Startling new fossil finds are the lifeblood of modern palaeobiology. Giant sauropod dinosaur skeletons from Patagonia, dinosaurs with feathers from China, and even a tiny dinosaur tail in Burmese amber – complete down to every detail of its filament-like feathers, skin, bones and mummified tail muscles – inspire awe in a global audience enthralled by the idea of these great creatures walking the earth. Dinosaurs are of perennial interest to all ages, as illustrated by the huge range of dino-themed films, books and live attractions, from the enduring popularity of the Jurassic Park franchise to the success of London’s immersive ‘Dinosaurs in the Wild’ experience.
In the past twenty years, dinosaur study has changed from natural history to testable science. New technologies have revealed secrets locked in the bones in a way nobody predicted – we can now work out the colour of dinosaurs, their bite forces, speeds and parental care as well as how they came to die out.This groundbreaking book illustrates how science has replaced speculation and how our understanding of dinosaurs and their world hascompletely changed. The subject has never been so vigorous, has never changed so fast, and has never been so attractive to so many.
Preface • 1. Origin of the Dinosaurs • 2. Making the Tree • 3. Digging Up Dinosaurs 4. Breathing – Brains – Behaviour • 5. Jurassic Park • 6. From Baby to Giant • 7. How Did They Eat? • 8. How Did They Move and Run? • 9. Mass Extinction • 10. Afterword
About the Author
Michael J. Benton is Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology and head of the Palaeobiology Research Group at the University of Bristol, which was identified by the Center for World University Rankings as the top palaeontology research group in the world. He has written more than fifty books, including the standard textbooks in palaeontology and When Life Nearly Died, also published by Thames & Hudson. Benton regularly offers media comment on new dinosaur discoveries.