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The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution Hardcover – 6 Oct 1988

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 6 Oct 1988
£92.30 £29.73
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Grafton (6 Oct. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0246132590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0246132598
  • Product Dimensions: 27.8 x 23.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,127,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

Scientist Dougal Nixon presents an array of imaginary animals in this voyage of evolutionary discovery, speculating on what might have happened if the meteorite had missed the Earth 65 million years ago, if the climate had not irreversibly changed, the sun been obscured and the vegetation destroyed and if the dinosaurs and other great reptiles of the Mesazoic era had not disappeared but had continued to evolve. Dougal Dixon has also written "After Man: A Zoology of the Future".


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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dougal Dixon's “The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution” is built around the same concept as the author's classical “After Man: A Zoology of the Future”. Both books were published during the 1980's and are probably only available in used condition today. Yet, the fantasy animal genre still thrives. A recent example is the immensely popular TV series “The Future is Wild”.

Dixon's dangerous idea is that the dinosaurs and their allies never went extinct. How would the world have looked like today, if clever reptiles rather than mammals had been the dominant group of animals? Brace yourself for furry dinosaurs in the North American hills, a small European dino forming ant-like colonies, ground-dwelling pterosaurs in Africa that look like giraffes, and another pterosaur that evolved a penguin-like body. The fantasy creatures “described” by the author have peculiar names, such as Gestalt, Whulk, Dingum, Flurrit and Gimp. One of the few mammals around, a small aquatic insectivore, is called Zwim. Curiously, this parallel universe also spouts perfectly regular sea gulls!

If you like fanciful fictitious beasts with somewhat flippant vernacular names, then this is the book for you. If dinosaur-lovers will relish it, is less clear. The neo-dinosaurs imagined by Dixon have evolved, after all! :D

For your science fiction book shelf.
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Format: Hardcover
Great book great service
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 24 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 19 Nov. 2001
By Kari - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have found this book to be fascinating since I first got hold of it as a child. I have always had a fascination with dinosaurs (I'm in college now and majoring in paleontology), so of course I was always plague by the question "What if they hadn't died out?" Dixon answers this question very creatively and to my complete satisfaction. Some of the other reviews on this book claim that many of Dixon's creations are implausible. Well, look around. I see a lot of equally implausible animals roaming the earth today. Have you ever taken a good look at a camel? An anteater? A duckbilled platypus? A porcupine? Think about it. If we hadn't seen them with our own eyes, wouldn't they seem pretty "out there," too? Or some extinct creatures. Anyone with any real knowledge about this subject can tell you that there are some pretty strange creatures represented in the fossil record. To those people who complain about implausibility, all I have to say is this: Go find yourself a nice illustrated book about the Burgess Shale fossils. I recommend "Wonderful Life" by Steven Jay Gould. Spend some time reading up on weird and wonderful critters like Opabinia, Marella, Sidneyia, Aysheaia, Anomalocaris, and Hallucigenia. Then let's hear your views on implausibility.
Dixon has a wonderful imagination, his descriptions are good, he is obviously knowledgeable about the workings of evolution. I find each and every one of his unique critters to be entirely plausible. In fact, every time I read his book, I have this urge to go on some sort of safari to see all those amazing creatures. I will spend the rest of my life regretting that I will never be able to see any of Dixon's wonderful animals except on the pages of his book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful saurian romp 30 Aug. 2006
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What would have happened if the K-T had never happened? What if the dinosaurs and their relatives had continued their succesful lineage and continued to gradually evolve? Renowned paleontologist Dougal Dixon delves headfirst into this interesting topic. We start our tour with a brief history on the different theories of the extinction of the dinosaurs. We then move into the present-day dinosaurs. We start in the steamy jungles of Africa, where we see "arbrosaurs" (tree-climbing dinosaurs) eating insects and wasps in the canopy. We then see bizarre giraffe-like creatures on what would be the African Savannah, descended from pterosaurs. In the desert, there are "sandles" a subterrenian predator, and Wyrms, which kill and eat small mammals. We move up to North America, in which we see "gestalts" a social dinosaur, with a queen, soldiers, and workers. We see agile brickets (descended from hadrosaurs) and the zwims, aquatic mammals. We move into the tundra, where giant flightless birds (trombles) migrate to breed. Smaller birds (whiffles) follow in their wake. In the colder deserts, we see ankylosaur descendants, adapted for colder weather. In the grasslands, we see gazelle-like sprintosaurs and the raptor-like northclaws. Dinosaurs have even colonized the mountains, like the herbivorus balacvlavs, and their predators, the mountain leapers. In South America, we see manatee-like watergulps and scaly gliders in the rainforests. On the pampas, heavily armoured turtosaurs roam, sharing their food with the larger lumbers. In Asia, we see panda-like Taddeys, and Numbskulls (their real name!) on the steppes of the Asian highlands. In Australia, things get really bizarre. We see flamingo-like dinosaurs (cribrums) and dingums, poisonous dinosaurs. In the trees, we see tubbs, a saurian equivalant of the koala. On the offshore islands, we see Seussian wandles, and Kloons, flightless pterasaurs. On the beaches, coconut grabs, amphibious ammonites (much like the swampus of The Future is Wild) and Shorerunners, small flightless pterasaurs which are their predators. There are more creatures, but I won't reveal them all. Get the book and find out about them for yourself!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What If the Dinosaurs Never Went Extinct? 2 Dec. 2007
By Zekeriyah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I absolutely love this book. I have a well-read, well-loved copy that I've owned since my parents bought it for me back when I was seven or eight years old, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. In this book, Dougal Dixon (known for his alternate evolution scenarios like 'After Man: A Zoology of the Future' and 'The Future is Wild') posits a world where the dinosaurs never died out. He opens up with a nice introduction to dinosaurs and mass extinctions, and then goes on to give charts detailing his alternate evolution, information on continental drift, different biomes and regions of the earth, and how lifeforms adapt to everything from tropical rainforests to open deserts and grasslands to the seas. Then we get into the REAL meat of the book.

