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The Story of the Dinosaurs in 25 Discoveries: Amazing Fossils and the People Who Found Them

Donald R. Prothero



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Columbia University Press
15 June 2019
Mathematics & Sciences; Dinosaurs & the prehistoric world
Today, any kid can rattle off the names of dozens of dinosaurs. But it took centuries of scientific effort-and a lot of luck-to discover and establish the diversity of dinosaur species we now know. How did we learn that Triceratops had three horns? Why don't many paleontologists consider Brontosaurus a valid species? What convinced scientists that modern birds are relatives of ancient Velociraptor?

In The Story of the Dinosaurs in 25 Discoveries, Donald R. Prothero tells the fascinating stories behind the most important fossil finds and the intrepid researchers who unearthed them. In twenty-five vivid vignettes, he weaves together dramatic tales of dinosaur discoveries with what modern science now knows about the species to which they belong. Prothero takes us from eighteenth-century sightings of colossal bones taken for biblical giants through recent discoveries of enormous predators even larger than Tyrannosaurus. He recounts the escapades of the larger-than-life personalities who made modern paleontology, including scientific rivalries like the nineteenth-century Bone Wars. Prothero also details how to draw the boundaries between species and explores debates such as whether dinosaurs had feathers, explaining the findings that settled them or keep them going. Throughout, he offers a clear and rigorous look at what paleontologists consider sound interpretation of evidence. An essential read for any dinosaur lover, this book teaches us to see an ancient world ruled by giant majestic creatures anew.
By:   Donald R. Prothero
Imprint:   Columbia University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm, 
ISBN:   9780231186025
ISBN 10:   0231186029
Pages:   488
Publication Date:   15 June 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Donald R. Prothero is a paleontology and geology researcher, teacher, and author. He is adjunct professor of geological sciences at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and research associate in vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. His Columbia University Press books include The Story of Life in 25 Fossils: Tales of Intrepid Fossil Hunters and the Wonders of Evolution (2015) and The Story of the Earth in 25 Rocks: Tales of Important Geological Puzzles and the People Who Solved Them (2018).

Reviews for The Story of the Dinosaurs in 25 Discoveries: Amazing Fossils and the People Who Found Them

After a couple of pages, Donald Prothero had me attending the best kind of dinner party, replete with entertaining stories. -- Brian Clegg * Popular Science * This book is excellent. Rather than simply a profile of twenty-five dinosaurs, it puts each of these in context of its discovery and significance in terms of the science of paleontology, as well as comparisons with close relations. Thus, it covers hundreds of dinosaurs, not just twenty-five. -- Thomas R. Holtz Jr., University of Maryland This is a highly readable and compelling historical tour of our discovery of dinosaurs, and it focuses on many fascinating stories. It provides equal balance on both human history and the lives and adventures of the people behind the relevant dinosaurs, and scientific thinking on the dinosaurs themselves and adjacent areas of controversy. -- Darren Naish, author of <i>Dinosaurs: How They Lived and Evolved</i> A grand tour of dinosaurs, from one of our most prolific natural history writers. I've been reading Donald Prothero's books since I began studying geology in college, and here he delivers again, with a romping chronicle of some of the most charismatic dinosaurs and the equally fascinating people who have studied them. -- Steve Brusatte, University of Edinburgh paleontologist and <i>New York Times</i> best-selling author of <i>The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs</i> Another entertaining trip through the history of science, this time focusing on paleontology. * Physics Today * Excellent summer reading! * Greg Laden Blog * [Prothero] delivers another winning popular science book...dinosaur buffs will be delighted, fascinated, and entertained. * Publishers Weekly * Solid proof that dinosaurs through scientific eyes are no less fascinating than they are in the movies. * Kirkus Reviews *

  • Winner of Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2019

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