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Tetrapod Zoology

Tetrapod Zoology


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Tet Zoo, the books

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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For no particular reason whatsoever, here are some montages featuring the covers of books I’ve written and/or edited. Long-time readers might be familiar with the backstory to Tetrapod Zoology Book One (Naish 2010a), Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective (Moody et al. 2010) and The Great Dinosaur Discoveries (Naish 2009), but I’d still like – one day – to talk about the backstory to Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight (Martill & Naish 2001) and, yes, even Walking With Dinosaurs: The Evidence (Martill & Naish 2000). Those last two are ancient history, but – when I look at them now – I think that they’re mostly good, and at least some people have said nice things about them over the years. Should you be interested enough to get hold of them, they’re both available at very low prices online (he says, without checking).

More recently, I’ve written briefly about the children’s books Dinosaurs Life Size [not "Dinosaurs Life-Size", as it says on the draft cover shown here] (Naish 2010b) and Dinosaur Record Breakers (Naish 2011) [see links below].

Too busy at the moment to post anything substantive, but lots on crocodiles coming real soon. For articles on the books shown above, and others, see…

Refs – -

Martill, D. M. & Naish, D. 2000. Walking With Dinosaurs: The Evidence. BBC Worldwide, London.

Martill, D. M. & Naish, D. 2001. Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight. The Palaeontological Association, London.

Moody, R. T. J., Buffetaut, E., Naish, D. & Martill, D. M. 2010. Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective. Geological Society, London, Special Publications.

Naish, D. 2009. The Great Dinosaur Discoveries. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Naish, D. 2010a. Tetrapod Zoology Book One. CFZ Press, Bideford.

Naish, D. 2010b. Dinosaurs Life Size. Barron’s Educational Series, New York.

Naish, D. 2011. Dinosaur Record Breakers. Carlton Books, London.

Darren Naish About the Author: Darren Naish is a science writer, technical editor and palaeozoologist (affiliated with the University of Southampton, UK). He mostly works on Cretaceous dinosaurs and pterosaurs but has an avid interest in all things tetrapod. His publications can be downloaded at darrennaish.wordpress.com. He has been blogging at Tetrapod Zoology since 2006. Check out the Tet Zoo podcast at tetzoo.com! Follow on Twitter @TetZoo.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. Andreas Johansson 3:25 pm 06/3/2012

    The first image isn’t showing for some reason. (Windows 7, Firefox 12.0).

    Link to this
  2. 2. leecris 4:01 pm 06/3/2012

    “Should you be interested enough to get hold of them, they’re both available at very low prices online (he says, without checking.”

    Martill, D. M. & Naish, D. 2001. Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight. The Palaeontological Association, London. New, $28.02 plus $3.99 shipping on Amazon.com in the U.S.

    Walking With Dinosaurs: The Evidence (Martill & Naish 2000) New, $11.00 plus $3.99 shipping. Used, $0.01 plus $3.99 shipping. This one IS cheap online. The other, not so much.

    Link to this
  3. 3. naishd 5:28 pm 06/3/2012

    First image isn’t showing for me now, either (it was earlier on). Am using chrome. Will reload and see if that sorts it. Thanks, Leecris, for cost info.

    Darren

    Link to this
  4. 4. naishd 5:32 pm 06/3/2012

    Now reloaded. Can everybody see it?

    Darren

    Link to this
  5. 5. JoseD 7:38 pm 06/3/2012

    “and, yes, even Walking With Dinosaurs: The Evidence (Martill & Naish 2000).”

    Looking forward to it.

    Why didn’t you include “Planet Dinosaur”? I ask b/c you said you were the specialist reader which, based on what I’ve read (See “Evaluation report”: http://www.cambridgepm.co.uk/author-services/our-services/editorial.aspx ), is the same thing as an editor. Many thanks in advance.

    Link to this
  6. 6. Dartian 12:49 am 06/4/2012

    You are not even 40 yet, but you’ve published seven books already (four of them as single author). No matter how you look at it, that’s pretty impressive!

    Incidentally: in light of your diverse zoological interests, it’s notable that, except for the Tet Zoo volume, all of your books are (mainly) about Mesozoic dinosaurs.

    Link to this
  7. 7. Andreas Johansson 2:34 am 06/4/2012

    Now reloaded. Can everybody see it?

    Yes, it shows up now.

    I’m tempted by Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians, but the price and the height of Mt Unread are both scary.

    Link to this
  8. 8. naishd 5:46 am 06/4/2012

    Thanks much for comments. Why didn’t I include Planet Dinosaur? While I did the ‘specialist read’ of this book, and hence had some intellectual input, I don’t regard it as one of ‘my’ books – it was authored solely by Cavan Scott.

