Dinosaurus: The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs

Dinosaurus: The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs

by Steve Parker

Paperback(New, Updated Edition)

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"Magnificent in its breadth and illustration." — Booklist

"A well-illustrated large-format book... A good book for a young person who is curious about dinosaurs." — Choice

No other life-form captures the imagination and attention like dinosaurs. Organized by the major dinosaur families, Dinosaurus identifies 500 species creature by creature, from the voracious flesh-eaters to the egg-stealers to the vegetarians, detailing what they looked like, what they ate and how they fought, lived and died.

All this information is dramatically presented and exciting to read, with features such as:

  • At-a-glance fact files
  • Concise explanations of known traits and habits of each dinosaur species
  • Vivid full-color illustrations
  • Latin name, translation and pronunciation
  • Adult length and weight
  • Height specifics and comparison to humans
  • Diet and habitat
  • Global distribution.

Dinosaurus also challenges and discredits some long-popular myths and legends. For example, this guide shows that:

  • The dinosaur known as brontosaurus never existed
  • Tyrannosaurus was not the biggest meat-eater of all time
  • Flying dinosaurs were not simply feeble gliders
  • Sea dinosaurs could not out-swim today's fastest fish.

Brimming with the research from digs in North America, Mongolia, Europe, China and elsewhere, Dinosaurus is comprehensive,
innovative and as compelling and exciting as the dinosaurs themselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781770857766
Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date: 10/01/2016
Edition description: New, Updated Edition
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 503,033
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Steve Parker is a scientific fellow of the Zoological Society and is the author of The Encyclopedia of Sharks.

Read an Excerpt


"The king is dead: long live the king!" For almost 90 years, Tyrannosaurus rex reigned in the existing fossil record as the largest land predator the world had seen. But in 1994, Ruben Carolini, a car mechanic and part-time fossil enthusiast, was hunting in Patagonia, a region of southern Argentina, and came upon what proved to be a two-thirds complete skeleton of an even greater predator. A team from the increasingly well-known Carmen Funes Museum in Neuquén, Argentina, led by Rodolfo Coria with his colleague Leonardo Salgado, excavated the fossils. They were named in 1995. (See also Carcharodontosaurus, page 122.)

Giganotosaurus was a meter or two (3 to 6 feet) bigger and a ton or two heavier than Tyrannosaurus. Length estimates vary from 13 to 15-plus meters (43 to 49-plus feet). Dated at 100-90 million years old,
Giganotosaurus was separated by a continent and 25 million years from its "king of the dinosaurs" rival, Tyrannosaurus.

Giganotosaurus had a brain that was smaller than that of Tyrannosaurus, but its skull was bigger, at 1.8 meters (6 feet) - it alone was as long as a tall adult human being. The teeth were shaped not so much like daggers as like arrowheads, serrated along their edges, and over 20 centimeters (8 inches) long. The small forelimbs had three clawed digits, and the massive back legs each carried a few tons' weight as Giganotosaurus pounded along in search of food. Few additional specimens of this monster have been found, but in time, new discoveries may allow more speculation as to its behavior and probable prey. It may have eaten herbivorous dinosaurs, which are known to have been plentiful in the region, since fossils from over 20 species,
including one of the biggest of all sauropods, Argentinosaurus, were found there and dated from roughly the same time.

Meaning: Giant southern reptile
Pronunciation: Jee-gah-noe-toe-sore-uss
Period: Late Cretaceous
Main group: Theropoda
Length: up to 13 meters (42 feet)
Weight: 8 metric tons (81/2 tons)
Diet: Large animals
Fossils: Argentina

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter One Early Life
Chapter Two Conquerors of the Land
Chapter Three The First Dinosaurs
Chapter Four The Small Meat-eaters
Chapter Five The Great Predators
Chapter Six Ostrich Dinosaurs
Chapter Seven The Giants
Chapter Eight Bird-foot Dinosaurs
Chapter Nine The Duckbills
Chapter Ten The Boneheads
Chapter Eleven Armored Dinosaurs
Chapter Twelve Plated Dinosaurs
Thirteen Horned Dinosaurs
Chapter Fourteen Other Creatures of the Dinosaur Age
Chapter Fifteen After the Dinosaurs

Main Fossil Sites
Where to see dinosaurs
Picture credits and Acknowledgements



Almost everyone is interested in dinosaurs at some point in his or her life — be it at the age of five or 95. Even the great fact and fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke traces his early interest in science to dinosaurs, recalling that his first exposure to these "saurians" as a boy in rural England was a series of cards his father gave him.

Why the great interest in this long-gone group? What is it about dinosaurs that has drawn our attention so intensely for so long? Maybe it has been simply because some dinosaurs are big, and nasty and, more importantly — extinct! Perhaps this ongoing infatuation is that there are so many different kinds of dinosaur.

Most of the well-known dinosaurs are from either North America, typically the west (Wyoming, Montana and Alberta), or Eurasia, for example Mongolia. More recent finds in South America, Australia, Antarctica and Alaska are not so widely known, but it will not be long before younger generations are picking their way through such new discoveries for themselves.

The latest finds of bigger and smaller dinosaurs in places like Argentina, and of a range of small but varied polar dinosaurs have combined with studies showing that many dinosaurs were anything but big, slow moving and dimwitted, to change common perceptions of this very successful group. We now know that some dinosaurs had feathers and were at least gliding if not flying. Furthermore the discovery of a variety of tough little critters that lived near the North and South Poles, suggests that some of these dinosaurs must have been warm-blooded to deal with such severe conditions.

What has made dinosaurs even more interesting in recent years are the many studies that have centered on the companions of these creatures and the environments in which they lived during the Mesozoic Era. Current research focuses on why so many of these otherwise successful animals were nearly wiped out 65 million years ago and on how they evolved from reptilian ancestors in the first place. The result, as shown here, is an extensive resource on the world in which dinosaurs prospered — and died — with as much detail on the ancient habitat as on the inhabitants themselves.

Dinosaurus cannot hope to include every known dinosaur — we would need a small library for that — but it certainly offers excellent coverage of many of the creatures that existed, their environment and contemporaries. Many of the newest dinosaurs get a mention too, giving enthusiasts a much broader understanding of the dinosaur system as a whole.

Professor Patricia Vickers Rich
Chair in Palaeontology,
Monash University
Founding Director,
Monash Science Centre,

Dr Thomas H. Rich
Vertebrate Palaeontology
Museum Victoria
Melbourne, Victoria

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Dinosaurus: The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
NatoshaM More than 1 year ago
The book, Dinosaurus by Steve Parker is a look into the many different types of dinos. There are pictures of these dinos with the name, location, period these types were alive, length, weight and even diet. Plus, there is so much more about each listed and some interesting history knowledge about the dinosaur you'll discover on the same page of each photo. What is great about a book like this is that this can be a great resource to help anyone understand the different dinosaurs that lived on the earth, and there were many! You always hear about the Trex and a few other well-known dinos that are in movies or TV shows. However, you never learn about some other types, with unique features like the Velociraptor. It's just a wonder to know what use to live back when humans weren't alive. Also, it can be a great guide for those who wants a job in this type of dinosaur research. Though for me it's a wonderful book of creatures that can aid in drawing and learning about something I never knew about before. Finally, this is a terrific book of really nicely illustrated with the photo of dinosaurs and information that will help you understand each type. I really find it to be a great resource book and perfect for anybody of any age!