Seismosaurus: The Earth Shaker

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Columbia University Press, 1994 - Nature - 205 pages
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Seismosaurus: The Earth Shaker is a richly illustrated telling of the trials and triumphs of the discovery and excavation of Seismosaurus hallorum, the longest dinosaur yet known - and possibly the largest land animal ever to have lived. This is the first book to explain clearly the science used by paleontologists and the new cutting-edge techniques that led to Seismosaurus's discovery. David Gillette's first-person account of the project answers the most frequently asked questions about Seismosaurus: How was it discovered? How do we know it is a new species? How was it named? And more intriguing still, how did it die? His chronicle also examines the sauropods in general - the giant dinosaurs that with Seismosaurus include Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus), Brachiosaurus, and Diplodocus. This lively tale of discovery is woven with anecdotes and descriptions of the details of the excavation, which began with small jackhammers and later incorporated such sophisticated machinery as ground-penetrating radar that "looks" for fossils underground with radio waves. The story moves from the excavation site in 1985 to current advances in research and then back to the prehistoric age as Gillette, in adventure-narrative style, describes the habitat, habits, and characteristics of the sauropod, right down to Seismosaurus's gastroliths - stomach stones that helped in digestion. Part catalogue of the workings of paleontological science in the 1990s, the book also illustrates the exciting collaboration between David Gillette and the chemists and physicists who helped to reconstruct Seismosaurus and its life. Excavation of the Seismosaurus skeleton was completed in the fall of 1993. Some bones are already ondisplay at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. Meanwhile, Mark Hallett, a consultant on Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park, brings Seismosaurus to life in more than eighty marvelous color and black-and-white illustrations. Seismosaurus: The Earth Shaker is a delight!

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SEISMOSAURUS: The Earth Shaker

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The fascinating tale of the excavation and analysis of the longest and perhaps heaviest dinosaur known to science. Gillette begins his story with the serendipitous 1979 discovery of several large ... Read full review

Seismosaurus: the earth shaker

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The success of John R. Horner and James Gorman's Digging Dinosaurs (Workman, 1988) proved that there is much interest in personal accounts of the discovery and study of dinosaurs. This book, by a ... Read full review


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About the author (1994)

David D. Gillette, Ph.D., is the coeditor of Dinosaur Tracks and Traces and coauthor of Glyptodonts of North America.Mark Hallett is a well-known illustrator of prehistoric animals and their environments. His work has graced the pages of Life, Smithsonian, and Natural History and has been featured in internationally televised programs.

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