The horned dinosaurs, a group of rhinoceros-like creatures that
lived 100 to 65 million years ago, included one of the greatest and
most popular dinosaurs studied today: "Triceratops. Noted for his
flamboyant appearance--marked by a striking array of horns over the
nose and eyes, a long bony frill at the back of the head, and an
assortment of lumps and bumps for attracting females--this
herbivore displayed remarkable strength in its ability to fight off
"Tyrannosaurus rex. It was also among the last dinosaurs to walk
the earth. In telling us about "Triceratops and its relatives, the
Ceratopsia, Peter Dodson here re-creates the sense of adventure
enjoyed by so many scientists who have studied them since their
discovery in the mid-nineteenth century. From the badlands of the
Red Deer River in Alberta to the Gobi Desert, Dodson pieces
together fossil evidence to describe the ceratopsians
themselves--their anatomy, biology, and geography--and he evokes
the human dimension of their discovery and interpretation. An
authoritative survey filled with many original illustrations, this
book is the first comprehensive presentation of horned dinosaurs
for the general reader.
Dodson explains first the fascinating ways in which the
ceratopsians dealt with their dangerous environment. There follows
a lesson on ceratopsian bone structure, which enables the reader
quickly to grasp the questions that still puzzle scientists,
concerning features such as posture, gait, footprints, and diet.
Dodson evenhandedly discusses controversies that continue, for
example, over sexual dimorphism and the causes of the dinosaurs'
disappearance. Throughout his narrative, we are reminded that
dinosaurstudy is a human enterprise. We meet the scientists who
charmed New York high society into financing expeditions to
Mongolia, home of "Triceratops' predecessors, as well as those who
used their poker winnings to sustain paleontology expeditions. Rich
in fossil lore and in tales of adventure, the world of the
Ceratopsia is presented here for specialists and general readers
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