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Distinguished Science Lecture Series Archives

Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs
Evolution, Extinction, and the Future of Our Planet

Donald R. Prothero’s science books combine straightforward research with first-person narratives of discovery, injecting warmth and familiarity into a profession that desperately needs a more appealing approach to nonspecialists. Bringing his trademark style to an increasingly relevant subject of concern, Prothero links the climate changes that have occurred over the past 200 million years to their effects on plants and animals, especially contrasting the extinctions that ended the Cretaceous period, which wiped out the dinosaurs, with those of the later Eocene and Oligocene epochs. Prothero begins with the “greenhouse of the dinosaurs,” the global-warming episode that dominated the Age of Dinosaurs and the early Age of Mammals, and concludes with observations about Nisqually Glacier and other locations that prove global warming is happening much quicker than previously predicted, irrevocably changing the balance of the earth’s thermostat.

Dr. Prothero is a professor of geology and paleontology at Occidental College and the author of the wildly successful bestseller Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters.

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