Paleontology & Geology

The Bone Museum: Travels in the Lost Worlds of Dinosaurs and Birds

by Wayne Grady
New York: Basic Books, 2003. 304 pages.

In The Bone Museum, science journalist Wayne Grady wittily and insightfully chronicles his travels around the world with the paleontologist Philip J. Currie as he continues to investigate the evolutionary connections between dinosaurs and birds.

Feathered Dinosaurs

by Christopher Sloan
New York: National Geographic Children's Books, 2000. 64 pages.

Aimed at readers in middle school, Feathered Dinosaurs offers a scientifically accurate and lavishly illustrated introduction to the evidence for the dinosaurian ancestry of birds. The reviewer for Booklist writes, "Sloan puts all the facts together in a way that is engaging, accessible, and intriguing enough to get readers hooked on nonfiction." "The feathered and nearly feathered dinosaurs are among the most exciting animals to be discovered in the fossil record for decades," Kevin Padian proclaims.

Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

by Stephen Jay Gould
New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1990. 352 pages.

In Wonderful Life, Gould tells the story of the reinterpretation of the unusual fossils of the Burgess Shale: "a grand and wonderful story of the highest intellectual merit — with no one killed, no one even injured or scratched, but a new world revealed." Reviewing Wonderful Life for Nature, Richard A. Fortey wrote, "There is no question about the historical importance of the Burgess Shale, and Gould is right when he says that it deserves a place in the public consciousness along with big bangs and black holes ....

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dinosaurs

by Jay Stevenson and George R McGhee
New York: Alpha, 1998. 326 pages.

NCSE President Kevin Padian promises on the cover, "If you're feeling inferior because your kids are geniuses about dinosaurs, then this book is for you." Full color illustrations and up-to-date, non-technical descriptions of dinosaurs' physical characteristics and behavior as well as likely reasons for their disappearance.

Digging Dinosaurs

by John R. Horner and James Gorman
New York: Harper Perennial, 1990. 208 pages.

Jack Horner is well known as the model for the iconoclastic Jurassic Park paleontologist, but the real story of his discovery of the stupendous 10,000-specimen Maiosaur site, complete with nests, eggs, and hatchlings, is even more impressive than the movie. His collaborator, science writer James Gorman, keeps the prose moving in a conversational style. Well-illustrated.

In Search of Deep Time: Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life

by Henry Gee
New York: Free Press, 1999. 272 pages.

In In Search of Deep TIme, Henry Gee, Chief Science Writer at Nature, presents a painless and compelling introduction to cladistics, the approach to analyzing evolutionary relationships that revolutionized systematic biology. NCSE President Kevin Padian says, "This is a subversive book. Read it only if you want to know how scientists actually do their work, as opposed to the mythology of textbooks and documentaries. In it, you will discovery how and why the beloved Linnean system of taxonomy — the one that gave us classes and orders and families, oh my!

Terrible Lizard: The First Dinosaur Hunters and the Birth of a New Science

by Deborah Cadbury
New York: Henry Holt & Company, 2001. 374 pages.

An exciting recounting of the 19th-century discovery of the dinosaurs, featuring such characters as Mary Anning, William Buckland, Georges Cuvier, Richard Owen, Gideon Mantell, and Charles Lyell. Carl Zimmer writes, "Cadbury ... turns what could have been just a string of anecdotes into high drama. Much of her success comes from her depth of research: she has scoured diaries, letters and newspaper archives and can tell her story in the words of the people who lived it."

Atlas of the Prehistoric World

by Douglas Palmer
New York: Random House, 1999. 224 pages.

As its title suggests, Atlas of the Prehistoric World contains a collection of dazzlingly detailed paleogeographic maps, tracking shifts in land masses and climates from the Vendian Period to the present. In addition, Douglas Palmer, who teaches Earth and Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, narrates the story of life's evolution over the course of the last four billion years and provides a sparkling history of and guide to earth science.

Wildlife of Gondwana

by Patricia Vickers-Rich and Thomas Hewitt Rich
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000. 276 pages.

Lavishly illustrated, Wildlife of Gondwana describes the past diversity of life on Gondwana, the supercontinent that later dispersed into Antarctica, India, Australia, Africa, and South America. As Patricia Vickers-Rich writes on its page, "Tom and I very much enjoyed writing this book over a period of eight years originally — then spent another two years revising [it]. We were able to see and record infomation about so many new Gondwana fossils, and it led us into many new research projects and introduced us to many new people we never knew before.

In the Presence of Dinosaurs

by John Colagrande
Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 2000. 189 pages.

Ranging from the Triassic to the Cretaceous, Colagrande presents a veritable menagerie of Dinosauria. With one hundred full-color plates by the acclaimed illustrator Larry Felder, In the Presence of Dinosaurs is a lively and well-researched exploration of the habitat and behavior of these magnificent creatures, drawing both on the fossil record and on the living descendants of the dinosaurs. Jack Horner, author of numerous dinosaur books and Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, contributes the foreword.