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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
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
Sadly, the severity of this situation detracts from the quality
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
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.