13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
a mix of essays, some very up to date, others quite old,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Scientific American Book of Dinosaurs (Hardcover)Something of a disappointment. The cover's deceptive - there are only 16 pages of colour plates - but that isn't my major gripe. The book consists of almost 30 dinosaur related essays, many (but not all) from past issues of SA - some excellent and bang up to date, others up to 25 years old.
Section 6, Dinosaur Bioenergetics, illustrates the problem nicely: the section includes a couple of very good, up to the minute reviews of dinosaur growth and thermodynamics (possibly commissioned specially for the book?), but also an essay by Bob Bakker from 1975. Bakker's essay is at the end of the section and no original publication dates are included with the essays - you have to look in the small print at the front of the book to work out which ones are recent. Obvious potential for confusion. There are no bibliographies for each essay, but there is a section for suggested further reading at the end of the book.
That said, I have great admiration for Greg Paul (without whom the palaentological world would be a good deal poorer) and there is some good stuff in here; Greg's essay on restoring life appearances is a must-read.
The paperback edition of `The Complete Dinosaur' makes this book (albeit a hardback)look rather poor value by comparison, but some essays here update some from that (wholly excellent and recommended) book. If you're a serious dino buff you'll want to read at least some of the contents of the Scientific American Book of Dinosaurs; whether you buy it yourself or persuade your local library to invest in it will depend on your budget. Or maybe wait for the paperback?