[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: The Poling Reader



On Wed, 28 Jun 1995, Jeff Poling wrote:

> 2).  _Quest for the African Dinosaurs_,  Louis L. Jacobs, 1993.  A book
> purportedly about dinosaurs in Africa; a more apt title would be "My African
> Adventure."  I was about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way through the book and he still
> hadn't talked about dinosaurs yet.  I gave up.

Jeff:

        Please don't give up on this one.

        Here are some recently published texts that I've received 
during the past two weeks. These may be of interest:
 
Colbert, Edwin H. 1995.
        THE LITTLE DINOSAURS OF GHOST RANCH. New York: Columbia 
University Press. xiv + 250 pages. US $29.95.
 
        COMMENTS: A delightfully wonderful work from the paleontologist 
"who lit so many candles" (see the dedication page in THE DINOSAURIA). To 
quote Dr. David B. Weishampel: "THE LITTLE DINOSAURS OF GHOST RANCH . . . 
gives life, history, and personality to the practice of the science of 
dinosaur paleontology. Colbert's book provides ample evidence of the 
joys, trials, and tribulations of learning about the 'little dinosaurs of 
Ghost Ranch,' but especially about their important role in our 
understanding of the evolution and life of the past."
 
Norell, Mark A., Eugene S. Gaffney, and Lowell Dingus. 1995.
        DISCOVERING DINOSAURS IN THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY. 
Forward by Angela Milner, The Natural History Museum, London. New York: 
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. xx + 204 pages. US $35.
 
        COMMENTS: This publication of this handsome volume coincides with 
the public unveiling of the AMNH's renovated dinosaur exhibits. The text 
and illustrations recount the history of the Museum's involvement and 
leadership in dinosaur research, both in field and laboratory, and give 
readers clearly written, up-to-date information and views on dinosaur 
biology, structure, behavior, and ecology.
 
        The text begins with an overview of "The Evolutionary 
Relationships of Dinosaurs as Determined by Cladistics." The following 
section (96 pages) level-headedly deals with 50 "Questions about 
Dinosaurs." Next comes "The Great Hall of Dinosaurs," a 98-page 
species-by-species account of the Museum's display specimens (including 
museum numbers, collectors and date of collections, localities, geologic 
formations, and other pertinent information). The text puts each specimen 
in context with regard to its importance to current understanding of 
dinosaur relationships and biology. The last 10 pages of this section 
deal with "Tracks and Eggs." The final portion of the book recounts 
"Expeditions of the American Museum of Natural History." These range from 
"The Medicine Bow Anticline" (1897-1904), to "The Flaming Cliffs" 
(1922-1925), to "The Western Gobi" (1991-1995)
 
        This all is terrific stuff! I don't recall having ever before 
seeing most of the historical photos, many of which are tinted.
 
        Two annoying editorial lapses that immediately jumped out at me 
include:
        1) Figure 111, page 168, under _Centrosaurus apertus_ - The 
figure duplicates Figure 72, page 112, and depicts _Allosaurus fragilis_ 
(AMNH 600), *NOT* _Centrosaurus apertus_ (AMNH 5351)!
 
        and 
 
        2) Inconsistent rendering of "Troodontidae" with the 
"double-dotted o" sometimes written incorrectly in first place (pages 
xvii, 54, and Index, page 203).
 
Spencer, Randall S. (series editor) 1994.
        MAJOR FEATURES OF VERTEBRATE EVOLUTION. Short Courses in 
Paleontology, Number 7. Convened by Donald R. Prothero and Robert M. 
Schoch. The Paleontological Society, c/o Department of Geological 
Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-1410. vi + 
270 pages. US $15.
 
        COMMENTS: This is another excellent, valuable, affordable 
production of The Paleontological Society. While not directly dealing 
with the Dinosauria, its contents bear on many discussions appearing 
here. For example -
 
        "Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory," by Robert M. 
Schoch.
 
        "The Origin of the Tetrapods," by Keith S. Thomson.
 
        "The Diversification of the Amniotes," by Jacques A. Gauthier.
 
        "On the Origin of Birds and of Avian Flight," by John H. Ostrom.
 
        "Synapsid Evolution and the Radiation of Non-Eutherian Mammals," 
by James A. Hopson.
 
        Other information-filled volumes of interest in The 
Paleontological Society's offerings are THE AGE OF DINOSAURS, Short 
Courses in Paleontology, Number 2 (Stephen J. Culver, series editor; 
1989; US $15) and DINO FEST, Special Publication Number 7, edited by Gary 
D. Rosenberg and Donald L. Wolberg (Randall S. Spencer, series editor; 
1994; US $30).
 
                                        -= Tuck =-