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Book Cover for: The Rise of Birds: 225 Million Years of Evolution, Sankar Chatterjee

The Rise of Birds: 225 Million Years of Evolution

Sankar Chatterjee

The most comprehensive account of the origin of ancient and modern birds--the "living dinosaurs."

A small set of fossilized bones discovered almost thirty years ago led paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee on a lifelong quest to understand their place in our understanding of the history of life. They were clearly the bones of something unusual, a bird-like creature that lived long, long ago in the age of dinosaurs. He called it Protoavis, and the animal that owned these bones quickly became a contender for the title of "oldest known bird." In 1997, Chatterjee published his findings in the first edition of The Rise of Birds.

Since then Chatterjee and his colleagues have searched the world for more transitional bird fossils. And they have found them. This second edition of The Rise of Birds brings together a treasure trove of fossils that tell us far more about the evolution of birds than we once dreamed possible.

With no blind allegiance to what he once thought he knew, Chatterjee devours the new evidence and lays out the most compelling version of the birth and evolution of the avian form ever attempted. He takes us from Texas to Spain, China, Mongolia, Madagascar, Australia, Antarctica, and Argentina. He shows how, in the "Cretaceous Pompeii" of China, he was able to reconstruct the origin and evolution of flight of early birds from the feathered dinosaurs that lay among thousands of other amazing fossils.

Chatterjee takes us to where long-hidden bird fossils dwell. His compelling, occasionally controversial, revelations--accompanied by spectacular illustrations--are a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in the evolution of "the feathered dinosaurs," from vertebrate paleontologists and ornithologists to naturalists and birders.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publish Date: Apr 1st, 2015
  • Pages: 392
  • Language: English
  • Edition: - 0002
  • Dimensions: 11.00in - 8.40in - 1.20in - 2.90lb
  • EAN: 9781421415901
  • Categories: Life Sciences - EvolutionLife Sciences - BiologyBirdwatching Guides

About the Author

Chatterjee, Sankar: - Sankar Chatterjee is the Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of geology and a curator of paleontology at Texas Tech University. He has led expeditions to India, China, Antarctica, and the American Southwest in search of dinosaur and early bird remains.
Praise for this book
A beautifully written and illustrated volume on the origin and evolution of birds.
--Michael Hutchins, The Rostrum
Chatterjee takes us to where long-hidden bird fossils dwell. His compelling, occasionally controversial, revelations--accompanied by spectacular illustrations--are a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in the evolution of 'the feathered dinosaurs, ' from vertebrate paleontologists and ornithologists to naturalists and birders. . . A must have for anyone with a serious interest in fossil birds.
--Birdbooker Report
. . . An easy read and can and should be read and understood by anyone interested in the subject.
--British Trust for Ornithology
The thought of toppling Archaeopteryx from its lofty evolutionary perch is probably enough to ruffle some scientific feathers. But The Rise of Birds, as the title promises, delivers more than an interpretation of a single bird, however ancient. Most of the book is devoted to a thoughtful analysis of bird evolution and anatomy aided by useful drawings. Chatterjee forcefully argues a minority view that bird flight originated from the 'trees down.' He also reminds us why we should be, as we are, fascinated by birds and their origins.
--New York Times Book Review