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Sea Dragons: Predators of the Prehistoric…

Sea Dragons: Predators of the Prehistoric Oceans

by Richard Ellis

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583317,181 (4)2
"Working from the fossil record, Richard Ellis explores the natural history of these fierce predators, speculates on their habits, and tells how they eventually became extinct - or did they? He traces the 200-million-year history of the great ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and mosasaurs who swam the ancient oceans - and who, according to some, may even still frequent the likes of Loch Ness." "The first book about these animals in nearly a century, Sea Dragons draws upon the most recent scientific research to reconstruct their lives and habitats. Along the way, the book also provides insights into and tales about the work, discoveries, and competing theories that compose the world of vertebrate paleontology."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)



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Terrific art!! What a masterful book on an absolutely mesmerizing subject. Traces the evolution of the various marine reptile families concisely and yet very readably. No Paleontology library is complete without it. ( )
  JNSelko | Jun 13, 2008 |
While the subject of ancient ocean predators is almost inherently interesting, I did come away from this book wondering just who it was written for. This is seeing as the deep concern Ellis has for tracing the interpretive debates over the remains we have of these animals is probaly not what grabs the average reader. It also suggests that this is really a textbook for advanced undergrad students. Not that this is a bad thing, it's just a point the unwary need to be aware of.

If I have one particular gripe it's that some maps showing the world as it likely was during the periods in question, along with a distribution of where the fossil remains have been found, would have been a fine thing. ( )
  Shrike58 | Dec 18, 2006 |
Paleontologist Richard Ellis has compiled a fascinating study of the various creatures that plumbed prehistory’s depths. There were the long-necked pliosaurs (like all those drawings of Nessie), the dolphin-like, but gargantuan, icthyosaurs, and the enormous crocodile-like mososaurs. Any of the critters he examines through fossil records would make the dreaded great white shark look like a kitten by comparison. Along the way, he touches on the running debate over whether dinosaurs were warm-blooded or cold-blooded, and what caused their mass-extinctions and why whatever that event was spared so many other life forms. This book is a little dense for casual reading, but those interested in the scientific study of dinosaurs won’t be disappointed.
  TPLThing | Nov 2, 2006 |
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