Flying Dinosaurs

How Fearsome Reptiles Became Birds

Author: John Pickrell

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231538782

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 3590

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The discovery of stunning, feathered dinosaur fossils coming out of China since 2006 suggest that these creatures were much more bird-like than paleontologists previously imagined. Further evidence—bones, genetics, eggs, behavior, and more—has shown a seamless transition from fleet-footed carnivores to the ancestors of modern birds. Mixing colorful portraits with news on the latest fossil findings and interviews with leading paleontologists in the United States, China, Europe, and Australia, John Pickrell explains and details dinosaurs' development of flight. This special capacity introduced a whole new range of abilities for the animals and helped them survive a mass extinction, when thousands of other dinosaur species that once populated the Earth did not. Pickrell also turns his journalistic eye toward the stories behind the latest discoveries, investigating the role of the Chinese black market in trading fossils, the controversies among various dinosaur hunters, the interference of national governments intent on protecting scientific information, and the race to publish findings first that make this research such a dynamic area of science.

Flying Dinosaurs

How fearsome reptiles became birds

Author: John Pickrell

Publisher: NewSouth

ISBN: 174224176X

Category: Nature

Page: 256

View: 7949

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Dinosaurs didn’t die out when an asteroid hit Earth 66 million years ago. Get ready to unthink what you thought you knew and journey into the deep, dark depths of the Jurassic. The discovery of the first feathered dinosaur in China in 1996 sent shockwaves through the palaeontological world. Were the feathers part of a complex mating ritual, or a stepping stone in the evolution of flight? And just how closely related T. rex to a chicken Award-winning journalist John Pickrell reveals how dinosaurs developed flight and became the birds in our backyards. He delves into the latest discoveries in China, the US, Europe and uncovers a thriving black market in fossils and infighting between dinosaur hunters, plus the controversial plan to use a chicken to bring dinosaurs back from the dead.

Weird Dinosaurs

The Strange New Fossils Challenging Everything We Thought We Knew

Author: John Pickrell

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231543395

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 2803

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From the outback of Australia to the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and the savanna of Madagascar, the award-winning science writer and dinosaur enthusiast John Pickrell embarks on a world tour of new finds, meeting the fossil hunters who work at the frontier of discovery. He reveals the dwarf dinosaurs unearthed by an eccentric Transylvanian baron; an aquatic, crocodile-snouted carnivore bigger than T. rex that once lurked in North African waterways; a Chinese dinosaur with wings like a bat; and a Patagonian sauropod so enormous it weighed more than two commercial jet airliners. Other surprising discoveries hail from Alaska, Siberia, Canada, Burma, and South Africa. Why did dinosaurs grow so huge? How did they spread across the world? Did they all have feathers? What do sauropods have in common with 1950s vacuum cleaners? The stuff of adventure movies and scientific revolutions, Weird Dinosaurs examines the latest breakthroughs and new technologies that are radically transforming our understanding of the distant past. Pickrell opens a vivid portal to a brand-new age of fossil discovery, in which fossil hunters are routinely redefining what we know and how we think about prehistory's most iconic and fascinating creatures.

A Field Guide to Mesozoic Birds and Other Winged Dinosaurs

Author: Matthew P. Martyniuk

Publisher: Pan Aves

ISBN: 0988596504

Category: Birds

Page: 191

View: 8000

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A comprehensive illustrated guide to the birds of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and their dinosaurian forebears. Each species is illustrated in multiple views with size and distinguishing features highlighted. Includes introduction summarizing current research into bird origins and evolution, and what we know (and don't know) about the life appearance and habits of the first birds.

Feathered Dinosaurs

The Origin of Birds

Author: John A. Long,Peter Schouten

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0195372662

Category: Nature

Page: 193

View: 2686

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A stunning visual record of feathered dinosaurs illuminates the evolutionary march from these extraordinary prehistoric creatures through to the first true flying birds and includes an engaging companion text that places these feathered dinosaurs within the larger family of dinosaurs.

