This comprehensive illustrated field guide, by paleontologist Juan Benito and palaeoartist Roc Olive, aims to illustrate in unprecedented detail the staggering diversity of avialans (modern birds and their closest fossil relatives) that lived from the origin of the group until the Mass Extinction that ended the reign of the non-avian dinosaurs 66 million years ago: the Birds of the Mesozoic.
Birds are the most diverse tetrapod group today, but they have a rich and complex evolutionary history beyond that of their modern radiation. Appearing during the Jurassic, more than 160 million years ago, birds took to the skies and evolved into a plethora of forms during the Age of the Dinosaurs.
This beautifully illustrated field guide includes over 250 full-color illustrations covering more than 200 types of bird that populated the world during the Mesozoic Era. In addition to detailed fact files on the diverse avifauna of the Mesozoic, including a description of each species, with information on its name, location, size, period, habitat, and general characteristics, this guide also seeks to explain the origins of the group and their evolution from other feathered dinosaurs up to the origins of modern birds in the Late Cretaceous. It also covers in detail multiple facets of their phylogenetic, morphological, and ecological diversity, and provides an introduction to bird skeletal anatomy and several of the most recent and cutting-edge methods palaeontologists use to reconstruct fossil bird color, diet, and biology.
Easy-to-use and pleasant to contemplate, this book is a must for both bird and paleontology enthusiasts!