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Dinosaurs, Spitfires, and Sea Dragons Paperback – 1 Jan 1992

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; New edition edition (1 Jan. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067420770X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674207707
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 925,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

The net effect of Ýthis¨ book is to make one extremely jealous of anyone lucky enough to take Professor McGowan's class in evolutionary biology at the University of Toronto...The problem with the several dinosaur controversies is that merely to argue about them requires an appreciation of many aspects of Newtonian physics, aero- and thermodynamics and both applied and theoretical geophysics. Since one wishes to be read by more than the world's half-dozen genuine polymaths, one must explain everything along the way, and that is the stunning success of this book. It is a text that can be read with profit by a teen-ager willing to learn a few new words and by a professional in the field of paleontology. -- M. R. Montgomery "Boston Globe"

ÝA¨ wonderful book...Ultimately the great virtue of this book is that it faces down our instinctive desire to leap from bone to biology and in so doing produces a particular kind of wisdom which transcends its subject matter. For implicit in how McGowan and his kind have approached the dinosaur is a point of view humans almost never assume about themselves. How much are we pure physics? Our walks, our musculature, our electric nerve impulses?...Delicious...In addition to its intellectual strengths, for a book that is often technical, "Dinosaurs, Spitfires and Sea Dragons" is extremely well-written...The lovely word 'classic' is already engraved upon it. But be advised: This is a science classic. It requires close reading. It demands not just that we approach, but that we be prepared to learn. But is not that the lesson hiding in our fascination with the dinosaurs in the first place? -- Stephen Strauss "Toronto Globe and Mail"

of the dinosaurs...An altogether captivating book.

You don't have to be an eight-year-old to fall in love with "Dinosaurs, Spitfires, and Sea Dragons,.".Fun, scholarly, imaginatively written and wondrously anecdotal, this is the perfect companion for eight-year-olds of all ages.

At last, a grown-up's book about dinosaurs. This beautifully illustrated work, written by a literate scientist for an educated lay audience, shines a bright new light into the darkness of the 150-million-year reign of the dinosaurs...An altogether captivating book.--John Wilkes "Los Angeles Times "

The net effect of [this] book is to make one extremely jealous of anyone lucky enough to take Professor McGowan's class in evolutionary biology at the University of Toronto...The problem with the several dinosaur controversies is that merely to argue about them requires an appreciation of many aspects of Newtonian physics, aero- and thermodynamics and both applied and theoretical geophysics. Since one wishes to be read by more than the world's half-dozen genuine polymaths, one must explain everything along the way, and that is the stunning success of this book. It is a text that can be read with profit by a teen-ager willing to learn a few new words and by a professional in the field of paleontology.--M. R. Montgomery "Boston Globe "

Dinosaurs are so popular that we often neglect the even more fascinating reptiles of their time that evolved in the most unreptilian habitats of sea (ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and their allies) and air (pterosaurs). McGowan, world's leading expert on ichthyosaurs, and a fine writer as well, tells their wonderful story better than ever before--and doesn't neglect the more conventional dinosaurs either.--Stephen Jay Gould

[A] wonderful book...Ultimately the great virtue of this book is that it faces down our instinctive desire to leap from bone to biology and in so doing produces a particular kind of wisdom which transcends its subject matter. For implicit in how McGowan and his kind have approached the dinosaur is a point of view humans almost never assume about themselves. How much are we pure physics? Our walks, our musculature, our electric nerve impulses?...Delicious...In addition to its intellectual strengths, for a book that is often technical, Dinosaurs, Spitfires and Sea Dragons is extremely well-written...The lovely word 'classic' is already engraved upon it. But be advised: This is a science classic. It requires close reading. It demands not just that we approach, but that we be prepared to learn. But is not that the lesson hiding in our fascination with the dinosaurs in the first place?--Stephen Strauss "Toronto Globe and Mail "

Synopsis

Christopher McGowan sets out to solve some of the enduring mysteries about dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles. He makes comparisons between living and extinct animals while presenting topics that range from gigantism to intellect. In addition to exploring the natural history of the Mesozoic Era, McGowan draws on science and engineering concepts to explain curiosities such as the similarities between the aerodynamics of pteranodons and Spitfire planes. Dinosaurs are so popular that we often neglect the even more fascinating reptiles of their time that evolved in the most unreptilian habitats of sea (ichtyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and their allies) and air (pterosaurs). McGowan tells their story without neglecting the more conventional dinosaurs.

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1 February 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
4 January 2014
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One person found this helpful
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20 July 2009
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31 July 2000
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
Caleb Hanson
5.0 out of 5 starsA dinosaur book for grown-ups
14 April 2011 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Atheen
5.0 out of 5 starsDinosaurs, Spitfires, and Sea Dragons
12 March 2000 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
2 people found this helpful.
Harry Eagar
4.0 out of 5 starsKnuckling down
30 November 2006 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ken Braithwaite
5.0 out of 5 starsExplains the logic of the evidence
27 October 2000 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
One person found this helpful.
ooid@hotmail.com
4.0 out of 5 starsFor the person more than casually interested in dinosaurs!
12 November 1998 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
3 people found this helpful.
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