Feathered Dragons

Studies on the Transition from Dinosaurs to Birds

Author: Philip J. Currie

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 9780253343734

Category: Nature

Page: 361

View: 6613

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Meat-eating theropod dinosaurs have been recognized as potential ancestors of birds since the 19th century, but it was not until the 1960s that work on Deinonychus revealed the startling similarities between dinosaurs and birds. With each new small theropod find the ties became stronger, until the discovery of Sinosauropteryx—a dinosaur with feathers! Though not all scientists accept the concept of birds' being phylogenetically nested within the Dinosauria, others are now focusing on the evolution of feathers and avian flight. This book presents 15 new pieces of research, including the first detailed description of Bambiraptor, a remarkable new specimen from Montana. Contributors are Robert T. Bakker, David Burnham, Sankar Chatterjee, Luis M. Chiappe, James M. Clark, Philip J. Currie, Stephen J. Godfrey, Gerald Grellet-Turner, Thomas P. Hopp, Frankie K. Jackson, Peter J. Makovicky, Mark A. Norell, Fernando E. Novas, Mark J. Orsen, Gregory J. Retallack, Dale A. Russell, R. J. Templin, David J. Varricchio, Peter Wellnhofer, and Joanna L. Wright.

The Rise of Birds

225 Million Years of Evolution

Author: Sankar Chatterjee

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 142141614X

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 7675

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A small set of fossilized bones discovered almost thirty years ago led paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee on a lifelong quest to understand their place in our understanding of the history of life. They were clearly the bones of something unusual, a bird-like creature that lived long, long ago in the age of dinosaurs. He called it Protoavis, and the animal that owned these bones quickly became a contender for the title of "oldest known bird." In 1997, Chatterjee published his findings in the first edition of The Rise of Birds. Since then Chatterjee and his colleagues have searched the world for more transitional bird fossils. And they have found them. This second edition of The Rise of Birds brings together a treasure trove of fossils that tell us far more about the evolution of birds than we once dreamed possible. With no blind allegiance to what he once thought he knew, Chatterjee devours the new evidence and lays out the most compelling version of the birth and evolution of the avian form ever attempted. He takes us from Texas to Spain, China, Mongolia, Madagascar, Australia, Antarctica, and Argentina. He shows how, in the "Cretaceous Pompeii" of China, he was able to reconstruct the origin and evolution of flight of early birds from the feathered dinosaurs that lay among thousands of other amazing fossils. Chatterjee takes us to where long-hidden bird fossils dwell. His compelling, occasionally controversial, revelations—accompanied by spectacular illustrations—are a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in the evolution of "the feathered dinosaurs," from vertebrate paleontologists and ornithologists to naturalists and birders. -- Alan Feduccia, University of North Carolina

The Mistaken Extinction

Dinosaur Evolution and the Origin of Birds

Author: Lowell Dingus,Timothy Rowe

Publisher: W H Freeman & Company

ISBN: 9780716729440

Category: Science

Page: 332

View: 6188

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Two crackerjack paleontologists take readers on a brisk tour of the leading theories about the dinosaurs' disappearance. An epic tale of beautiful and terrible beasts and explosions that block out the sun, "The Mistaken Extinction" is a 65-million-year-old evolutionary murder mystery with a fascination that has yet to die out. 300 illustrations.

How to Build a Dinosaur

Extinction Doesn't Have to be Forever

Author: John R. Horner,James Gorman

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9780525951049

Category: Science

Page: 246

View: 2947

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Jack Horner and his colleagues in molecular biology labs are poised to create a real dinosaur based on the latest breakthroughs - without using prehistoric DNA. The mystery ingredient in this recreation is the genetic code for building dinosaurs that lives on in modern birds.

Dinosaurs

How They Lived and Evolved

Author: Darren Naish,Paul Barrett

Publisher: Smithsonian Institution

ISBN: 1588345823

Category: Nature

Page: 224

View: 1696

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"Discover the most successful--and bizarre--animals ever to inhabit Earth: the dinosaurs. Filled with groundbreaking discoveries in dinosaur research from around the globe, Dinosaurs is a state-of-the-art guide to dinosaur biology, anatomy, behavior, evolution, and diversity, richly illustrated with artistic reconstructions that bring these iconic creatures to life."--Page 4 of cover.

