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RE: Chiappe's Glorified Dinosaurs: the Origin & Early Evolution of Birds



David Marjanovic writes:
>Big color photos are a surprise. I fear I will need to buy the book just
>for the photos.

Just to clarify: there are small photos and illustrations, too.  This book
isn't a coffee table book crammed with giant photos as in the expensive
Chinese import, _The Jehol Biota: the Emergence of Feathered Dinosaurs,
Beaked Birds and Flowering Plants_, or the slimmer youth-oriented National
Geographic books, _Feathered Dinosaurs_ and _How Dinosaurs Took Flight_.  In
contrast to the aforementioned titles, Chiappe's _Glorified Dinosaurs_ is a
more scholarly effort that features a fair amount of text.  

But as "serious" science books go, it is way more accessible than the norm,
and has a whole lot more in the way of gorgeous photos than I'm used to
seeing.  The scope of the work is considerable, so the book treats topics in
a much more generalized fashion than you would find in even a brief
scientific description.  If you are looking for detailed osteological
descriptions of specimens -- as in _Mesozoic Birds: Above the Heads of
Dinosaurs_, this is not the book for you.  The obvious advantage is that the
book can be appreciated by a wider group of readers.  In other words, you
don't have to be a tenured integrative biology professor to read through it
without getting a headache.  Which is a nice change of pace.

And, yes, the visuals are sure to please.  I'm one of those people whose
libraries have no books without pictures, so you can see where I'm coming
from.  It's a keeper.  I wish more paleontology books would follow this
book's example. 

Dino Guy Ralph
Docent at the California Academy of Sciences
Dinosaur and Fossil Education
Member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology