"T. rex" and the Crater of Doom Paperback – Jul 21 2008
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One of the great mysteries is what happened to the dinosaurs, and it has taken great detective work to give us an answer. In T. Rex and the Crater of Doom, some brilliant, not to mention determined, scientists roam the world and seek out the clues. What they conclude is that the earth withstood a colossal impact with a meteor (or perhaps a comet) 65 million years ago. The resulting cataclysm destroyed half the life on the planet.
Walter Alvarez, a geologist at the University of California at Berkeley, and one of the four scientists who present this theory on the mystery, tells the story in a clear narrative that contains a wealth of scientific material. The book does require an investment of attention, but the presentation is quite readable, and the story itself is fascinating. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
When Nobel prize-winning physicist Louis Alvarez and his geophysicist son Walter announced that they had discovered evidence of a giant meteor that slammed into Earth 65 million years ago, causing the extinction of the dinosaurs, they were met with much fanfare from the popular press and skepticism from the scientific community. The Alvarezes were vindicated in 1991 when a huge impact crater was discovered on the Yucatan Peninsula, and the possible connection with dinosaur extinction is becoming more widely accepted. After a vivid description imagining the global devastation that would be caused by such an impact, Alvarez offers a first-person account of the discovery. It's a nicely told and well-written tale of scientific discovery, and though he occasionally comes across as a bit smug, Alvarez is quite generous in crediting objectors for helping show the direction to improve and refine the theory with further research. This informal, readable book is appropriate for high school readers on up, and the subject has strong popular appeal.?Amy Brunvand, Univ. of Utah Lib., Salt Lake City
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ah, yes. Innocence. But 14-year-olds aside, this is a fascinating and delightful story of scientific discovery and triumph second to none. It can be compared to James D. Watson's The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, both in terms of the importance of the discovery and for bringing to the reader some of the excitement and adventure of the quest. It is not, however, as the title might imply, the reading equivalent of watching a Stephen Spielberg movie! And perhaps we can be thankful for that.
T. Rex and the Crater of Doom is the story of one of the great scientific discoveries of the twentieth century. Prior to Alvarez's work, it was not known what had caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Volcanism, disease, climate change, etc., were put forward as possibilities. But in1970 Alvarez began to believe that a large meteor or a comet had struck the earth with enormous force causing the extinctions. But how to prove it? At first it wasn't even imagined how a meteor could bring about such a catastrophe; but gradually it was seen that the debris thrown into the atmosphere by the force of impact would encircle the earth and block out the rays of the sun for months or even years at a time, thereby killing off plants both on the land and in the sea, thereby collapsing the food chain and starving the dinosaurs and most other creatures.
This was the breakthrough idea, and an exciting idea it was.Read more ›
As it seems, the disciplines of geology and paleontology are the are the Earth historians. Like you or I reading a paper for the news, geologists and paleontologists read the fossil recond in the rocks. By observing, measuring, and interpreting the information held fast through the eons of time, the earth's history can been seen and understood.
There are two camps in these disciplins the camp of gradualism where everything takes times... sometimes an enormous length of time, then there are those of the camp catastrophism, something awful happen like a comet of meteor crashing into the earth. Well, this book falls mainly into the latter camp as the work on the K-T layer (Cretaecous-Tertiary) Iridium was found and the cause soon revealed that it came from an extraterrestrial source.
To be realistic, one must use both camps to come up with the true answer.
This book has seven chapters: Armageddon, ExLibro Lapidum Historia Mundi, Gradualist versus Catastrophist,
Iridum, The Search for the Impact Site, The Crater of Doom, and The World after Chicxulub. Each of these chapters bring the read more information on how science, if applied correctly can render an answer to some nagging questions.
This book tell about what happens when a meteor the size of Mt. Everest crashes into the earth and the consequenses that follow. As the author states, "The hugh cloud of vaporized rock generated at ground zero was driven outward by its own heat and pressure in a colossal fireball.Read more ›
Alvarez clearly believes that the discovery of a 65-million-year-old impact crater on Mexico's Gulf Coast has pretty much resolved the question of what killed the dinos, and he's written his book to an audience of like-minded folk. If you're on the fence, the book might convince you. If you're in the opposing camp, it won't-nor is that the book's purpose. Rather, Alvarez is out to tell a good story of the progress of science. If, along the way, he teaches a bit of geology and convinces a few readers that geochemistry and geophysics are "cool," so much the better. Give this book to a high school kid with an interest in science-but read it yourself, first.
Most recent customer reviews
From the words of the man primarily responsible for recognising the likely cause of the mass extinction that included famously the dinosaurs, this book records the detective story... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mark C. Hillard
Fantastic story of how a geologist and his nobel prize winning father shed great light on what happened to the dinosaurs.Published 15 months ago by Barb B
Not only does Walter's writing 'rock', he is one amazing teacher. I have him as a professor at UC Berkeley for one of my earth science classes. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2004 by keylover
This book is the most boring book I have ever read. I have to read it for my biology class and write in a journal summarizing it. It's terrible! Read morePublished on May 13 2003 by Megan
This book is really boring, it took me 10 minutes to read one page. And everything went right over my head. The only reason why I read it is because I had to read it. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2002
Alvarez mixes Scientific Method, paleontology, the difficulties in getting a new idea considered with an adventure story. Read morePublished on Sept. 22 2001 by Sean W. O'Toole
This is the story of the discovery of why the dinosaurs -- and so many other creatures -- went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago. Read morePublished on Feb. 26 2001 by James R. Mccall
Easier reading level than the Powell book, and more suitable for children and teens interested in the topic of the K-T impact extinction. Read morePublished on Dec 18 2000 by Holy Olio
Probably the most investigated mass extinction of the five major events known to have occurred has been the KT boundary event. This is probably because the dinosaur, especially T. Read morePublished on April 10 2000 by Atheen
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