Life Before Man
By the Editors of Time-Life Books
This book was the first volume of the "Emergence of Man" series from
Time-Life Books. The book has five
chapters, written by four
different T-L science writers. Unfortunately the chapters do not
flow together well
and there is little sense of cohesion. The
list of consultants on this book is impressive, including A.W.
Robert Bakker, John Ostrom, and others. I remember
ordering this book from an advertisement in a magazine
arrival. I was somewhat disappointed when it finely came--I was
something better. Nevertheless, this book marks a milestone, as
it was perhaps the first popular book on
prehistoric life which incorporated the "dinosaur renaissance" views of
paleontologists Robert Bakker and John
Ostrom. That is, dinosaurs are portrayed as dynamic animals,
rather than lethargic tail-dragging reptiles. For this
reason, "Life Before Man" is chronologically the last prehistoric
animal book described on this website.
There are several nice illustrations of Dinosaurs by the artist Burt
Silverman included in the book, but
Ostrom, Bakker, and the other consultants let this one slip
through? A bipedal Stegosaurus with horizontally
triangular plates? There is also an illustration in the book of a
attacking a Tenontosaurus.
To my knowledge, this one of the first
times that an illustration of Deinonychus appeared in a popular book.