Friday, November 30, 2007

The Palaeoblog Holiday Gift Guide

To help kick off the holiday shopping frenzy the Palaeoblog now presents some gift suggestions for the person who enjoys the stuff posted here. They’re in no particular order but they are, more or less, organized in to groups.

This is by no means meant to be comprehensive, and in many cases I’ve posted about the items below at some time in the past.

Books: The Classics

(remember to support your local independent booksellers and businesses)

and, Tempo and Mode In Evolution, One Long Argument, The Meaning of Evolution, to name a few more.

Some of the items, like Romer’s book above, are long out of print in their original editions. Places like The American Book Exchange or EBay can help you locate them. You can also often find old scientific reprints for very reasonable prices (some are even signed!).

and these more recent books:


The University of Indiana Press has been publishing a lot of paleontology and dinosaur books in past few years – on everything from theropods, sauropods, to ceratopsids.

The Discovery And Mystery of a Dinosaur Named Jane by Judith Williams. Is it Nanotyrannus or is it a baby T.rex? Whatever the answer, Judy’s written a great book about a fabulous skeleton. For readers 8yrs and up.

Artist, writer – Mike's one multitalented guy!

Philip Currie and Eva Koppelhus have a whole series of these books written for kids with nice illustrations by Jan Sovak.

Glorified Dinosaurs: The Origin and Early Evolution of Birds by Luis Chiappe provides a comprehensive summary of the recent feathered dinosaur discoveries and addresses the fascinating topic of how modern birds evolved from fearsome dinosaurs akin to the celebrated Velociraptor.

I have not seen this one yet but it looks good. I’ve always liked Luis’ art.

A great introduction to the topic by one of the best science writers around today.

An elegantly written book the deflates New Age concepts and I.D.

For the serious dinosaur enthusiast who has good grasp of anatomical terminology, the second edition of The Dinosauria is the book for them. No colour pictures but it is the definitive word on the subject as of a few years ago. Bright, young, hope-to-be palaeontologists might like to have if on their shelf as well.

CHEAP BOOKS: If you’re looking for cheap academic and popular books on vertebrate palaeontology and dinosaurs check out Edward R. Hamilton, Bookseller. If you search around the site you’ll find a lot of treasures including books like TIME TRAVELER: In Search of Dinosaurs and Ancient Mammals from Montana to Mongolia by Mike Novacek and THE DINOSAUR PAPERS, 1676-1906 by D.B. Weishampel & N.M. White.

Back in the mid 90’s Steve Bissette produced four issues of “Tyrant©&™” chronicling the birth of a Tyrannosaurus. Steve worked with a lot of professionals to get this facts as correct as he could. The books can still be picked up at comic book back issue dealers like My Comic (I've never purchased from them but they've been recommended).

One of the first and still the best recounting of the history of the Earth in cartoon format. Still relevant and fun after all these years.


Some of the best work by Mark Schultz (like his collected Xenozoic Tales) is currently (temporarily) out of print. Fortunately, his third volume “Various Drawings” is now available (although I’m told that the first two are either sold out or very close to being so). His publisher, Flesk, has a small selection of beautiful art books also for sale.

The art of Charles Knight needs no introduction here. But this little autobiography slipped under the radar a couple of years ago, possibly because of the less than inspiring art design. Nicely illustrated with beautiful B&W illustrations by Mark Schultz.

A few years back I ran a long posting on this book R.G.K: The Art of Roy G. Krenkel. It’s still available from Vanguard Productions.

James Gurney has a new Dinotopia book out. He’s been touring recently so if you check out his site Dinotopia you may be able to buy a signed copy from him if he comes through your area. Otherwise it’s available at your favourite local independent bookseller.

One of the premier artists working in arena of palaeontology was the Czech artist, Zdenek Burian. Although the text in this book by Vladimir Prokop is entirely in Czech, there are hundreds of colour paintings, many of which have never been reproduced outside of Europe. Only available in North America from Bud Plant.

Pete Von Sholly hasn’t made a recent appearance on the Palaeoblog but that does not mean that we’re forgotten about him. Pick up his Dinosaur Circus for a stocking stuffer.

A great bit of fiction by multiple Hugo winner, Greg Bear, that takes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s, Lost World, and mixes in people like Ray Harryhausen and Willis O’Brien as ‘real’ characters.

I’ve never read these myself but friends I trust swear by them. Hopefully Dale Russell is getting a cut.


Want to relive your youth with some of those ‘classic’ old comics I keep featuring here? Try an e-store like Mile High Comics or visit the back issue bins of your local comic shop. Find a shop in your area HERE

The Collected Devil Dinosaur!
"No gods from outer space could beat this Devil! Jack Kirby crossed into a new cosmos with this crimson carnivore and his faithful sidekick Moonboy! Now, for the first time, Marvel collects the King's saga of Devil Dinosaur in his prehistoric prime!" Collects Devil Dinosaur #1-9. As Jack would have said:


Over 500 pages of classic adventures are included in this value-priced volume collecting one of the most unusual series ever from DC Comics. On an unnamed, uncharted Pacific island, dinosaurs continued to thrive while World War II raged across the globe.

