Walking with Dinosaurs: A Natural History

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9780563384496: Walking with Dinosaurs: A Natural History
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Accompanying the television series, this is an illustrated history of dinosaurs, from their first appearance in the middle of the Triassic period to their sudden demise, 160 million years later, at the end of the Cretaceous era.

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Review:

The companion volume to the BBC/Discovery Channel series, Walking with Dinosaurs reads like a cross between a National Geographic article and the script from one of Disney's True Life Adventures films. Scenes from the daily lives of various animals illuminate the changes in flora and fauna that occurred during the Mesozoic era.

The fossil record offers some clues about dinosaur behavior. Tracks preserved in sandstone indicate that some of the huge Diplodocus-type dinosaurs traveled in herds with the larger individuals on the outside and the smaller, more vulnerable animals in the center. The courtship behavior of Tyrannosaurus, the social hierarchy within the Diplodocus herd, etc., described in the book are pure speculation. But Haines models his descriptions on animals that occupy similar niches today: Tapejara, a fish-eating pterosaur, nests in remote colonies, like a migratory seabird. However, the suggestion that an old Tyrannosaurus suffered from gout is based on a hotly debated interpretation of the markings on bones of the "Sue" fossil in Chicago's Field Museum.

The striking visuals for the program involved a combination of animatronic figures, puppets, and computer animation. The images work well as illustrations. The formally posed animals in many old paintings had a taxidermic stiffness; these creatures are shown in motion, often in slightly awkward poses, which heightens the illusion that Walking with Dinosaurs is a book of nature photographs.

The result is a highly readable introduction to current theories about dinosaurs that amateur scientists of all ages can enjoy. --Charles Solomon

About the Author:

Tim Haines studied zoology at Bangor University before pursuing a career in scientific journalism. He has written extensively for newspapers, World Service Radio, and for the BBC television series Nature, one of the most widely enjoyed of all programs on American Public Television. He is the series producer of Walking with Dinosaurs.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780789451873: Walking with Dinosaurs: A Natural History

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0789451875 ISBN 13:  9780789451873
Publisher: DK ADULT, 2000
Hardcover

9780563534662:

BBC Books, 2001
Softcover

9780563539308: Walking with Dinosaurs

BBC Books, 2006
Softcover

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