Earth before the dinosaurs

Sebastien Steyer

Book - 2012

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Series
Life of the past.
Subjects
Published
Bloomington : Indiana University Press c2012.
Language
English
French
Item Description
Translated from the French.
Physical Description
xiii, 182 p. : ill. (chiefly col.), col. map ; 26 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9780253223807
0253223806
Main Author
Sebastien Steyer (-)
Other Authors
Chris Spence, 1970- (-)
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Review by Choice Reviews

People know about dinosaurs, but there is a long history of life before the dinosaurs, and some of these long-extinct animals have important connections with animals contemporaneous with humans. Paleontologist Steyer (Natural History Museum, Paris, France) provides a rather detailed and diverse introduction to vertebrates preceding the dinosaurs as well as some contemporaneous with them, showing how the multiple types of aquatic and terrestrial forms originated and diverged. This is not a dry survey of the anatomy. Rather, the author focuses on important parts of the fossil record and shows restorations of skeletons and--equally importantly for providing a visual image--lots of multicolored artwork showing the animals discussed in their probably natural positions and movements. Beyond the animals themselves, Steyer discusses the important life-affecting changes occurring during geologic events of past years. A significant part of the text describes how paleontologists find, excavate, and prepare fossils, including techniques used to study the bones to make conclusions regarding the life activities of the past. Practically every page has a color plate, and the volume includes a geologic timetable. The coverage of French and some African and Asian paleontological material and literature should be especially useful for American readers. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; general readers. General Readers; Upper-division Undergraduates; Graduate Students; Researchers/Faculty; Professionals/Practitioners. D. Bardack emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago Copyright 2012 American Library Association.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

French paleontologist Steyer (Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris), with the help of self-described paleoartist Bénéteau (L'empreinte des géants), writes of a time before dinosaurs walked the earth over 200 million years ago. The first four-footed vertebrates began to appear around 370 million years ago and faded from the record only as dinosaurs started to arrive at the 200-million-year mark. Moving from the sea to land, a parade of strange and unusual animals left fossil remains behind for paleontologists to discover and decipher as they strive to document the evolutionary history of life. As Steyer describes this fossil record, he demonstrates how certain previously accepted ideas about species evolution have proven false with these findings. The book's 154 color and 63 black-and-white illustrations are riveting and can furnish hours of careful study and rewarding perusal. VERDICT A fascinating exploration of past life forms, this book will appeal to anyone interested in paleontology and Earth's history.—Gloria Maxwell, Metropolitan Community Coll.-Penn Valley, Kansas City, MO [Page 96]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Introduces the vertebrates that inhabited the Earth before the dinosaurs, including tetrapods that emerged from the sea and adapted to terrestrial life.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

This beautiful volume introduces the incredible animals that populated the planet before the Age of the Dinosaurs. Readers voyage to a time, beginning about 370 million years ago, when the first four-footed vertebrates appeared, and ending 200 million years later at the moment when the dinosaurs begin their ascent. During this time, vertebrates emerge from the sea and there appears a parade of animals, each more astonishing than the last. On this expedition, we learn how paleontologists become detectives to understand the history of life and we discover that many widely held ideas about the evolution of species are completely false. Earth before the Dinosaurs is an entertaining and informative guide to an astonishing and little-known world.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

This beautiful volume introduces the incredible animals that populated the planet before the Age of the Dinosaurs. Readers voyage to a time, beginning about 370 million years ago, when the first four-footed vertebrates appeared, and ending 200 million years later at the moment when the dinosaurs begin their ascent. During this time, vertebrates emerge from the sea and there appears a parade of animals, each more astonishing than the last. On this expedition, we learn how paleontologists become detectives to understand the history of life and we discover that many widely held ideas about the evolution of species are completely false. Earth before the Dinosaurs is an entertaining and informative guide to an astonishing and little-known world.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Earth before the Dinosaurs is an entertaining and informative guide to an astonishing and little-known world.