Arranged by region, we get to see richly illustrated creatures that might have evolved, had the dinosaurs not vanished 65 million years ago. We are introduced to ground dwelling pterosaurs on the African savannah, sleek theropods that stalk the great herds of hadrosaurs on the North American plain, armored ankylosaurs on the Asian steppe, giant ammonites and the pleisosaurs that adapted to eat them, and armless, scavenging descendants of the tyrannosaur in Patagonia. These, and the countless other fascinating, yet believable, creatures all show parallels to contemporary animals like pandas, flamingos, whales, jerboas, pelicans, woodpeckers, and so forth. And, not all dinosaurs survived Dixon's either. He mentions the last stegosaurs as dying out on the Indian subcontinent 2 million years ago, for instance.

Creationists and other such types will probably find the whole concept a bit objectionable, but those of us who accept evolution can look at this book as a fascinating read, an alternate look at the potential creatures that may have evolved were the dinosaurs with us today. Its really sci-fi in the strictest sense of the word, and a fun read to boot, so I definately recommend getting your hands on a copy when (if) you can find it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If this was the Dinosaur Heresis, would it be alien or warm-blooded? That's the question. 12 July 2005
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Move over, Speculated Dinosaur Project! Long-time time paleomtologist Dougal Dixon has unleashed his view of the Earth right this very second-if the K-T event had not happened, EVER. According to this book, published in the 1980s, the dinosaurs and their relatives would diversify into a varied collection of species that would look as weird as they are magnificent to our very eyeballs. Except our eyeballs would never be able to see them, since we mammals would still remain small (weighing less than 100 killograms)and remain relatively unspecialized.

Some adaptions of the new dinosaur would look weird to a paleobiologist of the 60s but seem to be more accurate now. For instance, some varieties of coelurids, duckbills, and pterodactyls evolve some kind of a furry insulation, like hair or feathers. This is certainly a possibility nowadays. First of all, new evidence from Kazakstan and China suggests that many groups of theropod dinosaurus and pterosaurs had a strange kind of furry body covering. Secondly, if the Cenozoic dinosaurs started moving in habitats with a much cooler climate than they were used to, than highly advacned body covering would have saved them from severe decrease in outside body temperature, as in mammals; this does not mean they were cold-blooded.

My favorite dinosaur in this book is the treewyrn, Arbroseperus longus. This creature evolved from a group of basal compsognathids that, over time, have lost their front limbs to cope with a burrowing lifstyle. The treewyrm, however, has taken the the treetops using its hallax, or first toe, like a thumb to grip on to branches. The dinosaur's long neck is perfectly designed for snatching prey from a distance.

Although this book does mention dinosaurs that are not scientifically plausable, it does teach us an important lesson: The popular view of dinosaur for nearly thirteen decades was wrong. These were not slow-witted, cold-blooded behemoth doomed of extinction, but mammal-like, fast-moving creatures that did what living animals do; eat, fight, communicate, and reproduce. And maybe, somewhere on this planet, they are real-life new dinosaurs, waiting to be seen by zoologists.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dixon's dangerous dinosaurs 8 May 2015
By Ashtar Command - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dougal Dixon's “The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution” is built around the same concept as the author's classical “After Man: A Zoology of the Future”. Both books were published during the 1980's and are probably only available in used condition today. Yet, the fantasy animal genre still thrives. A recent example is the immensely popular TV series “The Future is Wild”.

Dixon's dangerous idea is that the dinosaurs and their allies never went extinct. How would the world have looked like today, if clever reptiles rather than mammals had been the dominant group of animals? Brace yourself for furry dinosaurs in the North American hills, a small European dino forming ant-like colonies, ground-dwelling pterosaurs in Africa that look like giraffes, and another pterosaur that evolved a penguin-like body. The fantasy creatures “described” by the author have peculiar names, such as Gestalt, Whulk, Dingum, Flurrit and Gimp. One of the few mammals around, a small aquatic insectivore, is called Zwim. Curiously, this parallel universe also spouts perfectly regular sea gulls!

If you like fanciful fictitious beasts with somewhat flippant vernacular names, then this is the book for you. If dinosaur-lovers will relish it, is less clear. The neo-dinosaurs imagined by Dixon have evolved, after all! :D

For your science fiction book shelf.
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