    Dartian (comment 6): yes, there’s a lot there on dinosaurs. Partly that’s because I’ve become known as a dinosaur specialist – that is, publishers have come to me specifically asking for dinosaur-based manuscripts. But it’s also partly due to the fact that there is an endless demand for new popular dinosaur books. Over the years I’ve pitched books to publishers on modern birds, the amphibian family tree, modern reptile diversity (‘reptile’ as in turtles, crocodilians, lepidosaurs), cryptozoology and Mesozoic marine reptiles. ALL have failed somewhere during development. That isn’t anything to do with my involvement, but – so far as I can tell – it’s because there is simply less demand, less guarantees of success – than there is for Mesozoic dinosaur books. I really want to do more books on non-dinosaurian tetrapods.

    Darren

    Link to this
  9. 9. kuartus 3:05 pm 06/4/2012

    Would it be possible to write a book about ALL fossil tetrapod genera known to science(i.e extinct birds,mammals,reptiles,amphibians of all kinds)? It would probably be a hefty volume but I would buy it.

    Link to this
  10. 10. John Harshman 3:36 pm 06/4/2012

    ALL have failed somewhere during development.

    Let’s not give up completely just yet.

    Link to this
  11. 11. Dartian 3:42 am 06/5/2012

    Darren:
    there is simply less demand, less guarantees of success – than there is for Mesozoic dinosaur books

    I hear you. *Sigh* A perfect world this is not.

    Apologies for an attempted thread hijack, but I think it might be mentioned here, too, that Oliver, the strange-looking bipedally walking chimpanzee who was a global celebrity in the seventies, has recently died.

    I find slightly shocking that they apparently plan to cremate Oliver’s body within a matter of days. Yes, I understand more than well that people who took care of him while he lived may not want to have him ‘cut up’, but IMO, failing to thoroughly investigate Oliver anatomically before cremation would be a loss to science. Even though we now know for a fact that Oliver was just a regular chimpanzee (as opposed to being a human-chimp hybrid or any other nonsense that was rumoured about him back in the days), it would be highly interesting to examine his muscular and skeletal anatomy in order to find out what, if anything, spending a better part of one’s lifetime walking bipedally does to a chimpanzee’s anatomy.

    Link to this
  12. 12. David Marjanović 9:28 am 06/5/2012

    Would it be possible to write a book about ALL fossil tetrapod genera known to science(i.e extinct birds,mammals,reptiles,amphibians of all kinds)? It would probably be a hefty volume but I would buy it.

    You wouldn’t, because you couldn’t afford it. :-(

    has recently died

    :-o I thought he was a historical figure and had died decades ago!!!

    I find slightly shocking that they apparently plan to cremate Oliver’s body within a matter of days. Yes, I understand more than well that people who took care of him while he lived may not want to have him ‘cut up’, but IMO, failing to thoroughly investigate Oliver anatomically before cremation would be a loss to science. Even though we now know for a fact that Oliver was just a regular chimpanzee (as opposed to being a human-chimp hybrid or any other nonsense that was rumoured about him back in the days), it would be highly interesting to examine his muscular and skeletal anatomy in order to find out what, if anything, spending a better part of one’s lifetime walking bipedally does to a chimpanzee’s anatomy.

    All seconded. Is it worth getting a login?

    Link to this
  13. 13. naishd 10:37 am 06/5/2012

    Briefly… the Oliver situation is especially sensitive since he spent the last decades of his life at ‘animal advocacy’ centre Primarily Primates, a sanctuary set up in Texas to care for non-human primates previously used in research and the pet trade. I’m totally guessing, but I think we can assume that these are not exactly the sort of people who would be happy to let one of their own be used for research post-mortem. Given Oliver’s specific history, I can personally understand that. Things are complicated here by ethics and emotions.

    Darren

    Link to this
  14. 14. Gwen! 12:45 pm 06/5/2012

    That’s a surprise… I used to own a copy of WWD: The Evidence. I thought it was a pretty good book, and more interesting than WWD itself in some parts.

    This is also sort of unrelated, but could anyone recommend for me some good paleogeographical maps? I’ve managed to find a few, including Ronald Blakey’s series, but I’m not sure how they score in terms of accuracy.

    Link to this
  15. 15. naishd 1:57 pm 06/5/2012

    Gwen! … what’s a surprise? And thanks for the compliment. My.. I mean our book is totally more interesting than WWD the series. Why? Because it’s fact-driven, not speculation-driven (no disrespect intended to Tim Haines and the other WWD people).