Avian Evolution

The Fossil Record of Birds and its Paleobiological Significance

Author: Gerald Mayr

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1119020735

Category: Science

Page: 312

View: 3122

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Knowledge of the evolutionary history of birds has much improved in recent decades. Fossils from critical time periods are being described at unprecedented rates and modern phylogenetic analyses have provided a framework for the interrelationships of the extant groups. This book gives an overview of the avian fossil record and its paleobiological significance, and it is the only up-to-date textbook that covers both Mesozoic and more modern-type Cenozoic birds in some detail. The reader is introduced to key features of basal avians and the morphological transformations that have occurred in the evolution towards modern birds. An account of the Cenozoic fossil record sheds light on the biogeographic history of the extant avian groups and discusses fossils in the context of current phylogenetic hypotheses. This review of the evolutionary history of birds not only addresses students and established researchers, but it may also be a useful source of information for anyone else with an interest in the evolution of birds and a moderate background in biology and geology.

The Tyrannosaur Chronicles

The Biology of the Tyrant Dinosaurs

Author: David Hone

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 147291127X

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 8746

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'Gripping and wonderfully informative' Tom Holland, New Statesman Adored by children and adults alike, Tyrannosaurus is the most famous dinosaur in the world, one that pops up again and again in pop culture, often battling other beasts such as King Kong, Triceratops or velociraptors in Jurassic Park. But despite the hype, Tyrannosaurus and the other tyrannosaurs are fascinating animals in their own right, and are among the best-studied of all dinosaurs. Tyrannosaurs started small, but over the course of 100 million years evolved into the giant carnivorous bone-crushers that continue to inspire awe in palaeontologists, screenplay writers, sci-fi novelists and the general public alike. Tyrannosaurus itself was truly impressive; it topped six tons, was more than 12m (40 feet) long, and had the largest head and most powerful bite of any land animal in history. The Tyrannosaur Chronicles tracks the rise of these dinosaurs, and presents the latest research into their biology, showing off more than just their impressive statistics – tyrannosaurs had feathers and fought and even ate each other. This book presents the science behind this research; it tells the story of the group through their anatomy, ecology and behaviour, exploring how they came to be the dominant terrestrial predators of the Mesozoic and, in more recent times, one of the great icons of biology.

Where Song Began

Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World

Author: Tim Low

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300221665

Category: Nature

Page: 424

View: 8089

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An authoritative and entertaining exploration of Australia's distinctive birds and their unheralded role in global evolution Renowned for its gallery of unusual mammals, Australia is also a land of extraordinary birds. But unlike the mammals, the birds of Australia flew beyond the continent's boundaries and around the globe many millions of years ago. This eye-opening book tells the dynamic but little-known story of how Australia provided the world with songbirds and parrots, among other bird groups, why Australian birds wield surprising ecological power, how Australia became a major evolutionary center, and why scientific biases have hindered recognition of these discoveries. From violent, swooping magpies to tool-making cockatoos, Australia's birds are strikingly different from birds of other lands--often more intelligent and aggressive, often larger and longer-lived. Tim Low, a renowned biologist with a rare storytelling gift, here presents the amazing evolutionary history of Australia's birds. The story of the birds, it turns out, is inseparable from the story of the continent itself and also the people who inhabit it.

Planet of the Bugs

Evolution and the Rise of Insects

Author: Scott Richard Shaw

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022616361X

Category: Nature

Page: 240

View: 8839

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Chronicles the evolution of insects and explains how evolutionary innovations have enabled them to disperse widely, occupy narrow niches, and survive global catastrophes.

Feathers

Not Just for Flying

Author: Melissa Stewart

Publisher: Charlesbridge

ISBN: 160734727X

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 32

View: 9152

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Young naturalists meet sixteen birds in this elegant introduction to the many uses of feathers. A concise main text highlights how feathers are not just for flying. More curious readers are invited to explore informative sidebars, which underscore specific ways each bird uses its feathers for a variety of practical purposes. A scrapbook design showcases life-size feather illustrations.

