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Dinosaurs Without Bones: Dinosaur Lives Revealed by Their Trace Fossils [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Anthony J. Martin

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 von 5 Sternen  9 Rezensionen
22 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Fancy Footwork and Unlimited Fantasy 25. Februar 2014
Von David Wineberg - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
It’s sometimes difficult to tell whether Dinosaurs Without Bones is about dinosaurs or about paleontologists. Both turn out to be fascinating, and one of them can still be seen in the field today (Jurassic Park notwithstanding). The stated theme of the book is dinosaurs beyond mere bones. That is, every shred of evidence, from footprints to bathtub-like constructs that indicate where a dinosaur “took a leak” all add to our collective knowledge of how flesh and blood dinosaurs lived.

But from that (scant) knowledge, flights of fantasy emerge. Paleontologists aren’t mere scientists; they are fantasists, dreaming up scenarios if not whole novels about what their stony discoveries mean. To be sure, they have their lists of reality checks, if only to weather potential criticisms better, but their imaginations are where they really show off. And Dinosaurs Without Bones flies freely, leveraging every bodily function that fossil traces afford us. Every bodily function.

Paleontologists need to be expert in an incredible range of fields. They need to understand everything from digestion to physics. They need to know that a T-rex could not possibly run around at 45 mph as in the movies, because if it ever slipped or tripped, its massive weight and height would most surely have killed it in its fall, which is not a very effective evolutionary trait or strategy. The book is filled with such observations. It makes for a potentially realistic vision of what actually took place on planet earth 200 mya (million years ago, a lovely abbreviation used throughout).

There is a great deal of data on birds - modern birds – which for Martin represent the living embodiment of dinosaurs. His appreciation of them dominates the last quarter of the book. And he makes excellent arguments for his positions.

The one batch of theories I wanted but did not see was numbers. How many dinosaurs were there? Billions? Did they overpopulate the planet, or were they scattered? How dominant were they in the landscape? How much territory did a T-rex need, and how much for a brontosaurus? It matters in topics like how dinosaurs might have affected the environment, promoting flowers over dense foliage for example, or filling the air with exhaust gases and therefore warming it. I was left with absolutely no feel for how prevalent dinosaurs were.

Martin peppers the setting with humor: self-effacing, punning, and cultural (eg. hoping for an appearance on Comedy Central, the highest form of acknowledgement for scientists in the USA). It makes the book all the more readable, and, well, human. Basically, Martin is an incurable romantic, but an exhaustively fair and thorough one.

David Wineberg
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great Book - Interesting and well written! 3. April 2014
Von Christine G. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
We bought this book after hearing Dr. Martin speak at our local science museum. The book is easy to read, informative and fun! It's a great way to learn about fossil traces and history. I highly recommend it for all ages!
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Great writing, but disjointed photos 2. Juni 2014
Von Tylor Phillip - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This book is fantastic for anyone interested in paleontology, fossil hunting, or dinosaurs in general. The author's engaging writing helped me understand trace fossil work and value, while still keeping the science fun.

My only criticism is that all the photos that would enhance the writing were stuffed at the end of the kindle book...so it's hard to look at the right photos while reading about the subject.

Great book, hope the next kindle edition addresses the issue.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Dinosaurs without boring bits..... 29. Juli 2014
Von Louette - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Dr. Martin is definitely a palaeontologist and ichnologist with a great sense of humour. I had to keep reading bits to my husband when I'd come across some particularly funny piece. Sometimes it was a pun, sometimes a weird description. Not too many English teachers I know could deal with the science he describes, but he has a definite turn of phrase with English - "These nests and their egg clutches inspire yet another question, which is how sauropod mothers laid their eggs without occasioning onomatopoeia such as 'crunch' and 'splat'." This ability to raise interesting questions, make you think about them, and give great explanations and descriptions that tie back to experiences the non-scientist would identify with is something I try to do in my own science teaching, but probably nowhere near as well as Dr. Martin manages to do.

Aside from the sheer pleasure of reading such an enjoyable book, the information contained is up to date, barring the latest PLOS ONE article just published on "A Terror of Tyrannosaurs". However, having read that just published article as I was starting the book, the book certainly was invaluable in helping understand how the authors of the article made their measurements and came to their conclusions, and made me think of what questions I might want answered about the tracks. The book also had quite a few sites I hadn't known about, and excellent explanations of what could be deduced from the types of trace fossils. Best yet, it gave a real feel for the excitement, and the actual reasoning and questioning that go with good science, the problems of publishing, and the antagonisms that sometimes go with differing theories, such as the 'T rex as scavenger vs T rex as active hunter' camps.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Easy to read 16. Juli 2014
Von Gene J - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This is one of the few books on the subject where I actually learned things I didn't already know or suspect. Easy to read, easy to follow and very enjoyable.

There were a lot of jokes and funny comments. Are they appropriate? Well this isn't a text book and they were funny. So we will give him a pass on that.

It was well done and gives many suggestions for future research. You will not be disappointed.
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