Riddle of the Dinosaur

John Noble Wilford, Author, Doug Henderson, Illustrator Alfred A. Knopf $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-394-52763-5
In the last two decades, scientists have taken a fresh look at dinosaurs and have revised theories about evolution and extinction in the light of new evidence: a colony of dinosaur nests with eggs and complete skeletons of different sizes was one of the major finds of this century. Wilford, science reporter for the New York Times and author of The Mapmakers, here reviews our past and present knowledge of the prehistoric creatures. He writes about fossil-hunters and their discoveries on every continent, about the ""bone wars'' of the 19th century. He traces the development of current theoriesthat some dinosaurs were warm-blooded and fast-moving; that in some species, parents took care of their young; that extinction was due to an extraordinary catastrophe on earth. Wilford's account of conflicts over interpretation, of the building and testing of hypotheses, gives us a stunning portrait of science in ferment. The ``new'' dinosaurs are just as intriguing as the old ones. Illustrations not seen by PW. Macmillan Book Club main selection; History Book Club alternate. January 14
Reviewed on: 12/02/1985
Release date: 12/01/1985
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-394-74392-9
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