[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Chris Brochu reviews _King of the Crocodylians_



Chris Brochu's review of David Schwimmer's _King of the Crocodylians:  The 
Paleobiology of Deinosuchus_ is published in the current issue of Palaios 
(Volume 18, pp. 79-82).  Those with access to Bio-One may read it on-line.  

While the subject matter is compelling, Schwimmer may not have been the best 
person to write the book on it.  As Chris says in the review:

             Parts of the book discuss the paleoenvironments and stratigraphy
             of the Cretaceous of eastern North America, and it is here that
             Schwimmer is at his best.  Other parts are an account of the
             paleobiology of _Deinosuchus_, and it is here that the book is
             weakest.

I was also interested in Chris' observations that:

             ...chapters 6 and 7 (on the number of species of _Deinosuchus_
             and on _Deinosuchus'_ genealogy, respectively) are undermined
             by factual errors and misinterpretations of the primary 
literature.
             Sadly, the severity of this situation detracts from the quality 
of
             this book.  A reader without access to the primary literature--
             and that is the kind of reader to whom this book presumably is
             aimed--will be able to sort the accurate nucleus from the
             inaccurate flesh.

The primary literature, of course, are papers published by Chris Brochu.  
Chris mentions detail errors throughout the book, misspellings of taxon 
names, and problems with the quality of the figures.  There is also the 
question of whether the book was peer-reviewed and, if it was, the review 
should have been a lot more thorough.

Most parsimonious action for the reader:  skip this edition of the book and 
wait for the revision.

Mary