REFERENCE

Dinosaur Facts and Figures: The Theropods and Other Dinosauriformes

Princeton Univ. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9780691180311. $29.95. REF
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This survey of the theropods, the great dinosaur subgroup that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and the ancestors of birds, is an inspired blend of art, science, and imagination. The authors—principals of Eofauna, a company that produces reproductions of prehistoric fauna—slice and dice scads of information about dinosaur taxonomy, chronology, geography, anatomy, biology, footprints, history, and culture, and conclude with a complete list of theropod species current to 2016. The authors present more than 3,000 records on some 750 species: “largest,” “smallest,” “oldest,” “most recent,” “fastest,” and “strongest,” among other comparisons. Smart design and numerous graphs and charts make complex data intelligible; to make it verifiable, included is a list of references and an appendix on statistical matters (to be accessed online). This work can function as a browsing bonanza for casual dino-lovers, but it addresses itself primarily to those whose interest runs a little deeper; when the authors discuss anatomy or dinosaur biomechanics, for example, the audience narrows considerably. The profuse, irresistible “paleo-art” will surely captivate readers of all ages.
VERDICT A marvelous work of synthesis. Selectors would do well to place it the circulating collection, as readers will need time and leisure to absorb the many wondrous facets.

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