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RE: Scientific American book

At 08:40 AM 21/11/00 -0500, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
Well, you Insensitive Bastard (interesting to be able to say that to someone
without intending to make them feel bad...), I can recommend the chapter on
the Evolution and Classification of Dinosaurs by me (useful for people
teaching dinosaur classes without updated textbooks!).  I don't have my own
copy yet (the wheels of publishers seem to grind very slowly when it comes
to getting writers their copies), but I have seen the final version.  It
features some classic (e.g., Bakker's Dinosaur Renaissance) and more recent
(e.g., Erickson's _T. rex_ essay) articles from Scientific American, as well
as new contributions by myself, Greg Paul, Olshevsky (on naming dinosaurs),
Dave Varricchio, and many others.

Well, I just bought the book, and it looks like I am in for some interesting reading (Including the chapters by Tom and others, of course!). I cannot comment very much on it as all I have done is skim a few bits and Look at the Pictures (fans of Greg Paul's art will be happy) - but I must note a few cavils (just to be curmudgeonly). The picture captions have more than their share of typos (eg "coelusaurs", Krtiosaurus"); I am a bit surprised that the various chapters on bird origins do not even seem to mention that the Feduccia-Martin camp exists (and even if we disagree I think a book for the general public ought to at least note that there is still at least some debate) [and if it's there and I missed it, cringing apologies]; references are not cited in the text (though there is a chapter-by-chapter bibliography), and -



But other than that (and I won't comment on the fifties-retro dust jacket design....) I think this will be a fascinating book to dip into, and will undoubtedly fuel many an argument. Congratulations to Greg and all concerned.

And Greg - why, when you drew Tarbosaurus threatening some Therizinosaurus, did you put feathers on the hands of the former but none on the latter? Fans of Beipiaosaurus want to know....

PS- this is only one of two dino books I bought today. The other is Dinosaurs of Darkness by the Vickers-Rich's, which (at first glance) seems to pack a lot of information and discussion into a history of the excavations at Dinosaur Cove in Australia (and has some nice art work in the brief colour section, including some pieces that appear in black and white in Greg Paul's book.

Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2 mailto:ornstn@home.com