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"West of Eden" (was Re: Dino fiction)



>It's been a long time since I read these books, and they're probably
>completely outdated by now, but I do recall enjoying Harry Harrison's "West
>of Eden" series ("West of Eden," "Winter in Eden," "Return to Eden"), which
>detailed a what-if situation in which a small population of dinosaurs
>survived extinction and evolved into humanoids much like that _Troodon_
>model from a few years back.

This series failed on several levels.  Most importantly, the Yilane' (the
sapient reptiles) were NOT descended from dinosaurs: in the appendix, it
says that they are the descendants of mosasaurs, which are true lizards
closely related to monitors and Gila monsters.  (Nevertheless, in
appearence they are definitely based on Dale Russell's "dinosauroid").

Furthermore, various other creatures in the book are either wild or
genetically-altered creatures based on species long extinct (some by more
than 200 million years!) before the K-T boundary: Protoceratops,
Stegosaurus, and even Dimetrodon! [Although maybe Harrison will right a
story about Yilane' scientists finding some preserved DNA in amber...]

Not to be recommended for its science, but otherwise not too bad.

                                
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.                                   
tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile                  Phone:      703-648-5280
U.S. Geological Survey                                FAX:      703-648-5420
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA  22092
U.S.A.