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Re: what a croc
> Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 15:03:36 -0500
> From: "SCHMIDT" <email@example.com>
> > I'm pleased to announce publication of the latest book in Indiana
> > University Press' paleontology series, _King of the Crocodylians:
> > The Paleobiology of Deinosuchus_, by David R. Schwimmer.
> Does the book cover other species of ancient crocodilians as well?
> Do the drawings include good life restorations?
Here's what the U.K. Amazon site has to say about the book: for once,
it's more informative than the U.S. one.
Toward the end of the Age of Dinosaurs, during a time known as
the Late Cretaceous, a new type of giant predator appeared
along the southern coasts of North America. It was a huge
species of crocodylian and is called Deinosuchus. Neither a
crocodile nor an alligator, it was an ancestor of both modern
groups, but it reached weights of many tons and it had some
features unique to the species. Average-sized individuals
were bigger than the carnivorous dinosaurs with which they
cohabited; [own comment: _Cohabited_?! You mean they weren't
even _married_?] the largest specimens were the size of a
T-rex. This is the biography of these giant beasts, including
the long history of their discovery, research about their
makeup, and the first published evidence about their prey.
Generations of people have stared at the 6-foot reconstructed
skull at the American Museum of Natural History in New York,
not realising that the only real bones in the specimen were
bits of snout and lower jaw. New fossils and research show
that the actual animal was quite different from the
reconstruction, and now we can reliably assemble the skull and
the remainder of the animal. The book also deals with the
ancient life and geology of the coastal areas where
Deinosuchus thrived, including its competitors and its prey,
which likely included carnivorous dinosaurs among its numbers.
Since Deinosuchus is found on eastern and western sides of the
Great Inland Sea that split North America, it must have
crossed this vast seaway during the Late Cretaceous. How and
why the crocodylian crossed the seaway is the focus of a key
chapter in the book. There is also detailed discussion of the
methods used to determine the size of these giant animals, how
we can date the fossils and describe their living
environments, and why we can be sure who at whom 80 million
Also available, BTW., at a good discount from Amazon.com:
/o ) \/ Mike Taylor <firstname.lastname@example.org> www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\ "I never make predictions and I never will" -- Paul Gascoigne.