The Riddle of the Dinosaur

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9780394527635: The Riddle of the Dinosaur

The Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter of The New York Times presents here a "lively introduction to many of the fascinating characters who have pursued and studied dinosaur bones, and a survey of two centuries of scientific thought on evolution" (The New York Times). Black-and-white halftones.

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From Publishers Weekly:

In the last two decades, scientists have taken a fresh look at dinosaurs and have revised theories about evolution and extinction in the light of new evidence: a colony of dinosaur nests with eggs and complete skeletons of different sizes was one of the major finds of this century. Wilford, science reporter for the New York Times and author of The Mapmakers, here reviews our past and present knowledge of the prehistoric creatures. He writes about fossil-hunters and their discoveries on every continent, about the "bone wars" of the 19th century. He traces the development of current theoriesthat some dinosaurs were warm-blooded and fast-moving; that in some species, parents took care of their young; that extinction was due to an extraordinary catastrophe on earth. Wilford's account of conflicts over interpretation, of the building and testing of hypotheses, gives us a stunning portrait of science in ferment. The "new" dinosaurs are just as intriguing as the old ones. Illustrations not seen by PW. Macmillan Book Club main selection; History Book Club alternate. January 14
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Unlike many other dinosaur books, this is not a picture book (although it is illustrated) or a review of specific types of dinosaurs. Rather, it is a sophisticated overview of how dinosaurs have been discovered, studied, and theorized about for the past two centuries. The text includes numerous sketches of paleontologists, with attention given to their early interest in dinosaurs. Wilford gathers momentum as he finishes reviewing the historic background and proceeds in the second half of the book to give an informed, exciting review of the past few years' debates, from "hot-blooded dinosaurs" to dinosaurs' possible extinction by an asteroid. He is particularly successful in describing the convoluted method of scientific thesis formation and testing. Highly recommended. Susan Klimley, Columbia Univ. Libs.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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