Monday, July 07, 2008

I Can READ?!

I'm just as shocked as you are, but there were two books at Barnes & Nobel that I couldn't say no to. The first is Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History. I'm not a fan of canids per say, but I love Mauricio Anton's art. He illustrated Evolving Eden and Mammoths, Sabertooths and Hominids, and his mammalian reconstructions are unmatched in paleoart circles. In my opinion, anyway. The book is authored by Wang & Tedford and seems to be a exhaustive history of doggies. After leafing through the book in the physical store, I was incredibly happy to see an entire chapter dedicated to reconstructing dogs, from the fur to the muscles to the skeleton. This will be ridiculously helpful not just for drawing dogs, but mammals in general. As I've mentioned before, mammals' anatomy is deeply divergent from reptiles and I find them much more difficult to draw.

I'm far MORE excited about Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Tyrant King, a symposium-type book edited by Larson & Carpenter, all about everyone's favorite giant carnivorous theropod. Like Scott Elyard, I think T.rex is a little...overdone, but I also think that the animal is loaded down by a bunch of dogmatic baggage, and it'll be interesting to see what modern studies say about the beast. Some of the essays look pretty intruiging: Thomas Holtz, Jr. tests Horner's obligate scavenging hypothesis, Ralph Molnar discusses tyrannosaur jaw musculature, Larson talks about sexual dimorphism, and a bunch of authors discuss the king's puny forearms...among many other interesting papers!
From what I understand, a new technical volume on ceratopsids is set to come out this year, too. Does anybody have any information on that book? And please tell me it's going to be better than that lackluster Horns & Beaks.


Brad said...

The dog book looks cool. Is it similar to the book The Big Cats and Their Fossil Relatives? The July 2008 issue of Natural History has a short article on the evolution of canids with Anton's illustrations, but now I won't spend $5 for a magazine with a 6-page summary when there is an entire book available. :)

I ordered that T. rex book from Amazon last month, but they haven't sent it to me yet. I was chatting with ceratopsian volume contributor Jordan Mallon recently, and he mentioned the volume as coming out next year. I expect it will be better than Horns and Beaks.

Zach said...

Yeah, I've had really horrible experiences with Amazon, so even if it costs a little more, I always go through Barnes & Nobel when possible. I'm excited about the ceratopsian book! In addition to it, there's a Pachyrhinosaurus monograph out later this year through National Geographic's publisher.