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Ancient Marine Reptiles [Hardcover]

M. A. Taylor , Jack M. Callaway , Elizabeth L. Nicholls
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Feb 1996
Vertebrate evolution has led to the convergent appearance of many groups of originally terrestrial animals that now live in the sea. Among these groups are familiar mammals like whales, dolphins, and seals. There are also reptilian lineages (like plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs, thalattosaurs, and others) that have become sea creatures. Most of these marine reptiles, often wrongly called "dinosaurs", are extinct. This edited book is devoted to these extinct groups of marine reptiles. These reptilian analogs represent useful models of the myriad adaptations that permit tetrapods to live in the ocean. It is the first book in more than 80 years devoted exclusively to fossil marine reptiles. It documents the most current research on extinct marine reptiles. It is prepared by the world's most prominent experts in the field; and is well illustrated.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 501 pages
  • Publisher: Academic Press Inc (1 Feb 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0121552101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0121552107
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 15.6 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,927,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Editors Callaway and Nicholls demonstrate, though, that fossil marine reptiles have played critical roles in the historical development of vertebrate paleontology and evolutionary theory. Their book compiles articles on various ancient marine reptile groups written by primary experts in the field... Recommended for any upper-division undergraduate or graduate-level library collection with strong emphasis on paleontology, evolution, and/or vertebrate morphology." --M.A. WILSON, College of Wooster in CHOICE "Ancient Marine Reptiles provides an encyclopedic overview of major research accomplishments and frontiers in this new age. Editors Jack Callaway and Elizabeth Nicholls are important figures whose research collectively encompasses the majority of major marine reptile taxa and employs a broad range of methodologies. This volume will be a useful general reference to students and researchers seeking an introduction to the morphology, systematics, and faunal compositions of Mesozoic marine reptiles and will orient the reader to the range of research philosophies embraced by specialists in the field. Several contributions seem destined to become heavily cited [and] a lively interest in the reconstruction of evolutionary history is apparent through most of the volume. Callaway and Nicholls should be warmly thanked for placing contemporary marine reptile paleontology in the context of a scientific campaign that has continued for nearly two centuries and profoundly affected the general course of evolutionary sciences." --SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY "Ancient Marine Reptiles provides an invaluable reference for anyone with research interests in the structure and phylogeny of extinct marine reptiles. It presents a significant amount of new information for the first time. The book is attractively produced (including a stunning cover painting), well-referenced, and well-illustrated." --JOURNAL OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY "I applaud this volume. Most chapters are well-written and pertinent. The figures are informative and the references accurate." --NATURE "The most useful sections to a more general audience are the introductory chapters, offering a summary of recent work. My impression is that the editors have succeeded in presenting a cross-section of current research on extinct, aquatic, marine reptiles." --COPEIA "In a world so gaga over dinosaurs, it is pleasing to see marine reptiles get their due, as they do in this attractive, multi-authored volume of technical reports. This book covers the five major taxonomic groupings plus a section devoted to faunas, behavior and evolution. Each part has an excellent synthetic introduction that frames the major questions and reviews the overall taxonomy and phylogeny of that group. All told, this attractive book is a welcome compendium of the state of studies in marine reptiles. It will appeal to students of vertebrate paleontology and vertebrate biology." --AMERICAN SCIENTIST "...it has to be stated that this is an excellent book. There are some excellent illustrations. This volume is a tremendously welcome addition and is a beautiful production with a fantastic reproduction of William Stoute's painting of a mosasaur on the cover. It should be a de rigeur purchase for any palaeontologial library." --Ian Jenkins in GEOLOGICAL MAGAZINE (1999) "Ancient Marine Reptiles illustrates that there is more to the 'Age of Dinosaurs' than dinosaurs, and that weird and wonderful monsters provide unique perspectives on the past." --Tim Tokaryk in CANADIAN FIELD-NATURALIST (1999)

