Dr. DiDonato Recommended Reading List

If you attended the program on fossils by Dr. DiDonato, he recommended some books in his presentation.  Here is the list of books and also where you can find them in our library or through other libraries.

Annals of a Former World by John McPhee (557.3 M)

This is one of my favorites.  McPhee is an entertaining writer who can weave a great story about the geology and the history of the land.  I like to open Google Maps and a good geology dictionary.  If I come across a topic that interests me (just about every other paragraph) I do a google search and get even more on a subject.  But I am indebted to McPhee for bringing so many new subjects to my attention (like “the gangplank” in Wyoming.)

Wonderful Life, The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History by Stephen Jay Gould (available as a hold from James Prendergast)

This is an interesting account of the discovery and reinterpretation of the Burgess Shale- but its not the end of the story.  Gould was a paleontologist who knew how to tell a good story.  This is for any interested beginner who wants to know more about the behind the scenes action in paleontology.

Fossils of the Burgess Shale by Derek E. G. Briggs, et. al. (available as a hold from James Prendergast)

Briggs gives a good short introduction into the background on how the fossils where discovered and the best photos on major representatives.  This is probably better suited for serious readers but even beginners will appreciate the vivid pictures and the historical overview.

The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt by William Nothdurft with Josh Smith (567.909 N)

This is the story of a young paleontology expedition that followed in the footsteps of German paleontologist Strommer who collected dinosaurs that were lost during WWII.

Trilobites by Riccardo Levi-Setti (565.393 L)

This is a comprehensive look at lots of trilobites with great detail.  It is written for someone with a real interest in learning more.

The Jehol Biota edited by Mee-mann Chaing, et. al. (available as an Interlibrary Loan)

This book is tough to find.  It is a serious work covering the feathered dinosaurs, beaked birds and the flowering plants.  It is filled with photos of the best in class specimens from the Liaoning Province.

T. Rex and the Crater of Doom by Walter Alvarez (Y 576.84 A)

The Alvarez father and son team advanced the hypothesis about the extinction of the dinosaurs and this is a lively account of how it could have happened.  Written for the popular audience.

Dinosaur Digs by Blake Edgar (available as an Interlibrary Loan)

This is published by the Discovery Channel Travel Adventures and details lots of dinosaur digs throughout the US and how to get on a dig.  It is full of interesting ideas for a family or individual vacation to see the best dinosaur fossil locales.

Digging Dinosaurs by John R. Horner (available as a hold from James Prendergast)

This is an interesting account of Horner’s life as a fossil hunter.  He is passionate about dino’s and willing to share everything.  He has found some great discoveries and this makes it a terrific book.

African Dinosaurs Unearthed- The Tendaguru Expeditions by Gerhard Maier (available as an Interlibrary Loan)

This is a detailed account of the fossil hunting into what was once called German East Africa and it is for the intermediate to serious student.  It is very well documented and brings into view little known activity in East Africa before WWII.

Planet Ocean- Dancing to the Fossil Record by Brad Matsen & Ray Troll (available as an Interlibrary Loan)

This is a fun account of the vast ‘ocean’ of fossils from marine environments.  It is illustrated with great graphics and would be good for the young reader.

Rocks & Fossils- a visual guide by Robert R. Coenraads (552 C)

For readers who like lots of pictures to guide their identification this is a good reference especially for rocks, minerals and marine plant life.  The photos are especially good quality.

Dawning of the Dinosaurs-the story of Canada’s oldest dinosaurs by Harry Thurston*

A short account of dinosaurs found in Canada.  Especially fun if you’re going to travel up to see the world class museums – Tyrell and Ontario.

Hunting Dinosaurs by Louie Psihoyos with John Knoebber (available as a hold from James Prendergast)

The photographs alone are worth looking at and Psihoyos has the knowledge and background to tell a great story about lots of dino’s.

Discovering Dinosaurs in the American Museum of Natural History by Mark A. Norell, et. al. (567.91 N)

If you want to get the backstory on the Grand Dame of American Paleontology this is a great resource.  Lots of interesting stories.

*unfortunately this book seems to be only available from Canada for loan.


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