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Dinosaurs: The Encyclopedia
ISBN 0899509177 / 9780899509174 / 0-89950-917-7
Publisher McFarland & Co Inc Pub
List price $195.00
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If you think the title Dinosaurs: the Encyclopedia has a movie-sequel ring, you're only partly mistaken; editor Donald F. Glut has already authored The Dinosaur Dictionary and The Complete Dinosaur Dictionary. But you'll find no T. rex running amok here; this is a dense and rigorously scientific tome meant for only the most dedicated dinosaur lover. Part 1 contains an excellent background history of scientific findings in this rapidly changing field. (Also here is a wonderful, paragraph-long sentence detailing possible causes of the dinosaurs' demise, including "brains too small" and "inability to mate, sexual frustration, suicide.") Once into the alphabetical listings, however, it's easy for the layman to get lost. If the description "articular facets of prezygapophyses much enlarged in anterior caudals" makes your eyes cross, perhaps this is not the reference for you. But if your amateur paleontologist shows signs of getting serious, you won't get much more detailed, thorough, or reliable information than that contained here. And there's always the glossary in back, wherein you'll find words such as "ginglymus" and "astragalus" defined in everyday English. [via]