Cover image for Bringing dinosaur bones to life : how do we know what dinosaurs were like?
Bringing dinosaur bones to life : how do we know what dinosaurs were like?
Farlow, James Orville.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Franklin Watts, [2001]

Physical Description:
63 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
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Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
QE861.5 .F37 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QE861.5 .F37 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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This book provides an in-depth and clear explanation of how scientists go through the steps of bringing dinosaur bones to life. Read about how they collect information and make observations, formulate educated guesses, create hypotheses, and develop theories.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-7. As the subtitle implies, this book goes beyond what scientists know about dinosaurs to discuss how they know it. Farlow notes that paleontologists using fossil evidence can often reconstruct a dinosaur's skeleton, make educated guesses about its musculature, internal organs, and even the texture of its skin, but that "ideas about dinosaur color patterns are only speculation." Separate chapters concern what dinosaurs looked like, what they ate, how they fought, and how they reproduced and grew; e.g., one chapter looks at hypotheses about how stegasaurus used the plates protruding from its back. Clearly written and well organized, this book will interest children intrigued by the process of scientific thinking as well as its results. The colorful illustrations include some excellent drawings and paintings, and other, less-distinguished ones, as well as many photos of fossils, sites, and animals. A solid yet inviting introduction to the scientific method as applied to dinosaurs. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-This nicely organized book describes how paleontologists draw conclusions from the dinosaur fossils they study. Separate chapters examine physical appearance, diet, fighting, and reproduction. Using examples of actual fossils, the author shows how scientists use information about modern animals, as well as other dinosaurs, to learn more about particular species. He clearly notes the differences between educated guesses, speculation, or knowledge that we are "pretty sure" about. The book also discusses the challenges and strategies involved in deducing fact from limited evidence. Many sample hypotheses are stated, along with comments on how difficult it can be to test them fully. Farlow shows how some ideas once widely believed are now generally doubted, using the example of Oviraptor's inaccurate reputation as an "egg thief." Color photographs and illustrations give some visual support to the information but unfortunately they often appear on a page following the related text and there are no direct references made to them. The author's measured, objective tone is not tremendously engaging, but effectively presents the facts in a way that interested readers can follow. Sandra Markle's excellent Outside and Inside Dinosaurs (Atheneum, 2000) covers similar ground in a more visually appealing presentation, but Farlow's title makes a fine complement, offering more depth about the scientific process and well-chosen examples.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1 Thinking About Dinosaursp. 4
2 What Did Dinosaurs Look Like?p. 9
3 What Did Dinosaurs Eat?p. 18
4 How Did Dinosaurs Fight?p. 27
5 How Did Dinosaurs Reproduce and Grow?p. 34
6 Looking at a Hypothesis: How Did Stegosaurus Use Its Plates?p. 42
7 Working to Understand What Dinosaurs Were Likep. 49
Glossaryp. 54
For More Informationp. 58
Indexp. 60