- Taschenbuch: 194 Seiten
- Verlag: Pan Aves (8. Dezember 2012)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0988596504
- ISBN-13: 978-0988596504
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 1,2 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 163.379 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
A Field Guide to Mesozoic Birds and Other Winged Dinosaurs (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 8. Dezember 2012
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Matthew P. Martyniuk is an illustrator and science educator specializing in Mesozoic birds and avian evolution. He has been drawing prehistoric flora and fauna since he first held a pencil, and became fascinated with the dinosaur/bird transition after discovering a copy of Gregory S. Paul’s Predatory Dinosaurs of the World at his local library. His illustrations and diagrams have appeared in a variety of books, news articles, and television programs from Discovery, the Smithsonian, and the BBC, and he publishes the paleontological blog DinoGoss. He is a founding member of “Wikiproject Dinosaurs”, an initiative to generate and curate scientifically precise content for the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Additional art and information can be found at his Web site, www.henteeth.com.
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Anyway, the book has a lot of specifics on many well-known and not-so-well known winged dinosaurs and birds (i.e., flying dinosaurs). Along with the interesting illustrations, there are small depictions showing the size of each species on scale comparative to a human being. This fine book helps one to ponder the great diversity and complex relations of some of the avian-like creatures that existed millions of years ago. It must have been a fascinating world back then. If that asteroid would have missed our planet, we certainly would not be here... and one can only wonder at the further evolved forms that would have continued on with the dinosaur legacy. I'm very glad that the asteroid hit and that I obtained this book!
Of course, Mesozoic birds do not have a common name the way living birds do (e.g. "blue-footed booby"), so for the field guide, one must use the translation of the scientific name: "Sinornithosaurus millenni" becomes "Millennial Chinese Bird Lizard." For each bird there is a silhouette against the outline of a man for scale and a picture of the bird restored as a living animal, some with some striking colors.
A lot of animals we think of as classic dinosaurs, for example Deinonychus and Oviraptor, are restored as birds, fully covered in long, sometimes brightly colored feathers. This is within the realm of plausibility, certainly--who can say where feathered dinosaurs end and birds begin, but it is a departure of what is normally done in most paleoart.
Appendices include the list of excluded species (for which the remains are not sufficient to say much) and cladistic definitions of the bird groups.
Certainly, this book will help you with the names of Mesozoic birds, and learn who is in what group, who has teeth and who doesn't. On the other hand, if the idea is "science" rather than "art", the "field guide" format is not helpful. Feathers are preserved for only a few dozen dinosaur/bird specimens, and we can guess the feather coloration for at best a handful based on the shape of melanosomes in their preserved feathers. The restorations correctly show the shape of the beak, the length of the neck, and the length of the legs. However, the length of the feathers and the coloration for the large majority of the birds in this book is pure fantasy, and there is no obvious way to guess the level of reliability of the restoration from the picture alone. Moreover, having only the restoration works against us learning something interesting about the differences between bird groups. For example, if one wanted to see the difference between enantiornithines ("opposite birds") and early "true birds," one would have to look at the details of the skeleton, in this case the joint between the scapula and coracoid.
So I would look elsewhere for a treatise on early birds. As with "All Yesterdays", this book is expensive ($37) for a small paperback.