This captivating book, laced with evocative anecdotes from the field, gives the first holistic, up-to-date overview of dinosaurs and their world for a wide audience of readers. Situating these fascinating animals in a broad ecological and evolutionary context, leading dinosaur expert Scott D. Sampson fills us in on the exhilarating discoveries of the past twenty-five years, the most active period in the history of dinosaur paleontology, during which more “new” species were named than in all prior history. With these discoveries—and the most recent controversies—in mind, Sampson reconstructs the odyssey of the dinosaurs from their humble origins on the supercontinent Pangaea, to their reign as the largest animals the planet has ever known, and finally to their abrupt demise. Much more than the story of who ate whom way back when, Dinosaur Odyssey places dinosaurs in an expansive web of relationships with other organisms and demonstrates how they provide a powerful lens through which to observe the entire natural world. Addressing topics such as extinction, global warming, and energy flow, Dinosaur Odyssey finds that the dinosaurs' story is, in fact, a major chapter in our own story.
Scott D. Sampson is a dinosaur paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and educator. He serves as Research Curator at the Utah Museum of Natural History and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he continues dinosaur research and actively pursues writing and consulting projects surrounding education reform and sustainability.
"The best general-audience dinosaur book since the Dinosaur Renaissance began in the 1970s."—Philip J. Currie, coeditor of Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs, from the foreword
“Dinosaur Odyssey is not only a personable and highly accessible tour of the up-to-date discoveries about the gigantic and famous. It also builds on dinosaur paleontology to far-ranging topics like extinction, climate change, and the possibility of life on Mars. The gift to the reader is both fascination and enlightenment.”—Michael Novacek, author of Terra and Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs
"An odyssey indeed! One of the world's leading dinosaur paleontologists, Sampson draws on a wide variety of sciences, from astronomy and cosmology to microbiology and ecology, in order to portray dinosaurs as living animals. The reader is in for a treat and will emerge with fresh and valuable insights."—Peter Dodson, author of The Horned Dinosaurs
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