9780716729440 / 071672944X

Mistaken Extinction: Dinosaur Evolution and the Origin of Birds


Publisher:W.H. Freeman & Company



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About the book:

Did the dinosaurs disappear, or did they merely take flight? In The Mistaken Extinction, two eminent paleontologists make a case for the continued existence of dinosaurs, at least in the form of some relatively diminutive descendants: birds. To prove their point, Lowell Dingus and Timothy Rowe first review leading theories about the dinosaurs' extinction, pointing to the shortcomings of each. Instead of dying out, Dingus and Rowe write, the dinosaurs merely evolved into another form. For skeptics troubled by such a direct link between their backyard blue jay and the lumbering T. rex, the authors point to problems with the current Linnean system of classifying life. Under a rival system known as cladistics, they contend that it's possible to identify the anatomical characteristics shared by birds and dinosaurs. It's an intriguing hypothesis, and one open to considerable debate. Either way, this beautifully illustrated and admirably comprehensive volume has much to offer birders and dinosaur buffs alike.

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