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Re: dinosaur: the encyclopedia
In a message dated 97-07-25 18:27:06 EDT, email@example.com writes:
<< Suffice it to say, I rescued the package at first light the following day
and have been devouring it whenever I can find some free time. >>
Don's heart is in the right place, but the book is so darn full of typos
(i.e., misspelled dino names and mistyped specimen numbers) that every entry
has to be rechecked against the literature. Don says he paid someone to proof
the galleys, but this has proved a clear waste of money. Should have paid me
instead; it's my specialty, I could have used the $$$, and Don's book would
have been virtually typo-free.
For example, going to genera I'm particularly familiar with, the key
reference to _Regnosaurus_ is cited as Sereno and Upchurch 1995, but it's
actually >Barrett< and Upchurch 1995 (also incorrect in the bibliography;
best available nontechnical account of _Regnosaurus_ is in _Dinosaur Folios_
#1, if I say so myself). And the nomenclatural accounts of _Becklespinax_ and
_Valdoraptor_ are somewhat garbled. Things that aren't really Don's fault,
but which are in the encyclopedia anyway, include using _Rioarribasaurus_ for
the Ghost Ranch theropod (it went south by decision of ICZN last year) and
not getting rid of _Dravidosaurus_ as a plesiosaur. There probably just
wasn't enough time to clean these errata out of the text.
So buy the encyclopedia for the hypernumerous pictures (a few of which were
printed upside down: skull of _Pachyrhinosaurus_, several strings of
vertebrae), but cross-check the text against the literature whenever you can.