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new dinosaur textbook



I received this new textbook about a week ago, but since nobody reported it
to the DML, I'd like to give some comments on; 

Introduction to the Study of Dinosaurs
by Anthony J. Martin
published July 2001 
440 pages 
184 illustrations 
ISBN 0632044365
Paperback
price $74.95


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Definition of a Dinosaur  
Overview of Scientific Methods 
Paleontology and Geology as Sciences  
Importance of Knowing the History of Dinosaur Studies 
Dinosaur Bones: Their Formation, Name and Features 
Basic Concepts in Dinosaur Taphonomy  
Basic Information about Dinosaur Tracks  
Basic Information about Dinosaur Eggs and Nests  
Dinosaur Feeding Habits 
Introduction to Dinosaur Evolution 
Overview of the Clade Theropoda  
Overview of the Clade Sauropodomorpha  
Overview of the Clade Ornithopoda 
Overview of the Clade Thyreophora 
Overview of the Clade Marginocephalia  
Dinosaurs, Birds and Extinctions  


more information can be found at

www.blackwell-science.com/dinosaurs

The website even gives you free access to 3 sample chapters (Definition of a
Dinosaur, Basic Concepts in Dinosaur Taphonomy, Dinosaurs Birds and
Extinctions) and a useful glossary (pdf format) for a total 100 free pages !
Dozens of images (jpg format) are also available !

The webpage "for the instructor" lists interesting links that include the
excellent "Dinosaurs: A Natural History" by Thomas Holtz.


Textbooks on the subject of dinosaurs are quite rare, this new publication
is comparable to the popular;

Dinosaurs: The Textbook
by Spencer G. Lucas
Price $86.65
Paperback - 304 pages 3rd edition (July 23, 1999) 
McGraw-Hill Higher Education; ISBN 0073036420


my impression of "Introduction to the Study of Dinosaurs";

1. Although the complete array of anatomical terms (for all bones found in
dinosaur skeletons) is listed, there are too few illustrations that
visualise these terms.
2. Great to see inclusion of the chapters on tracks and eggs, they provide
an excellent short overview of these unusual fossils and their importance
(although I've already discovered an error; the oogenus Prismatoolithus is
NOT referable to ornithopods, but instead to theropods; this is probably
still based on the initial evaluation of Prismatoolithus levis belonging to
Orodromeus, we now know it belongs to troodontids).
3. The author links the study of dinosaurs to a historical perspective and
other areas of scientific research (incl. geology, evolution, taphonomy,
mathematics, physics ...) which is very clever.
4. As with most other textbooks, the number of photographs included is
limited, but there are some pictures of rare mounted skeletons
(Giganotosaurus, Utahraptor, juvenile Stegosaurus ...).
5. The author clearly supports the use of cladistics and phylogenetic
classification, but the chapter on Theropoda unfortunately doesn't give much
details on the diverse clades of this group of dinosaurs, there is little
information on the different clades within Coelurosauria.

To summarize, this is serious competition for other dinosaur textbooks. I
think that S.G. Lucas' textbook still remains the favourite for classroom
use, but A.J. Martin's book is better suited for the growing number of
people who learn about dinosaurs through self-study.




Regards,

Gunter Van Acker

GunterVanAcker.mesozoic@pi.be
or
Gunter.VanAcker@Electrabel.be