Book Review – Earth Before the Dinosaurs – Steyer

 Earth Before the Dinosaurs by Sébastien Steyer

Figure 1. Earth Before the Dinosaurs by Sébastien Steyer

Quite good – until you get to the reptiles.
Then mostly bogus in that it follows Carroll (1988) in putting Diadectomorphs as the outgroup to the Amniota (when its an ingroup) and includes mesosaurs with parareptiles, which we discussed earlier, among several other misfit nestings. There is no mention of Gephyrostegus and Cephalerpeton, which nest at the base of the Reptilia in the large reptile tree. And Longisquama is pictured gliding with paired plumes outstretched horizontally.

You get the picture. This is old school data.

Steyer S 2012. Earth Before the Dinosaurs. Indiana University Press. 182pp.

3 thoughts on “Book Review – Earth Before the Dinosaurs – Steyer

  1. But even if your ideas were completely correct, surely you’d want a popular overview like this book to be based on the consensus of the published literature, not one man’s website. As a parallel, I have a heterodox view of where megaraptorans go- I think they’re coelurosaurs, but the published consensus is that they’re carnosaurs. Indeed, my criticism of this consensus echoes yours- Benson’s analyses placing them in Carnosauria (including Carrano et al., 2012) have poor taxon inclusion when it comes to coelurosaurs. But while I think I’m most likely correct, I wouldn’t expect or even want a popular book about dinosaurs to call megaraptorans coelurosaurs. My idea isn’t even published, let alone accepted by many experts.

  2. Stick with your results. Change them if need be. Let them change theirs’ if need be. Steyer did not know, nor did he test, but accepted, red flags and all, the published literature, wrong that it turns out to be. I accepted everything Bennett had to say, for instance, until I realized through testing, that there were cracks and worse in several of his hypotheses. Steyer is or was a member of the Tree of Life.

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