About the Author

Elizabeth Nicholls is Curator of Marine Reptiles at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. She graduated in paleontology from the University of California, Berkeley (1968), where she first became interested in fossil marine reptiles while working for S.P. Welles. Subsequent degrees (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) were completed at the University of Calgary. Her study focus there was Cretaceous marine reptiles ofthe Western Interior Seaway. Her research includes publications on dinosaurs, ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, mosasaurs, thalattosaurs, and Cretaceous sea turtles.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The editors, Callaway and Nicholls, have assembled 17 papers describing the results of current research by the experts on the various groups of extinct marine reptiles (Ichthyosaurs, Plesiosaurs, Turtles, Mosasaurs and Crocodiles), and their associated faunas, behavior and evolution. Well researched and profusely illustrated, this book is a must read for those seriously interested in the biology, ecology and paleontology of this diverse and fascinating group of animals.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Super Service 21 Nov 2009
By R. Smit
Format:Hardcover
Very grateful for excellent service at sellers of this particular item, which otherwise was next to impossible to obtain anywhere else and certainly not in The Netherlands.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DANGER: This is a SCIENTIFIC TEXTBOOK, 6 Feb 2006
Format:Hardcover
Looking at the cover of this glossy hardback and the details on the back of the book, I'd assumed this was a book about extinct marine reptiles (such as plesiosaurs and icthyosaurs) which a non-scientist would find interesting. No. This is effectively a collection of academic papers written by experts in the field for other experts in the field and is far too technical for the average person to get much value from. Latin names are used liberally throughout with only the occasional sprinkling of common names/terms. Illustrations are concerned only with arrangements of particular bones discovered rather than of what the relevant cretures they belonged to may have looked like.
For a more accessible (and far more engaging) read on the subject, I'd recommend Sea Dragons (predators of the prehistoric oceans) by Richard Ellis.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection of papers on extinct marine reptiles 11 July 1999
By Mike Everhart (mjever@southwind.net) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The editors, Callaway and Nicholls, have assembled 17 papers describing the results of current research by the experts on the various groups of extinct marine reptiles (Ichthyosaurs, Plesiosaurs, Turtles, Mosasaurs and Crocodiles), and their associated faunas, behavior and evolution. Well researched and profusely illustrated, this book is a must read for those seriously interested in the biology, ecology and paleontology of this diverse and fascinating group of animals.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technical Paleontological Herpetology! 28 Nov 2009
By Randy J. Mercurio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I basically agree with the three other reviews until the date of this review; however, just because some disappointed individuals were thinking they were getting a childrens book with cool artists renditions of some marine reptiles doesn't make it bad. This book is certainly geared towards the professional individual. I recommend it to those looking for a tome of information on ancient marine reptiles compiled from peer reviewed scientific literature. It may also be of interest to those who are serious about reptiles and want to learn more of their prehistoric past.
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a book for the dinofans 6 Nov 2001
By Jaysee Mulberries - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you were thinking about buying this book for your kids or a dinofan friend, a word of advise: it mightbe a bit over their heads. This book is basically an amalgamate of scientific papers without any editorial instrusion; they are true scientific papers for scientists in the style of scientific journals. Though profusely illustrated, it is not a field guide with lots of recreations and dioramas which might be what most kids and dinofans would want. Most of the illustrations are maps of the areas where a sample fossil was found or drawings and pictures of actual fossil bone at the site where found. Only the turtles and crocodiles sections of the book have some recreations of the creatures; but you will not find a single recreation drawing of an ichthyosaur. For the scientific reader this is a definite 5 star, for most everyone it might be only 2 or 3 star.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Technical and Dry 15 Sep 2004
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Unless your a paleontologist yourself, this book will probably be too technical to read and too dry to enjoy. Specialists familiar with serious scientific jargon may delight in Ancient Marine Reptiles. Otherwise, you're bound to get a headache trying to understand what's going on.
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