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My first book came out today. Is...
Martill, D. and Naish, D. 2000. _Walking With Dinosaurs The
Evidence_. BBC (London), ISBN 0-780563-537434.
While Dave is first author, he certainly did not do the majority of the
writing. The BBC insisted that he be first author because he was a
consultant for the series (another illustration of the way the media
works). This reminds me of the 'ARTHUR C. CLARKE' books about
world mysteries - Clarke's name is in massive writing but he never
wrote the books - the small print reveals Welfare and Fairley down at
the bottom. Anyway, overall the book is Ok and quite attractive - there
are a few mishaps introduced by last minute editing (e.g. 'it is a mystery
why ichthyosaurs did not survive the end of the Cretaceous', rather
than 'it is a mystery why ichthyosaurs did not survive TO the end of the
Cretaceous'). Everything written about temnospondyls is total junk -
what we say about the life habits and affinities of _Koolasuchus_ is
either outdated or just plain wrong. Of course I learnt all this (via
Adam) once the book had gone to press. Oh well.
We do discuss some stuff not normally covered in your average
popular dinosaur book. Feathers on small theropods are championed
(despite the scaly small theropods that featured in WWD), secondary
flightlessness for some theropods is discussed, the idea of pack hunting
dromaeosaurs is critiqued. _Deinosuchus_ is an alligator (in the series
it was a crocodile), the distribution of heat-sensitive pits in snakes is
discussed, and there is a detailed discussion about the size of
_Liopleurodon_. We note that _Dendrorhynchoides_ seems to be an
anurognathid and that _Muttaburusaurus_ is not an iguanodontid. Late
Cretaceous provincalism and _Ausktribosphenos_ are covered (the
idea that _Ausktribosphenos_ is a hedgehog was not published until
after submission, so this does not get a mention, nor do we mention
the eupantothere _Teinolophos trusleri_). Obviously there is a lot of
text on the main characters of the series - _Postosuchus_,
_Coelophysis_, _Cryptoclidus_, _Eustreptospondylus_,
_Stegosaurus_, _Diplodocus_, _Tyrannosaurus_ etc etc etc.
Obviously all the series consultants get a mention in the introduction.
However, wherever possible we mention people when they have done
work which contributed to the outcome of the series. Among those we
pay homage to are Sankar Chatterjee (_Postosuchus_), Gillian King
(dicynodonts), Hans Sues (dicynodonts), Robert Reisz (dicynodonts),
Willem Hillenius (RTs), Dan Chure (Aussie 'allosaur'), Charles
Deeming (ichthyosaur embryos), Walter Coombs (swimming
dinosaurs and ankylosaurs), Mike Taylor (gastroliths), Dino Frey
(pterosaurs and sexing theropods), Tom Rich and Patricia Vickers-
Rich (_Leaellynasaura_ and K polar climate) Chris Brochu (work on
Sue), Nessov, Osborn, Molnar, Czerkas, Erickson, Brett-Surman,
Flannery, Myhrvold and Currie, Riggs, Alexander, Lockley, Dodson,
Wellnhofer, Kirkland, Welles.... even Bakker.
Right now we're trying (unsuccessfully) to arrange publicity. I'm
dreading the reviews.
PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
School of Earth, Environmental & Physical Sciences
UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Burnaby Road email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Portsmouth UK tel: 01703 446718