Cetacean Paleobiology

Author: Felix G. Marx,Olivier Lambert,Mark D. Uhen

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118561279

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 9252

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Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) have fascinated and bewildered humans throughout history. Their mammalian affinities have been long recognized, but exactly which group of terrestrial mammals they descend from has, until recently, remained in the dark. Recent decades have produced a flurry of new fossil cetaceans, extending their fossil history to over 50 million years ago. Along with new insights from genetics and developmental studies, these discoveries have helped to clarify the place of cetaceans among mammals, and enriched our understanding of their unique adaptations for feeding, locomotion and sensory systems. Their continuously improving fossil record and successive transformation into highly specialized marine mammals have made cetaceans a textbook case of evolution - as iconic in its own way as the origin of birds from dinosaurs. This book aims to summarize our current understanding of cetacean evolution for the serious student and interested amateur using photographs, drawings, charts and illustrations.

The Monkey's Voyage

How Improbable Journeys Shaped the History of Life

Author: Alan de Queiroz

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465069762

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 4035

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How did species wind up where they are today? Scientists have long conjectured that plants and animals dispersed throughout the world by drifting on large landmasses as they broke up, but in The Monkey's Voyage, biologist Alan de Queiroz offers a radical new theory that displaces this passive view. He describes how species as diverse as monkeys, baobab trees, and burrowing lizards made incredible long-distance ocean crossings: pregnant animals and wind-blown plants rode rafts and icebergs and even stowed away on the legs of sea-going birds to create the map of life we see today. In the tradition of John McPhee's Basin and Range and David Quammen's The Song of the Dodo, The Monkey's Voyage is a beautifully told narrative of a profound investigation into the importance of contingency in history and the nature of scientific discovery.

Crystals and Crystal Growing

Author: Alan Holden,Phylis Morrison

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262580502

Category: Science

Page: 318

View: 8665

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Experiments and problems to be done by the non-specialist to aid in his understanding of crystals

The Walking Whales

From Land to Water in Eight Million Years

Author: J. G. M. "Hans" Thewissen

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520959418

Category: Science

Page: 248

View: 6674

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Hans Thewissen, a leading researcher in the field of whale paleontology and anatomy, gives a sweeping first-person account of the discoveries that brought to light the early fossil record of whales. As evidenced in the record, whales evolved from herbivorous forest-dwelling ancestors that resembled tiny deer to carnivorous monsters stalking lakes and rivers and to serpentlike denizens of the coast. Thewissen reports on his discoveries in the wilds of India and Pakistan, weaving a narrative that reveals the day-to-day adventures of fossil collection, enriching it with local flavors from South Asian culture and society. The reader senses the excitement of the digs as well as the rigors faced by scientific researchers, for whom each new insight gives rise to even more questions, and for whom at times the logistics of just staying alive may trump all science. In his search for an understanding of how modern whales live their lives, Thewissen also journeys to Japan and Alaska to study whales and wild dolphins. He finds answers to his questions about fossils by studying the anatomy of otters and porpoises and examining whale embryos under the microscope. In the book's final chapter, Thewissen argues for approaching whale evolution with the most powerful tools we have and for combining all the fields of science in pursuit of knowledge.

Gaining Ground, Second Edition

The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods

Author: Jennifer A. Clack

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 025300537X

Category: Science

Page: 544

View: 3375

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Around 370 million years ago, a distant relative of a modern lungfish began a most extraordinary adventure—emerging from the water and laying claim to the land. Over the next 70 million years, this tentative beachhead had developed into a worldwide colonization by ever-increasing varieties of four-limbed creatures known as tetrapods, the ancestors of all vertebrate life on land. This new edition of Jennifer A. Clack's groundbreaking book tells the complex story of their emergence and evolution. Beginning with their closest relatives, the lobe-fin fishes such as lungfishes and coelacanths, Clack defines what a tetrapod is, describes their anatomy, and explains how they are related to other vertebrates. She looks at the Devonian environment in which they evolved, describes the known and newly discovered species, and explores the order and timing of anatomical changes that occurred during the fish-to-tetrapod transition.