Few aspects of American military history have been as vigorously debated as Harry Truman's decision to use atomic bombs against Japan. In this carefully crafted volume, Michael Kort describes the wartime circumstances and thinking that form the context for the decision to use these weapons, surveys the major debates related to that decision, and provides a comprehensive collection of key primary source documents that illuminate the behavior of the United States and Japan during the closing days of World War II. Kort opens with a summary of the debate over Hiroshima as it has evolved since 1945. He then provides a historical overview of thye events in question, beginning with the decision and program to build the atomic bomb. Detailing the sequence of events leading to Japan's surrender, he revisits the decisive battles of the Pacific War and the motivations of American and Japanese leaders. Finally, Kort examines ten key issues in the discussion of Hiroshima and guides readers to relevant primary source documents, scholarly books, and articles.
In Pursuit of Early Mammals presents the history of the mammals that lived during the Mesozoic era, the time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, and describes their origins, anatomy, systematics, paleobiology, and distribution. It also tells the story of the author, a world-renowned specialist on these animals, and the other prominent paleontologists who have studied them. Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska was the first woman to lead large-scale paleontological expeditions, including eight to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, which brought back important collections of dinosaur, early mammal, and other fossils. She shares the difficulties and pleasures encountered in finding rare fossils and describes the changing views on early mammals made possible by these discoveries.
Perhaps nudged over the evolutionary cliff by a giant boloid striking the earth, the incredible and fascinating group of animals called dinosaurs became extinct some 65 million years ago (except for their feathered descendants). In their place evolved an enormous variety of land creatures, especially the mammals, which in their way were every bit as remarkable as their Mesozoic cousins. The Age of Mammals, the Cenozoic Era, has never had its Jurassic Park, but it was an amazing time in earth's history, populated by a wonderful assortment of bizarre animals. The rapid evolution of thousands of species of mammals brought forth gigantic hornless rhinos, sabertooth cats, mastodonts and mammoths, and many other creatures--including our own ancestors. Their story is part of a larger story of a world emerging from the greenhouse conditions of the Mesozoic, warming up dramatically about 55 million years ago, and then cooling rapidly so that 33 million years ago the glacial ice returned. The earth's vegetation went through equally dramatic changes, from tropical jungles in Montana and forests at the poles, to grasslands and savannas across the entire world. Life in the sea also underwent striking evolution reflecting global climate change, including the emergence of such creatures as giant sharks, seals, sea lions, dolphins, and whales. After the Dinosaurs is a book for everyone who has an abiding fascination with the remarkable life of the past.
In the last decade, Italian Mesozoic marine deposits have revealed the unexpected presence of dinosaurs. Dinosaurs of Italy is a faithful report of those discoveries. It is a popular but thorough book, written by one of the leading dinosaur paleontologists in Italy with the collaboration of the science writer Giuseppe Brillante. After an introduction to the world of dinosaurs, each chapter deals with one finding: from dinosaur footprints (including new sites from southern Italy found in 2000) and the exciting discovery and description of Scipionyx, to the Trieste hadrosaurs and the very recent "saltriosaur." Italian marine and flying reptiles are also described, represented by spectacular specimens such as the large shastasaurid ichthyosaur Besanosaurus and the most ancient pterosaur Eudimorphodon. Other chapters deal with the K/T boundary of Gubbio and its role in reconstructing the story of dinosaur extinction and offer speculations about future findings. The book includes the true story of Scipionyx's discovery, written by its lead researcher. Life of the Past—James O. Farlow, editor
This overview of dinosaur discoveries in Mexico synthesizes current information about the geography and environment of the region during the Mesozoic when it was the western margin of the ancient continent of Pangea. The book summarizes research on various groups, including turtles, lepidosauromorphs, plesiosaurs, crocodyliforms, pterosaurs, and last but not least, dinosaurs. In addition, chapters focus on trackways and other trace fossils and on K/P boundary (the Chicxulub crater, beneath the Gulf of Mexico, has been hypothesized as the site of the boloid impact that killed off the dinosaurs). Dinosaurs and Other Reptiles from the Mesozoic of Mexico is an up-to-date, informative volume on an area that has not been comprehensively described until now.
