Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sea Dragons: Predators of the Ancient Oceans

Paleontologist Richard Ellis has compiled a fascinating study of the various creatures that plumbed prehistory’s depths. There were the long-necked pliosaurs (like all those drawings of Nessie), the dolphin-like, but gargantuan, icthyosaurs, and the enormous crocodile-like mososaurs. Any of the critters he examines through fossil records would make the dreaded great white shark look like a kitten by comparison. Along the way, he touches on the running debate over whether dinosaurs were warm-blooded or cold-blooded, and what caused their mass-extinctions and why whatever that event was spared so many other life forms. This book is a little dense for casual reading, but those interested in the scientific study of dinosaurs won’t be disappointed.


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