Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tyrannosaurus rex, The Tyrant King--Reviewed

For those who are interested, I have a book review of Tyrannosaurus rex, The Tyrant King, (edited by Peter Larson and Ken Carpenter), in the latest issue of the on-line, open access journal Palaeontologia Electronica. Go check it out (both the book and the review), and let me know what you think!

The latest issue of PE also features articles on Jurassic ammonites, ?Paleocene dinosaurs, and special photography techniques, along with book reviews (including one by Laelaps blogger Brian Switek) and an editorial.

Farke, A. A. 2009. Review of Larson, Peter L., and Carpenter, K., eds. Tyrannosaurus rex, The Tyrant
King. Palaeontologia Electronica 12, Issue 1, R2:2 pp.


Brandon P. said...

Having read Larson's paper on sexual dimorphism in the book, I was unpersuaded by his argument the the gracile/robust difference represents sexual dimorphism. He claims in one sentence that geography cannot account for the differentiation between gracile and robust morphs, yet he never explains exactly why. He could have at least provided information as to where the samples came from and in what sediments they were deposited.

Andy said...

Geography and stratigraphy are two major gaps in the understanding of T. rex (and for that matter, many dinosaurs). . .simply put, our understanding of how various T. rex specimens relate to each other temporally is still relatively hazy.

Laelaps said...

Thanks for the link, Andy. I enjoyed your review as well.

Noto said...

Whoa, Paleocene dinosaurs?!? That'll be sure to raise hackles among certain folks. I'm suprised the media hasn't jumped all over this already...although there is that pesky swine flu thing I suppose.

RE: T rex sexual dimorphism. I think it's a very human trait to see support for our favored hypothesis, even among scientists. The only reliable method of sexing a dinosaur appears to be the presence of medullary bone in limb shafts. Though I doubt that everyone will be in a rush to cut open their favorite femur. Maybe high-res CT or synchrotron scanning can help solve this?

Zach said...

Personally, I liked the sexual dimorphism paper.

My favorite paper was Thomas Holtz's roasting of the obligate scavenger "hypothesis."

I was similarly unimpressed by the CD-ROM. I expected every bone in the cranial series to be rotatable (unfulfilled). The sitting animation was great, though. "That'll do, Rex."