Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life

Scott D. Sampson, Author, Philip J. Currie, Foreword by , foreword by Philip J. Currie. Univ. of California $29.95 (332p) ISBN 978-0-520-24163-3

If one day you saw a Torvosaurus looking through your second-story window, would it be able to live on the vegetation it found? Dinosaurs, paleontologist Sampson stresses throughout this book, were part of a complex ecosystem, and to understand these beasts, we must also understand the plants and other animals they shared it with, along with factors such as the position of the continents and climate change. Sampson's sprawling study is one of the most comprehensive surveys of dinosaurs and their worlds to date. The author discusses in detail plant life during different dinosaur eras (e.g., there were no flowering plants) and even what insects would have scurried beneath them. Who knew that fossilized fecal matter hid so many clues to a dinosaur's dinner millions of years ago? Sampson addresses the ever popular subject of dinosaur extinctions and develops a comprehensive theory encompassing various dinosaur generations. Highly recommended for all dinosaur fans, although the writing may prove a bit too scholarly for younger buffs. Color and b&w illus., b&w photos. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/28/2009
Release date: 11/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
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