By David E. Fastovsky, David B. Weishampel, John Sibbick
From the authors of The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs comes an advent to the examine of dinosaurs for non-specialists designed to excite readers approximately technology by utilizing dinosaurs to demonstrate and speak about geology, ordinary historical past and evolution. whereas targeting dinosaurs it additionally makes use of them to exhibit different points of the normal sciences, together with primary innovations in evolutionary biology, body structure, existence background, and systematics. significant cognizance is dedicated the character of technology itself: what it really is, what it's not, and the way technological know-how can be utilized to enquire specific types of questions. Dinosaurs is exclusive since it fills a spot among the sleek, fact-driven dinosaur books and the higher-level educational books, addressing the paleontology of dinosaurs precisely as execs within the box do.
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Extra info for Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History
We often expect that the ﬁnal result will be a free-standing display in a museum. Mounts of real fossil bone are attractive, but also time-consuming and costly, and the metal frames that support the bones can be destructive to the fossil. Moreover, mounted specimens commonly undergo damage over time; slight shifts in the mounts because of the extraordinary weights of the fossil bones, or vibrations in the buildings in which the bones are housed, or museum patrons lifting apparently “insigniﬁcant” bits all diminish the quality of mounted specimens.
7. In question no. 6, what percentage of the original unstable isotope ought to be present in the rock? 8. If there were dinosaur-bearing rocks in North America and Africa, and the African dinosaur remains could be dated biostratigraphically, how could you correlate the North American deposits with the African ones? 9. Compare the Late Triassic Earth with the Late Cretaceous Earth. Chapter objectives The goal of this chapter is to get comfortable with the following subjects, because we’ll revisit them again and again throughout this book: Phylogeny Evolution Phylogenetic systematics Cladograms Logic of science and hypothesis testing Who’s related to whom – and how do we know?
Geoscientists are happiest when they can learn the “absolute” age of a rock or fossil; that is, its age in years before present. Ages in years before present are reckoned from the decay of unstable isotopes found in certain minerals. The unstable isotopes spontaneously decay from an energy conﬁguration that is not stable (that is, that “wants” to change) to one that is more stable (that is, that will not change, but rather remain in its present form). The decay of an unstable isotope to a stable one occurs over short or long amounts of time, depending upon the isotope.