion, with astonishing images of prehistoric remains, such as skeletons and fossils, to complete the story. To put all the evidence in context, the concept of geological time is explored, as is the classification of species and how the evidence for their evolution is preserved and can be deciphered.

Features:

  • Paper Back

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The Complete Book of Dinosaurs: The ultimate reference to 355 dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, including more than 900 illustrations, maps, timelines and photographs

The Complete Book of Dinosaurs: The ultimate reference to 355 dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, including more than 900 illustrations, maps, timelines and photographs Lowest new price: $6.00
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Author: Dougal Dixon

The ultimate identification guide for dinosaur enthusiasts, featuring more than 355 creatures, written by an acknowledged expert. Fascinating anatomical drawings demonstrate their skeletal make up, and the habitats in which they lived are depicted. The main section of the book is an encyclopedia of dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures, arranged according to type. Each entry contains a description of the creature's key identifying features, evolutionary adaptations and details of the fossil evidence.

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Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design Lowest new price: $6.00
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Author: Stephen C. Meyer

When Charles Darwin finished The Origin of Species, he thought that he had explained every clue, but one. Though his theory could explain many facts, Darwin knew that there was a significant event in the history of life that his theory did not explain. During this event, the “Cambrian explosion,” many animals suddenly appeared in the fossil record without apparent ancestors in earlier layers of rock.  

In Darwin’s Doubt, Stephen C. Meyer tells the story of the mystery surrounding this explosion of animal life—a mystery that has intensified, not only because the expected ancestors of these animals have not been found, but because scientists have learned more about what it takes to construct an animal. During the last half century, biologists have come to appreciate the central importance of biological information—stored in DNA and elsewhere in cells—to building animal forms.

Expanding on the compelling case he presented in his last book, Signature in the Cell, Meyer argues that the origin of this information, as well as other mysterious features of the Cambrian event, are best explained by intelligent design, rather than purely undirected evolutionary processes.

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The Palaeoartist’s Handbook: Recreating Prehistoric Animals in Art

The Palaeoartist’s Handbook: Recreating Prehistoric Animals in Art Lowest new price: $25.65
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Author: Mark Witton

Extinct worlds live again in paleoart: artworks of fossil animals, plants, and environments carefully reconstructed from paleontological and geological data. Such artworks are widespread in popular culture, appearing in documentaries, museums, books, and magazines, and inspiring depictions of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals in cinema. This book outlines how fossil animals and environments can be reconstructed from their fossils, explaining how paleoartists overcome gaps in fossil data and predict "soft-tissue" anatomies no longer present around fossil bones. It goes on to show how science and art can meet to produce compelling, interesting takes on ancient worlds, and explores the goals and limitations of this popular but rarely discussed art genre.

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