Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs

Evolution, Extinction, and the Future of Our Planet

Donald R. Prothero

Columbia University Press

Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs

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Pub Date: July 2009

ISBN: 9780231146609

288 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $35.00£27.95

Pub Date: July 2009

ISBN: 9780231518321

288 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $34.99£27.95

Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs

Evolution, Extinction, and the Future of Our Planet

Donald R. Prothero

Columbia University Press

Donald R. Prothero's science books combine leading research with first-person narratives of discovery, injecting warmth and familiarity into a profession that has much to offer nonspecialists. Bringing his trademark style and wit to an increasingly relevant subject of concern, Prothero links the climate changes that have occurred over the past 200 million years to their effects on plants and animals. In particular, he contrasts the extinctions that ended the Cretaceous period, which wiped out the dinosaurs, with those of the later Eocene and Oligocene epochs.

Prothero begins with the "greenhouse of the dinosaurs," the global-warming episode that dominated the Age of Dinosaurs and the early Age of Mammals. He describes the remarkable creatures that once populated the earth and draws on his experiences collecting fossils in the Big Badlands of South Dakota to sketch their world. Prothero then discusses the growth of the first Antarctic glaciers, which marked the Eocene-Oligocene transition, and shares his own anecdotes of excavations and controversies among colleagues that have shaped our understanding of the contemporary and prehistoric world.

The volume concludes with observations about Nisqually Glacier and other locations that show how global warming is happening much quicker than previously predicted, irrevocably changing the balance of the earth's thermostat. Engaging scientists and general readers alike, Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs connects events across thousands of millennia to make clear the human threat to natural climate change.
Prothero has woven together a gripping tale that will fascinate readers with many levels of expertise. Fossil News
Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs should be on the suggested reading list for any undergraduate interested in pursuing paleontology, and as a paleobiological statement, shows that paleontology is more than (fossilized) sticks and stones. Geology Today
...this is a very enriching, stimulating, and, of course, enjoyable reading. Zentralblatt fur Geologie und Palaontologie
Preface
1. Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs
2. Bad Lands, Good Fossils
3. Magnets and Lasers
4. "Punk Eek" in the Badlands
5. Death of the Dinosaurs
6. Marine World
7. Rocky Mountain Jungles and Eels' Ears
8. From Greenhouse to Icehouse
9. Once and Future Greenhouse?
10. Kids, Dinosaurs, and the Future of Paleontology
Bibliography
Index
Web Features:

About the Author

Donald R. Prothero has taught paleontology and geology for almost four decades. He is adjunct professor of geological sciences at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, adjunct professor of astronomy and earth sciences at Mt. San Antonio College, and research associate in vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. His Columbia University Press books include Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology (third edition, 2013); The Story of Life in 25 Fossils: Tales of Intrepid Fossil Hunters and the Wonders of Evolution (2015); and Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters (second edition, 2017).