    Darren

    Link to this
  16. 16. Gwen! 5:37 pm 06/5/2012

    Yes, exactly!

    About the “surprise”… it seems my comment-editing skills aren’t quite up to par, I edited out the whole point of the statement. I meant I was surprised you had helped write it, because despite having owned a copy I didn’t realize it had your name on it. I believe that was before I found TetZoo, but still.

    Link to this
  17. 17. Dartian 1:40 am 06/6/2012

    David:
    I thought he was a historical figure and had died decades ago!!!

    Oh no, although Oliver had pretty much disappeared from the public eye by the early eighties, he lived on in the care of various shady animal handlers and animal shelters. Even then he wasn’t entirely forgotten; in the 90ies, a team of geneticists did a study of Oliver’s chromosomes and mtDNA. These studies showed, once and for all, that phylogenetically he was just a regular chimp (Ely et al., 1998).

    Incidentally, Andy Serkis has said in an interview that his character Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes is partly based on Oliver.

    Darren:
    Things are complicated here by ethics and emotions.

    I know. But I still wish that they would, at the very least, take good X-ray pictures of his body and publish them.

    Reference:
    Ely, J.J., Leland, M., Martino, M., Swett, W. & Moore, C.M. 1998. Chromosomal and mtDNA analysis of Oliver. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 105, 395-403.

    Link to this
  18. 18. David Marjanović 6:03 pm 06/6/2012

    Comments on your Twitter feed (because why not): 1) You’re right, you can never have too many nectrideans; however, Diplocaulidae Cope 1867 has several decades of priority over Keraterpetontidae… though… Jason Pardo has unspecified doubts about the monophyly of that assemblage, so maybe both names actually apply anyway. 2) You’ve never written about Latonia. Shaaaaaaaaaaame. Annoying fact: nobody seems to care if it’s a discoglossid in the strict sense, a bombinatorid, or whatever. Had to put it into a giant polytomy in my 2007 paper with M. Laurin, because the literature is simply completely silent.

    Link to this
  19. 19. Dartian 2:55 am 06/7/2012

    David:
    the literature is simply completely silent

    Hmm? You don’t seem to have cited either Hossini (1993) or Roćek (1994) in that 2007 paper. Were those omissions intentional or accidental?

    Hossini, S. 1993. A new species of Latonia (Anura, Discoglossidae) from the lower Miocene of France. Amphibia-Reptilia 14, 237-245.

    Roćek, Z. 1994. Taxonomy and distribution of Tertiary discoglossids (Anura) of the genus Latonia v. Meyer, 1843. Geobios 6, 717-751.

    Link to this
  20. 20. David Marjanović 6:44 am 06/10/2012

    We probably missed the Roček paper, which is embarrassing in case the Anura volume of the Handbuch (Sanchíz 1998) doesn’t cite it. I can’t look up now if it does.

    However, that paper explicitly includes “Bombinidae” in Discoglossidae, so the fact that it calls Latonia a discoglossid doesn’t mean anything. In the same paragraph, on the first page (free pdf here), Roček goes on to state that “Latonia shares many characters with Discoglossus, more than with Alytes and Bombina“, but is that a phylogenetic or a phenetic statement? It is not encouraging that p. 727 calls the gobiatids “discoglossid-like” – they may not be crown-group frogs at all.

    P. 746 through 748 clearly use Discoglossidae in the wide sense ( = Discoglossoidea), including everything all the way to Eodiscoglossus, Wealdenbatrachus and Opisthocoelellus, without even trying to say anything about its intrarelationships.

    P. 749 suggests a scenario by which Latonia could be the direct ancestor of Discoglossus. This is “phylogenetics with two taxa”. Boooooo.

    I don’t have access to the Hossini paper here (I won’t return to Berlin before early July). However, the abstract doesn’t look like the paper contains a phylogenetic analysis; merely calling Latonia a discoglossid is just a symptom of using Discoglossidae in the wide sense.

    Google Scholar says Hossini still called L. a discoglossid in 2000 – in a paper on palaeobatrachids (pipoids) that isn’t likely to say much about discoglossoid intrarelationships.

    Oh, BTW, because there’s still not enough confusion here, Alytidae appears to have priority over Discoglossidae. I once wrote to Alain Dubois to ask about this, even ended up phoning him, but he still hasn’t replied.

    Link to this
  21. 21. David Marjanović 6:45 am 06/10/2012

    (…In that case, Alytoidea would also have priority over Discoglossoidea, because of the Principle of Coordination.)

    Link to this

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