This newspaper strip has never had a comprehensive collection but back in the 70’s Dragon Lady Press (based in Toronto) published a series of magazine-sized collection of strips. They should still be available at a reasonable price from back issue dealers.

No giant gorilla’s in this volume by Frank Cho collecting his 4-part ‘Shanna’ tale, but still not a bad riff on the ‘jungle woman’-type tales from the days of the 12-part Republic serials – complete with Nazi bad guys.

Frank’s new collection of his old ‘Liberty Meadows’ newspaper strip is now out as well.

Jim Lawson’s CollectedPaleo: Tales of the Late Cretaceous is still available from better booksellers.


Some things you don’t learn about unless you stumble over them or have them pointed out to you. Mark Schultz recently showed me this wonderful Xenosmilus statue produced by The Alchemy Works that he picked up from the Paleo-Croft booth at the recent WonderFest model show and had custom painted.

Two of the best dino models I’ve seen at a ridiculously low price! From M & J Variety.

I recently came across this statue based on a drawing by Bill Stout. Another item only available from Bud Plant. (apparently on sale too!)

Toys ‘n Joys seems to be a good place for things like these.


The artwork of Bill Stout is no stranger to these pages. Bill has an extensive on-line shop of books, prints, posters, t-shirts, and original artwork for sale. Ask him to personalize the item you’re buying as a gift.

Prints by Dan McCarthy will look good on any wall.

Movie and EBay are good places to pick up both original and reproduction movie posters.


I wrote about this HERE when this new edition came out. Cary Grant as a palaeontologist befuddled by a wacky young Kate Hepburn in her prime.

The only DVD you’ll ever need to own. Beautifully restored and available in a two disc set with lots of informative extras.

Not technically a dinosaur as he’s from the Devonian, but since it’s for Christmas we’ll let him onto the list.

You’ll actually have to buy Ray’s only two dinosaur movies, One Million Years B.C. and The Valley of Gwangi separately, but this boxed set will give you and your family hours of entertainment over the Holiday season. Think of it as buying back the soul that you sold when you paid to watch “Transformers” last summer.

“A slightly fictionalized account of the Scopes Monkey Trial for the 1920s. When a young Tennessee teacher is prosecuted for teaching the theory of evolution in a public school, he receives unwanted public attention as well as the legal advice of a giant. Tracy plays the role based on Clarence Darrow, the eloquent defense attorney, and March storms his way through a part based on Williams Jennings Bryan, the failed presidential candidate (and famed orator) who prosecuted the case.”

Windsor McCay’s introduces the world to the first animated dinosaur.

The Classic! 'Nuff Said!


Max Steiner scored some of the biggest films ever including Gone With The Wind and Treasure Of Sierra Madre. Kong set the standard for film scores for years to come.

Pink Floyd's "Meddle". If the middle portion of “Echoes” was not actually recorded along a Cretaceous beach I’ll eat my field hat.

“The Rite of Spring” was the music used for the “March of Life” sequence in the Walt Disney’s 1940 film Fantasia. Who can forget the death march of the dinosaurs towards their extinction at the end of the Cretaceous.

Great 50’s inspired rock by Los Angeles musician Chris Christensen with lyrics by Mark Schultz. Yes, that is Bill (Danger, Danger, Will Robinson!) Mumy on guitar and Miguel (Robocop, Crossing Jordan) Ferrer on vocals. Luck you – this cd has just today been made available to order from Search for "Christensen/Schultz" or "Cadillacs & Dinosaurs"


Every palaeontologist I know of is always in need of a new tent, GPS, Camera, boots, or backpack. How about giving them a gift certificate from one of the better outfitting shops in your area.


Museum Membership

Take your family to your local museum. Better yet, buy them a membership.


The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has produced these new 'Evolution Happens' t-shirts just in time for the holiday season (nothing says ‘holidays’ like evolutionary theory). Call the Museum Shop at 213-231-4600, ext. 3239 if you'd like to order one.


Prehistoric Times is the magazine for dinosaur enthusiasts and collectors of related merchandise. Each full color, 50+ page issue includes reviews of the latest prehistoric animal model kits, toy figures, books and more”, or so their blurb says. I’ve never read it myself but it does seem to feature a lot of articles about people I know.

Join A Professional Society

Such as:

- the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (publishes the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology quarterly)

- The Palaeontological Society (US) (publishes the Journal of Paleontology monthly)

- The Palaeontological Association (UK) (publishes Palaeontology monthly)

Each membership includes a one year subscription to the society’s professional journal. It’s a great gift for a young professional who might not have the money in hand to sign themselves up, or for a high school student looking to study palaeontology at university.


Finally, (I’m allowed one plug for myself), join me for two weeks digging up dinosaurs in the Gobi Desert next August. Details at Nomadic Expeditions