San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature Connection[BRCC San Diego Natural History Museum: Paleontology]

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Recommended Books: Paleontology

[The Dinosaur Heresies] Bakker, R.
The Dinosaur Heresies
Kensington Publishing Corp. (1996) Paperback - 481 pages
This is a provocative book dealing with dinosaurs and how interpretations about their biology are made. It does a good job placing dinosaurs in an ecological context with their reptilian and mammalian contemporaries. The author is a professional paleontologist who has his own sometimes controversial ideas about dinosaur behavior, evolution, and extinction.
Available from

Enclyclopedia of Dinosaurs, Philip Curry and Kevin Padian, eds.Curry, Philip and Kevin Padian, eds.
Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs
Academic Press (1997)
Lengthy entries on such topics as dinosaur biology, taxonomy, localities, and expeditions. This book is slanted more towards text than illustrations and has entries on everything from dinosaur skin to the way computers have revolutionized the study of dinosaurs. Nice glossary.
Available from

Fiffer, Steve
Tyrannosaurus Sue: The Extraordinary Saga of the Largest, Most Fought Over T-Rex Ever Found(1999)
Sue is not just another dinosaur, and Tyrannosaurus Sue is not just another dinosaur book. It is a fascinating introduction to the centuries-old history of commercial fossil hunting, a legal thriller, and a provocative look at academic versus commercial science and the chase for the money that fuels both. And, in the case of Peter Larson, through whose eyes most of the story is revealed, a kind of love story. Steve Fiffer, an attorney as well as an author who has followed the story for the past seven years, has captured the whole range of characters and issues embroiled in the fight for Sue. Ranging the prehistoric Badlands to the hallowed halls of justice, academia, and merchandising tie-ins, Fiffer communicates both the excitement over Sue's discovery and the motivations, maneuverings, and absurdities of the various forces attempting to control her destiny. Available from

Book cover for Dinosaur Lives Dinosaur Lives: Unearthing an Evolutionary Saga
Horner, John (Jack)
Harcourt Brace (1998)
Enjoy a colorful first-person account of one paleontologist's experience uncovering fossilized bones, eggs, and more from the wastelands of Montana. Jack Horner is the curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies and the technical advisor for Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park and The Lost World. Available in the Museum store or online from

Norell, Mark A., Eugene S. Gaffney, and Lowell Dingus
Discovering Dinosaurs in the American Museum of Natural History
Knopf (1995) Hardcover - 204 pages
Richly illustrated, this book answers in fascinating detail such basic questions as how fossils are formed, collected and prepared, how their age is estimated, etc. Also has descriptions, history and interesting facts about various specimens in the Great Hall of Dinosaurs at the AMNH.
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Tidwell, William
Common Fossil Plants of Western North America
Smithsonian Institution Press (1998)
Presents a detailed, up-to-date overview of fossil plant classification with keys, photographs and drawings throughout. Background information in the introduction is helpful for amateur fossil plant collectors. Illustrated glossary.
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