Beginning in the 1990s, fossils unearthed in Australia and New Zealand began to reshape the debates around some of paleontology's most hotly contested questions: how dinosaurs and birds are related, whether dinosaurs were warm-blooded, and when and how the mammals began their rise.
In this first comprehensive account of Mesozoic vertebrates from New Zealand and Australia, John Long shows that, while the fossil record from the region can be sparse and fragmentary, finds from such sites as Dinosaur Cove, Coober Pedy, Lightning Ridge, and the fossil trackways at Broome offer new and occasionally startling evidence that has the potential to challenge current views. Long's up-to-date coverage includes the discovery in late 1996 of a new shrew-like mammal, Ausktribosphenos nyktos.
Entries on individual fauna begin with a brief introduction, written to be accessible to the armchair paleontologist, that describes the prevailing climate and habitat during the relevant geological time period, followed by more technical information aimed at specialists, including type characteristics, location and other details about the specimen's discovery. Dinosaurs of Australia and New Zealand is profusely illustrated with photographs of the fossils, maps, and newly commissioned life restorations by some of the leading dinosaur illustrators from Australia and the United States: Peter Schouten, Tony Windberg, Bill Stout, and Mike Skrepnick.
John Long’s book is a definitive, up-to-date account of all dinosaurs known from Australia and New Zealand. In fact, Long surveys the entire record of Mesozoic tetrapods—with amphibians, birds, mammals, turtles and marine reptiles all given pride of place along with Minmi, Muttaburrasaurus and many less familiar stablemates. Long’s attractive and enjoyable book should satisfy a wide audience—schoolkids, science teachers, fossil buffs, and even professional palaeontologists. The most important fossils are illustrated with colour photographs and drawings of the bones; most species are reconstructed with line drawings or paintings, with a number of field photographs and historical accounts of discoveries. Introductory chapters explain geological time, how fossils are found, prepared and reconstructed, as well as basics about dinosaurs (their evolution, classification and theories about their extinction). A glossary helps the layreader understand even the more technical parts of the text, and the bibliography cites all scientific publications on Australasian Mesozoic tetrapods.
This is the first full account of dinosaurs and other ancient Anzac vertebrates. Long, an Australian paleontologist, spices his serious account of such issues as the relation between birds and dinosaurs and when the reptiles began their rise, with a large number of colourful illustrations.
Well-written, informative, and well-illustrated, Dinosaurs of Australia and New Zealand compiles and conveys a large body of information about the fascinating animals of the Australian Mesozoic.
A fascinating glimpse of animals that may provide missing pieces to the dinosaur puzzle.
- 192 pages
- 8-1/4 x 11 inches
- Harvard University Press
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