Living Dinosaurs: The Evolutionary History of Modern Birds


Living Dinosaurs: The Evolutionary History of Modern Birds Editors: Gareth Dyke, Gary W. Kaiser Format: Other digital First Published: Published By: John Wiley & Sons Inc
string(3) "440"
Pages: 440 Language: English ISBN: 9781119990475 Categories: , , ,

Living Dinosaurs offers a snapshot of our current understanding of the origin and evolution of birds. After slumbering for more than a century, avian palaeontology has been awakened by startling new discoveries on almost every continent. Controversies about whether dinosaurs had real feathers or whether birds were related to dinosaurs have been swept away and replaced by new and more difficult questions: How old is the avian lineage? How did birds learn to fly? Which birds survived the great extinction that ended the Mesozoic Era and how did the avian genome evolve? Answers to these questions may help us understand how the different kinds of living birds are related to one another and how they evolved into their current niches. More importantly, they may help us understand what we need to do to help them survive the dramatic impacts of human activity on the planet.

Weight1.316 kg



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This book is a very useful synopsis of current understanding of avian evolution. (Open University Geological Society Journal, 1 May 2013) No student in the field of bird history should be without this work. Additionally, this volume will inform those seriously interested in vertebrate evolution. (The Quarterly Review of Biology, 1 December 2012) In short, Living Dinosaurs is a most worthy and well crafted volume. Its strength is in providing a surprising number of really good reviews of many aspects of bird evolution and history, generally written by leading workers in the respective areas. I personally found the book highly useful in my own research and ended up citing many of its chapters in a recently published review of the avialan fossil record (Naish 2012). (Scientific American, 26 August 2012) All in all, the book might be useful for those who wish to keep abreast of various aspects of avian evolution, especially specialists in the field and those with specific interests in the topics covered. (The Auk, 2012) "Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals." (Choice, 1 November 2011) "Living Dinosaurs offers a snapshot of our current understanding of the origin and evolution of birds ... a must have for those with an interest in avian paleontology and/or systematics". (Guardian, 8 May 2011) "In Living Dinosaurs: The Evolutionary History of Modern Birds, researchers Gareth Dyke and Gary Kaiser set out to unite ornithologists and paleontologists to form a modern understanding of the evolution of birds at the beginning of the 21st century." (Bioscience Technology Online, 5 April 2011)

Author Biography

Gareth Dyke is a vertebrate palaeontologist who specialises on the evolution of birds and their flight. He has worked on birds of all ages, from the 140 million years old Archaeopteryx right through to the bones of living ducks and gamebirds. He has searched for fossils all over the world, but has a particular interest in the geology and palaeontology of Eastern Europe. He has worked in Ireland since 2002. Gary Kaiser worked as a field biologist in Canada's migratory bird program from 1968 until retirement in 1999. He specialized in the capture and tagging of birds, particularly seabirds but began to study avian evolution in 1995. He combined this new interest with knowleddge gained from handling birds to write Inner Bird in 2007. He has also contributed to Birds of British Columbia and Seabirds of the Russian Far East.