In the tradition of G. G. Simpson's classic work, Kenneth D. Rose's The Beginning of the Age of Mammals analyzes the events that occurred directly before and after the mysterious K-T boundary which so quickly thrust mammals from obscurity to planetary dominance. Rose surveys the evolution of mammals, beginning with their origin from cynodont therapsids in the Mesozoic, contemporary with dinosaurs, through the early Cenozoic, with emphasis on the Paleocene and Eocene adaptive radiations of therian mammals. Focusing on the fossil record, he presents the anatomical evidence used to interpret behavior and phylogenetic relationships. The life's work of one of the most knowledgeable researchers in the field, this richly illustrated, magisterial book combines sound scientific principles and meticulous research and belongs on the shelf of every paleontologist and mammalogist. -- J.D. Archibald
In the geological blink of an eye, mammals moved from an obscure group of vertebrates into a class of planetary dominance. Why? J. David Archibald's provocative study identifies the fall of dinosaurs as the factor that allowed mammals to evolve into the dominant tetrapod form. Archibald refutes the widely accepted single-cause impact theory for dinosaur extinction. He demonstrates that multiple factors—massive volcanic eruptions, loss of shallow seas, and extraterrestrial impact—likely led to their demise. While their avian relatives ultimately survived and thrived, terrestrial dinosaurs did not. Taking their place as the dominant land and sea tetrapods were mammals, whose radiation was explosive following nonavian dinosaur extinction. Archibald argues that because of dinosaurs, Mesozoic mammals changed relatively slowly for 145 million years compared to the prodigious Cenozoic radiation that followed. Finally out from under the shadow of the giant reptiles, Cenozoic mammals evolved into the forms we recognize today in a mere ten million years after dinosaur extinction. Extinction and Radiation is the first book to convincingly link the rise of mammals with the fall of dinosaurs. Piecing together evidence from both molecular biology and the fossil record, Archibald shows how science is edging closer to understanding exactly what happened during the mass extinctions near the K/T boundary and the radiation that followed.
Forty-one highly detailed, accurately rendered illustrations of ancient animals include the Megistoterium, one of the largest flesh-eating mammals that ever lived; the Smilodon, largest of saber-toothed tigers; the giraffe-like Indricotherium that browsed on treetops, and many more — all royalty-free. Captions.
Unique reference volume covering major vertebrate fossil finds in former Soviet Union never before described in English.
Mammals are the dominant large animals of today, occurring in virtually every environment. This book is an account of the remarkable 320 million year long fossil record that documents their origin, their long spell as no more than small, nocturnal creatures, and their explosive radiation since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Tom Kemp also unveils the exciting molecular evidence, which, coupled with important new fossils, is presently challenging current thinking on the interrelationships and historical biogeography of mammals. The Origin and Evolution of Mammals will be of interest to advanced undergraduate and graduate students as well as researchers in vertebrate palaeontology, biogeography, mammalian systematics and molecular taxonomy. It will also be welcomed by vertebrate fossil enthusiasts and evolutionary biologists of all levels with an interest in macroevolutionary problems.
Provides information about flying pterosaurs, marine reptiles, and mammal-like therapsids from the age of the dinosuars, and about the giant birds and enormous mammals that lived somewhat later.
Picture a world of dog-sized scorpions and millipedes as long as a car; tropical rainforests with trees towering over 150 feet into the sky and a giant polar continent five times larger than Antarctica. That world was not imaginary; it was the earth more than 300 million years ago in the Carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era. In Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction, George R. McGhee Jr. explores that ancient world, explaining its origins; its downfall in the end-Permian mass extinction, the greatest biodiversity crisis to occur since the evolution of animal life on Earth; and how its legacies still affect us today. McGhee investigates the consequences of the Late Paleozoic ice age in this comprehensive portrait of the effects of ancient climate change on global ecology. Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction examines the climatic conditions that allowed for the evolution of gigantic animals and the formation of the largest tropical rainforests ever to exist, which in time turned into the coal that made the industrial revolution possible—and fuels the engine of contemporary anthropogenic climate change. Exploring the strange and fascinating flora and fauna of the Late Paleozoic ice age world, McGhee focuses his analysis on the forces that brought this world to an abrupt and violent end. Synthesizing decades of research and new discoveries, this comprehensive book provides a wealth of insights into past and present extinction events and climate change.
The remarkable dinosaur faunas of South America
After the age of the dinosaurs, strange and powerful mammals ruled the earth.
Henry is generally well-behaved, but he is occasionally arrogant and vain. Henry is at heart a hard worker, but his frequent bouts of illness hinder his work.
Introduces the vertebrates that inhabited the Earth before the dinosaurs, including tetrapods that emerged from the sea and adapted to terrestrial life.
Explores the Cenozoic era from the extinction of dinosaurs to life today, including ice ages covering Earth, the formation of the Grand Canyon, and the evolution of humans.
In this account of early mammals and their evolution, a naturalist presents fossil discoveries such as towering mammoths, tiny horses, and whales with legs, among other exotic extinct species, providing a perspective on the grandeur of evolution.