For 150 million years, the skies didn t belong to birds they belonged to the pterosaurs These flying reptiles, which include the pterodactyls, shared the world with the nonavian dinosaurs until their extinction 65 million years ago Some pterosaurs, such as the giant azhdarchids, were the largest flying animals of all time, with wingspans exceeding thirty feet and standing heights comparable to modern giraffes This richly illustrated book takes an unprecedented look at these astonishing creatures, presenting the latest findings on their anatomy, ecology, and extinction Pterosaurs features some 200 stunning illustrations, including original paintings by Mark Witton and photos of rarely seen fossils After decades of mystery, paleontologists have finally begun to understand how pterosaurs are related to other reptiles, how they functioned as living animals, and, despite dwarfing all other flying animals, how they managed to become airborne Here you can explore the fossil evidence of pterosaur behavior and ecology, learn about the skeletal and soft tissue anatomy of pterosaurs, and consider the newest theories about their cryptic origins This one of a kind book covers the discovery history, paleobiogeography, anatomy, and behaviors of than 130 species of pterosaur, and also discusses their demise at the end of the Mesozoic The most comprehensive book on pterosaurs ever published Features some 200 illustrations, including original paintings by the author Covers every known species and major group of pterosaurs Describes pterosaur anatomy, ecology, behaviors, diversity, and Encourages further study with 500 references to primary pterosaur literature...
|Title||:||Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy|
|Number of Pages||:||466 Pages|
|File Size||:||670 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy Reviews
Pterosaurs are one of my favourite groups of prehistoric animals, and as such it is great to see an entire book devoted to them. I am also familiar with Peter Wellnofer's pterosaur book from 1991, which is quite good but has grown somewhat outdated over the years. Mark Witton's pterosaur book gives the reader the current up to date info on these fascinating flying creatures.
There once was a time that dragons flew through the air. Not the dragons of myth and legend but real flying reptiles that prospered and diversified during the Age of Dinosaurs. They didn't breathe fire but they were magnificent, marvelous creatures non the less. In Pterosaurs, Author/Paleontologist Mark P Witton has written what is probably one of the most comprehensive treatment of these unique animals to date. Although this well written book is accessible to the lay reader, I think it was meant primarily for the professional or student paleontologist. In depth and up to date (as of 2013), Pterosaurs delves into the anatomy, evolution and behavior of these "Dragons of the Air". Parts of the book are quite technical, the chapters on skeletons and soft tissue are rather daunting but Witton does a good job, giving the reader a kind of "Anatomy 101". Chapters 10 through 25 spotlight the various kinds of pterosaurs and the author pulls no punches when it comes to naming body parts and the scientific names of each species, so be prepared. Over the years since their discovery in the mid 1700s professional interest in pterosaurs has waxed and wained but some new discoveries in the early 20th Century has brought them back into the lime light. Flight is the pterosaurs signature behavior, but how did it come about? They must have had a non flying ancestor that somehow took to the air. Although there are no fossils (so far) of a protopterosaur (HyPtA) the search is on and specialist all over the world are digging in Triassic formations for their elusive remains. Were pterosaurs good or poor flyers? Over the years opinions have fluctuated back and forth but at this point in time the consensus seems to be that they were active, competent flyers. On every aspect of pterosaur study there seems to be a vast difference of opinion among the specialists on; relationships, anatomy, flight ability, fossil analysis, etc, etc, etc.. Each one has his or her own opinion and can make a convincing argument to support their view. Witton is very good about telling all sides of the story as well as his own. Everything we know about pterosaurs comes from fossils of one kind or another. Bones and teeth, all the hard parts, are readily fossilized and have much to tell us. The soft parts; skin, organs, fur, feathers and, in some cases, the remains of the animals last meal can also be fossilized but are very rare. Then there are the so called "trace fossils"; track ways, foraging impressions and the like. When properly analyzed these can reveal many secrets of animal behavior. Witton covers all aspects of fossil interpretation and what they have to say about relationships, flight, reproduction and diet. Interpretation of fossils can lead to speculation on various aspects of the organisms life style but Witton urges caution on that front. For example: is a specimen male or female? Are two slightly different pterosaurs different species or just variation of the form-type? Do head crests indicate male-female difference or growth patterns or different species? This book covers a lot of ground but, still, it doesn't answer all the questions, no book could. In addition to the text, the book has many fine illustrations: maps, graphs, charts, skeletal reconstructions and technical restorations to help you visualize the animals. Additionally, there are some beautiful water-color plates done by the author himself and some exceptional photographs of various fossils under both normal lighting and UV. In spite of some very difficult parts this was a good read and I highly recommend Pterosaurs to anyone with a strong background in science reading. I had no technical or formatting problems with this Kindle edition.