Preface to the second edition

The idea behind this book is much as it was for the first edition: to use dinosaurs as an attractive entrée into aspects of natural history and scientific inquiry. Here then is a cohesive take on Dinosauria, with emphasis on the extinct rather than the extant members of the group. We remain passionately convinced that dinosaurs - when properly understood - illuminate not only the past but the present.

Belying their popular persona, dinosaurs are not about binomial Linnaean Latin litinies nor moribund minutiae. Instead, the study of dinosaurs is blessed by all the intellectual and creative opportunities afforded by science. An explicitly phylogenetic approach, as well as the presentation of multiple viewpoints, offers readers a sense of what is (and what is not) possible using scientific inquiry. Interested students and amateurs may use the book as a means of developing sophistication in not only dinosaurs, but also in the logic of scientific discovery.

For us the study of dinosaurs is all about the history of life and of the earth, the nature of nature, and, ultimately, who we are.

Acknowledgements We have been aided by many generous, yet critical, friends and colleagues. We wish to extend our thanks and appreciation to the reviewers of and contributors to these pages, among them A. K. Behrensmeyer, M. J. Benton, J. A. Cain, K. Carpenter, P. Dodson, L. A. Fastovsky, C. Forster, P. M. Galton, R. E. Heinrich, C. Janis, J. S. Mcintosh, M. B. Meers, K. Padian, H.-D. Sues, B. H. Tiffney and L. M. Witmer. Naturally all these individuals are held blameless for any errors that have crept into this book. Those that have are clearly Dave's fault.

Several colleagues, museums, and other institutions provided photographs for use in this book. We greatly appreciate the courtesy of reproducing these photos, acknowledging each throughout the text.

We are grateful to the publishing staff of Cambridge University Press, particularly Dr Ward Cooper and especially Mrs Sandi Irvine, for help and encouragement throughout this project. The work was supported in part by the Department of Geosciences of the University of Rhode Island, the Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, the Department of Functional Anatomy and Evolution of The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and by a Fulbright Garcia-Robles Fellowship (to D.E.F.).

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