Ten years is a long time in science; there are so many discoveries and new technologies that change and add to the overall scientific field. It’s no different in paleontology—especially in the study of dinosaurs.
So now, for you, the dinosaur enthusiast, we present the new, colorful, and very updated second edition of The Handy Dinosaur Answer Book. One of the best parts of revising and updating a book is going through all the feedback we’ve heard/read over the years. And there’s no doubt about it: this book seems to be a favorite of dinosaur lovers from 6 to 96!
One of the reasons for this fascination with the great creatures has not changed in 10 years: How in the world did something as big as a house—and sometimes ferocious—roam Earth so many millions of years ago? Admittedly, the land has changed over the past 65 million years since the dinosaurs died out, but just to think that an Allosaurus or Gigantosaurus may have once stomped in your own backyard never fails to send chills up our collective human spines.
There are other reasons for dinosaur enthusiasm, especially with so many global discoveries made in the past decade: the discovery of fossilized dinosaur organs; whole or parts of dinosaur eggs and nests; imprints of dinosaur blood vessels; feather imprints galore; attempts to extract DNA from dinosaur remains; and large caches of fossils in rock formations previously thought to be devoid of dinosaur bones. There are also more and more large-boned dinosaur fossils that pop up every year, keeping alive the “size competition” between the big carnivores like the Tyrannosaurus rex and sauropods like the Brachiosaurus. How could anyone who’s a dinosaur enthusiast not be excited about such amazing discoveries?
This newly revised The Handy Dinosaur Answer Book answers over 600 of your questions about these extinct creatures, such as: From what animals did the dinosaurs evolve? Who found the first dinosaur remains? What other plants and animals lived during the time of the dinosaurs? What dinosaur remains show a heart? What are the largest—and smallest—dinosaur fossils known at this time? How did scientists extract DNA from a Tyrannosaurus rex bone? Are birds really dinosaurs? Did the first dinosaurs have feathers? Why are Argentina and China important to recent dinosaur studies? And the question and answer list goes on and on.
This book attempts to answer these questions and more, taking you through the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods of geologic time when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. It tells you where scientists stand in terms of dinosaur discoveries, the newer species of dinosaurs, new possible reasons for the extinction of the animals, and especially why, as more dinosaur fossils are uncovered, the ideas about the evolution of dinosaurs will continue to change.
We invite you to enjoy reading about the most amazing creatures that ever walked, ran, hopped, loped, and stomped on the Earth. As the saying goes: “Dinosaurs Once Ruled!” If the current fascination with dinosaurs is any indication, they still do.
—Patricia Barnes-Svarney and Thomas E. Svarney