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Re: dinosaur books



>It seems everyone so far thinks "The Complete Dinosaur" is very good.
>How would folks compare it to "Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs" ed's Philip
>Currie & Kevin Padian (Academic Press)? If you were only to buy one -
>which one? I haven't seen either as yet (take a while to get to New
>Zealand) so would value some comparisions before ordering one (or both!)
>Thanks in advance,
>J.V.Russell

The Encyclopedia was, according to its Introduction, intended to complement,
and perhaps to update, Weishampel, Dodson & Osmolska's The Dinosauria.  The
idea was apparently to give a quick background on any relevant specialized
topic to people with the time and resources to flesh out any given subject
in the literature.  It has no particular organization, except a (sometimes
whimsical) alphabetic organization.  The Complete is more for the rest of us
who are clueless in large areas of the field, and can't get to the library
very often.  It can be read cover-to-cover, as well as being useful as a
mid-level reference.  The Encyclopedia is less useful in that respect since
it doesn't try to give an organized development of the field.  

The Complete is also about half the price of the Encyclopedia -- a
non-trivial matter, since the Encyclopedia comes with a sticker guaranteed
to raise all but the most jaded eyebrows.   Indeed, the major problem with
the Encyclopedia may be that some of us, in order to secure the necessary
funds, have been required to make spousal promises which are physiologically
impossible, morally questionable, or simply fraudulent ...

  --Toby White