Dinosaurs-the word means "fearfully great reptile"-have been a source of fascination ever since their discovery in England early in the nineteenth century. Aside from birds, all dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years, yet, before then, they dominated Earth's terrestrial habitats for about 160 million years, far longer than primates, or humans, have been around. Dinosaurs present the ultimate puzzle in forensic science, but we have learned a great deal about them, especially in the last fifty years. Our view of dinosaurs has changed radically, and the evolution and biology of dinosaurs has become a popular topic in college curriculums. This lecture series will explain how this changing view of dinosaurs developed, the evolutionary and ecological relationships among dinosaurs, what it might have been like to be present in the Mesozoic Era during the time of the dinosaurs, and the question of what ultimately brought about the total extinction of all of the non-bird dinosaurs and the end of the Cretaceous Period. Although extinct, dinosaurs have never been more a focus of science than they are today.
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by John Kricher
by John K. Young
by John D. Barrow
by John McPhee
by John Jantsch
by John Marshall
by John Gray
by John Steinbeck
"Professor John Kricher's delivery is so calm and practiced that early in this series of 14 lectures listeners may think he sounds almost bored. Fortunately, his sense of humor--as dry as the ancient bones he's discussing--soon surfaces. What's more, since Kricher recounts not just the formal scientific theories regarding dinosaurs, but also their ever evolving role in history and popular culture, the result is both pleasant and broadly educational. Kricher sketches the personalities involved in "the bone wars"--the quest to claim the mastery of dinosaurs in the public mind--and shows how these and other conflicts still color our understanding of these creatures. Along the way, he explains everything from bone structure to excavation techniques, always with an apt analogy or image to aid understanding. G.T.B. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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