“Ocean Life in the Time of Dinosaurs”

By | November 4th, 2023|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

Princeton University Press has published a new book all about Mesozoic marine reptiles. Entitled “Ocean Life in the Time of Dinosaurs”. It documents the evolutionary development and radiation of a variety of amazing prehistoric creatures that dominated marine environments during the “Age of Dinosaurs”. Beautifully illustrated by Alain Bénéteau, this book, due out this month (November, 2023), dives into a fascinating period of our planet’s history.

"Ocean Life in the time of Dinosaurs" front cover.
The front cover of the new prehistoric animal book entitled “Ocean Life in the time of Dinosaurs”. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

“Ocean Life in the time of Dinosaurs”

The book is divided into seven main chapters. After an initial chapter that “sets the scene”, there follows an introduction to the different types of marine reptile. Chapter three highlights the marine reptiles that thrived during the Palaeozoic. Subsequent chapters focus on Mesozoic marine reptiles. There are individual chapters on Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous marine life.

As well as providing information on ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs and giant pliosaurs, the authors introduce some of the lesser-known Mesozoic marine reptiles. For example, the bizarre, Australian plesiosaur Umoonasaurus is described. Measuring around two metres in length, this is one of the smallest members of the Plesiosauria clade described to date. A piscivore, at home in shallow, near coastal environments, Umoonasaurus had crests over its eyes and a thin crest running along its rostrum. The purpose of these adornments is unknown.

Umoonasaurus. close-up view of the head of a plesiosaur.
A close-up view of the small Australian plesiosaur Umoonasaurus. It is an illustration from the book “Ocean Life in the time of Dinosaurs”. A stunning plesiosaur illustration by Alain Bénéteau.

The K-Pg extinction event is discussed, and the closing chapter examines how ocean ecosystems recovered with mammals and birds evolving to fill niches in marine food chains.

There is a helpful glossary and bibliography too.

A Collaboration Between Palaeontologists

“Ocean Life in the time of Dinosaurs” is a collaboration between four scientists. Nathalie Bardet and Alexandra Houssaye are palaeontologists and research directors at the prestigious Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris, France). Stéphane Jouve is a palaeontologist and manager of the geoscience collections at the Sorbonne University (Paris). The fourth author is Natural History Museum of London palaeontologist Peggy Vincent. It has been translated by Mark Epstein.

This excellent book also provides readers with an opportunity to learn about ocean-going reptiles alive today such as sea snakes and turtles.

"Ocean Life in the time of Dinosaurs" time for a read.
Taking a few minutes break to dive into a book all about Mesozoic marine reptiles. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Book Details

The Book: “Ocean Life in the time of Dinosaurs”

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Published November 2023 | Price: £25.00/$29.95 USD (hardback) | Pages: 208
Over 200 colour scientific illustrations plus black and white images.

ISBN: 9780691243948

Visit the website of Princeton University Press: Princeton University Press. Search on the website for the authors or title to find the book.