This textbook introduces research on dinosaurs by describing the science behind how we know what we know about dinosaurs. A wide range of topics is covered, from fossils and taphonomy to dinosaur physiology, evolution, and extinction. In addition, sedimentology, paleo-tectonics, and non-dinosaurian Mesozoic life are discussed. There is a special opportunity to capitalize on the enthusiasm for dinosaurs that students bring to classrooms to foster a deeper engagement in all sciences. Students are encouraged to synthesize information, employ critical thinking, construct hypotheses, devise methods to test these hypotheses, and come to new defensible conclusions, just as paleontologists do.
- Clear and easy to read dinosaur text with well-defined terminology
- Over 600 images and diagrams to illustrate concepts and aid learning
- Reading objectives for each chapter section to guide conceptual learning and encourage active reading
- Companion website (teachingdinosaurs.com) that includes supporting materials such as in-class activities, question banks, lists of suggested specimens, and more to encourage student participation and active learning
- Ending each chapter with a specific "What We Don’t Know" section to encourage student curiosity
Singer, R. Encyclopedia of Paleontology (ISBN 978-1-884964-96-1)
Fiorillo, A. R. Alaska Dinosaurs: An Ancient Arctic World (ISBN 978-1-138-06087-6)
Caldwell, M. W. The Origin of Snakes: Morphology and the Fossil Record (ISBN 978-1-4822-5134-0)
Table of Contents
How Science Operates. When Dinosaurs Lived. The dinosaur hunters and the history of paleontology. Evolutionary processes and principles. Dinosaurs on the Tree of Life. Defining a Dinosaur. Systematics & Phylogenetics. Ornithischia . Saurischia. Bones and Anatomy. Dinosaurs in Motion. Taphonomy. What did dinosaurs look like? Habitats and ecology. Diet. Behavior. Reproduction. Physiology and growth. Dinosaur-bird transitions and the origin of flight. Not Quite Dinosaurs. Extinctions.
Mary Higby Schweitzer received her PhD from Montana State University and did much of her research at the world famous Museum of the Rockies, which houses one of the best dinosaur fossil collections. She is currently Professor in the Department of Bioogyical Sciences at North Carolina State University. She is famous for her controversial search for dinosaur macromolecules including proteins and DNA.
Elena R. Schroeter and Doug Czajka are both colleagues of Mary at North Carolina State University.