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The All Yesterdays Launch Event

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Some of you will know already that John Conway, C. M. Kosemen and myself recently completed writing and illustrating our new book All Yesterdays, due out in early December (both in hardcopy, and as an e-book for Kindle, iBookstore, Nook, and Google Play). Skeletal reconstructions by the excellent Scott Hartman of also feature in the volume.

All Yesterdays grew out of the idea that there are many things – anatomical, behavioural and ecological – that we’ll just never know about long-extinct animals. In view of this – and in view of the bizarre and often incredible anatomies, behaviours and ecological interactions present in the modern world – how far can we go in imagining things that are ridiculous, bizarre and outlandish yet still plausible? And, yes, it all started when John and Memo decided to start depicting fossil animals in freaky and counter-intuitive ways: long-time Tet Zoo readers might recall mention of some of the art concerned in meeting reports I’ve published over the years.

In due time, I’ll be discussing the book at length here on Tet Zoo. For now, I just want to advertise the launch event we’re hosting at Conway Hall (Red Lion Square, London) on Friday December 7th. Yeah yeah, Conway Hall; no coincidence. Kidding… it’s a coincidence. Doors open at 6.30pm and talks start at 7pm. We’ll be speaking about the book (and about palaeoart and the science and speculation involved), and selling and signing copies too. Tickets are £5.00 each (the price includes a drink) and can be booked online here. The online booking site gives the book title as All Yesterdays: Speculation & Science at the Frontiers of Reconstructing Extinct Animals, whereas the actual title we’ve gone for is All Yesterdays: Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals.

Anyway, please do come along if you can. I look forward to seeing some of you there!

If you like this sort of thing, be sure to check out…

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 He has been blogging at Tetrapod Zoology since 2006. Check out the Tet Zoo podcast at!

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

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  1. 1. Finback 8:05 pm 11/23/2012

    I’m curious as to how those of us overseas can obtain a signed copy!

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  2. 2. JoseD 12:54 am 11/24/2012

    “In due time, I’ll be discussing the book at length here on Tet Zoo.”

    Looking forward to it. In the mean time, I was hoping you would answer the following 2 questions about it. Many thanks in advance.

    Will the hardcopy be available on Amazon too? I’ve only seen the e-book listed on Amazon.

    Will it be for casual readers or enthusiasts ( )? I’ll get it either way, but I like to keep track of which books in my collection are which.

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  3. 3. C.M. Kosemen 3:24 am 11/24/2012

    Jose D,
    The book has a pretty accessible language and is very image-rich. If we are talking about little-known terms or animals, we always walk the reader through the concepts first.

    I’d say both casual readers and enthusiasts can derive equal ammounts of pleasure from ir…

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  4. 4. Mark Evans 8:34 am 11/24/2012

    Talking of coincidence (or not), isn’t the Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, where the dinosaur collector events used to be in the 1990′s?

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  5. 5. naishd 9:15 am 11/24/2012

    Mark – yes, it is. I’ve actually been to numerous events (and given several talks) there over the years. Most recently, it’s where we held the CFI ‘sea monster’ day.


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  6. 6. Jerzy v. 3.0. 1:54 pm 11/24/2012

    I don’t like to simply add “oh, yeah” posts, as you noticed ;)

    But I also believe that many smaller herbivorous dinosaurs climbed trees, but their climbing adaptations are not obvious or overlooked.

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  7. 7. Ausktribosphenos 3:06 pm 11/24/2012

    This looks excellent! I’ve pondered the issue of outlandish soft anatomy many times.

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  8. 8. David Marjanović 5:34 pm 11/24/2012


    …The plagiosaur has become man. Too bad it lost its gill slits in the process.

    how far can we go in imaging things that are ridiculous, bizarre and outlandish

    Do you mean “imagining”? Or both?

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  9. 9. naishd 5:40 pm 11/24/2012

    Oops, typo. Thanks, David,

    And that ain’t no plagiosaur… (nice guess though).


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  10. 10. Jerzy v. 3.0. 8:51 am 11/25/2012

    I also wonder about this thing. H.floresiensis was supposed to have breasts so long as wrapping over the shoulder, but spiny breasts? Some amphibian tadpole? Or an unknown race of sapient labirynthodons (maybe related to Capek’s War with the Newts) which left no trace because of gaps in fossil record?

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  11. 11. naishd 11:09 am 11/25/2012

    Ah well, I guess you’ll just have to buy the book :)


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  12. 12. John Conway 4:38 pm 11/25/2012

    @ JoseD Yes there will be a physical version, which will be available before the launch date on Lulu, and at some time after that on Amazon (Amazon does not let you know how long these thing take, hence the eBook being out much earlier than we expected.)

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  13. 13. JoseD 10:42 pm 11/25/2012

    Many thanks to both Kosemen & Conway for getting back to me.

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  14. 14. vdinets 1:17 am 11/26/2012

    Jerzy: Any non-human civilization of the past would be very likely to be missing from the fossil record, because any truly intelligent beings would practice obligatory postmortem cannibalism to avoid wasting resources. And they would fully recycle all objects of their material culture, or make it biodegradable.

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  15. 15. Jerzy v. 3.0. 4:40 am 11/26/2012

    I think this is human-toad hybrid which one sees in a vision after licking a poisonous toad ;)

    No, actually I read the review on Amazon and have an idea. ;)

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  16. 16. BrianL 5:53 am 11/26/2012

    I won’t spoil the beans entirely, but let me say it is supposed to be an amphibian that witnessed a catastrophic flood in the guise of a human and has been restored in that fashion. Also, its last name is German but it’s not its family name.

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  17. 17. Andreas Johansson 7:56 am 11/26/2012

    16 > Ah. Neat.

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  18. 18. Jerzy v. 3.0. 9:09 am 11/26/2012

    And there is an obscenity in the name?

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  19. 19. Jerzy v. 3.0. 9:10 am 11/26/2012

    …wrong, I mixed my fossils. ;)

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  20. 20. David Marjanović 9:13 pm 11/27/2012

    I won’t spoil the beans entirely, but let me say it is supposed to be an amphibian that witnessed a catastrophic flood in the guise of a human and has been restored in that fashion. Also, its last name is German but it’s not its family name.

    That’s the other obvious option, but doesn’t it have too many osteoderms for that…?

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  21. 21. naishd 8:46 am 11/28/2012

    They’re not osteoderms. They’re just soft tissue… things.


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  22. 22. Finback 9:04 am 12/1/2012

    Pssst.. not to sound rude, but can I re-ask – will there be signed copies of the book made available after the talk? I’d really like one signed by the three of you.. but live in the Antipodes..

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  23. 23. amjustwondering 10:00 am 12/1/2012

    Amazon’s preview does not have a table of contents and I am apt to purchase…

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  24. 24. naishd 2:24 pm 12/1/2012

    Finback – I’m not sure how to work this out (since mailing books costs a fortune) but I’ll remind my co-authors and we’ll sort something out.

    More info about the book as soon as I can find the time.


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  25. 25. mojojojo 2:46 pm 12/1/2012

    When will a physical copy (either paper back or hard back) be available for purchase?

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  26. 26. Finback 8:08 pm 12/1/2012

    Darren – my only suggestion offhand might be to just keep a few signed copies, and people could paypal you the shipping cost?

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  27. 27. Heteromeles 11:44 am 12/6/2012

    How many congratulations have you gotten for being chosen as one of National Public Radio’s top science fiction and fantasy books? That’s high praise indeed.

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  28. 28. naishd 11:49 am 12/6/2012

    Thanks (smiley). You are the first.

    More on the book, and the coverage it’s received, once I get the goddam launch event out of the way…


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