----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, October 28, 2001 4:04
Subject: Re: National Geographic's book
Tracy Ford wrote:
you sure its Doug’s work? It doesn’t quite have the same look/feel to it. I
looked for a signature but couldn’t find one on the
this is just a small taste of what the book will be, it’ll be worth
I have a copy of the book for a couple of weeks now, so here
is some information ...
An introduction to the book is written by Kevin
Author is Paul Barrett, a lecturer in zoology at the
University of Oxford and a research associate at the Oxford Museum of Natural
History. He completed his PhD on the biology and evolution of herbivorous
dinosaurs at the University of Cambridge. I'm sure that Dr. Barrett is no
stranger to listmember Darren Naish.
My database tells me that Dr. Barrett was involved in the 1998
description of Shanxia tianzhenensis and Acanthopholis hughesii &
the artist is Raul Martin, a paleo-artist who works with the
paleontology department of the Spanish Universidad Autonoma of Madrid and with
the paleo-anthropological team of the Atapuerca (Spain) excavations. The image
that was sent to the DML shows a tyrannosaur and Edmontonia, the book contains
similar two-page artwork of : mosasaurs; plateosaurs feeding in a Triassic
forest; a Diplodocus under attack by a pack of Allosaurus; a pair of
Parasaurolophus with a herd of Edmontosaurus; a mother Maiasaura feeding her
nestlings; a Tyrannosaurus disturbing a pair of scavenging Quetzalcoatlus; a
herd of Chasmosaurus; a Hypsilophodon in a dark early cretaceous fores; a
Camptosaurus trying to escape from an Allosaurus; a herd of Iguanodon walking
through a marshy forest; a tyrannosaur attacking a Corythosaurus; a herd of
Lambeosaurus; three Camarasaurus individuals near the coastline of a Mesozoic
sea; a pair of Diplodocus drinking from a river; an Allosaurus attacking a
Dryosaurus (also on the book's cover); a Baryonyx catching a fish; a
Tyrannosaurus being dwarfed by giant trees; an (unfeathered) Oviraptor on a
nest of eggs; two (unfeathered) Deinonychus in a forest.
Most of this artwork is even more impressive than the
image you have now already seen; I'm particularly impressed by the
breath-taking plant life that was recreated, I've rarely seen such accurate
Mesozoic landscapes. The dinosaurs themselves are so life-like that the images
often look like photographs.
The book also contains individual images of 50+ different
dinosaur genera, by the same artist.
The book itself is comparable to Lambert & Ostrom's
Ultimate Dinosaur Book (1993), a book which for many of us, marked a
transition to more serious dinosaur literature.
The new National Geographic book follows the same pattern;
several introductory chapters on dinosaurs in general (what is a dinosaur, the
age of dinosaurs, finds around the world, how they lived, how they moved,
extinction, dinosaur movies ...) followed by extensive descriptions of
some 56 different genera. These 50+ genera were carefully selected to
represent the diversity of the Dinosauria, and is clever in not including
pterosaurs and marine reptiles, but do include Archaeopteryx, Baptornis and
Iberomesornis, and thus forwards the inclusion of extant birds in Dinosauria.
Not only traditional dinosaurs are included in this total, also several
recently described genera are present; Sinosauropteyx, Caudipteryx,
Pelecanimimus. The descriptions of traditonal forms like Velociraptor and
Oviraptor remain rather conservative and images of these genera do not show
feather-like integument. the book also contains numerous high-quality
photographs of actual fossil specimens and cast skeletons, including rare
images of Troodon eggs & skull, Lesothosaurus, ankylosaur skulls,
Kentrosaurus, Eoraptor skull, Apatosaurus skull, Giraffatitan (=Brachiosaurus
brancai) skeleton, Plateosaurus skeletons, Saltasaurus armour, Carnotaurus
skeleton, Baryonyx holotype skull, Liaoning feathered specimens,
Therizinosaurus cheloniformis manus, Pelecanimimus skull ...
Many of these photographs were apparently made during visits
to the Canadian Royal Tyrrell Museum, the Berlin Humboldt museum and
Like Lambert and Ostrom's book, the new NG
publication is designed for young adults, but the active involvement of a
professional paleontologist like Dr. Barrett makes it useful for much more
experienced readers and gives it long-term value as a reference book. The
two-page images by artist Raul Martin make this book even more appealing, and
it would be an absolute joy to see one of these as an enlarged reproduction
overlooking one's office or living-room.
Although not a scientific book, like the recent The Armoured
Dinosaurs (by Carpenter et al.) or Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, this is again a
must-have book (where did I hear that before this year ?).
Gunter Van Acker