Official Pictorial Souvenir
of Dinosaur State Park
Window into the Jurassic World (softcover)
Nicholas G. McDonald (Author)
Friends of Dinosaur Park and Arboretum, Inc. (Publisher)
ORDER NOW (shipping in USA $5.00)
Window into the Jurassic World describes and illustrates the fossil life of Connecticut and Massachusetts 200 million years ago during the Age of Dinosaurs. At Dinosaur State Park, the real Jurassic park, you'll step back in time into a tropical climate. The landscape was lush with ferns and horsetails. Shallow waters of an ancient lake teemed with fishes. You'll stand on its shore where hundreds of tracks made in damp sand are all that remain of the carnivorous dinosaurs who hunted along the lake margin.
Window into the Jurassic World is a 100-page, full-color pictorial souvenir and historical reference about Dinosaur State Park, including its history and exhibits, the geology and fossils of Connecticut's Central Valley, and much more.
Reading Level: Junior High - Adult
Softcover: 106 pages
Publisher: Friends of Dinosaur Park and Arboretum, Inc.; 1st Ed. edition (2010)
ISBN: 978-0-9825905-1-5 (softcover)
Product Dimensions: 10.75 x 8.25 x 0.375 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pound
Printing: Printed in USA, vegetable-based inks on glossy paper containing 30 recycled content
Images: 118 full-color photos and illustrations, and 38 black and white historical photos and diagrams
FROM THE BOOK'S PREFACE by PAUL E. OLSEN:
Connecticut and Massachusetts are home to some of the world's richest fossil deposits dating from early in the Age of Dinosaurs. … In this new book, Nick (Nicholas G. McDonald) takes us from concepts of geological time and plate tectonics, through geologic history and paleontology of the (Central) Valley, up to the present day, emphasizing how modern landscapes reflect their ancient bedrock roots. This book is not only a guide to the fossil exhibits, "Arboretum of Evolution" and ecological habitats at the Park, it is also a concise portrayal of the natural history of Connecticut and Massachusetts at the beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs. …
Window into the Jurassic World provides the most detailed account to date of the discovery and preservation of the trackways at Dinosaur State Park, and describes their geological and ecological context during the Mesozoic Era. The book is an authoritative and accessible narrative, further distinguished by having outstanding graphics and photographs on nearly every page. Some of the finest fossils obtained from the Valley are illustrated herein for the first time. This volume is an ideal companion to Park visits, an informative guide to the exceptional local fossils and their Mesozoic environments, and a superb entree into the subjects of paleontology and geology in general.
Paul E. Olsen
Storke Memorial Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences,
Columbia University, New York, NY
FOSSIL GUIDEBOOK IS MORE THAN A HISTORY OF DINOSAUR STATE PARK by DAVID K. LEFF—printed in Connecticut Woodlands, Spring 2011:
The first dinosaur footprints ever described were found in the Connecticut Valley. No place on Earth has a larger collection of tracks left by these ginormous, endlessly fascinating reptiles. The epicenter of Jurassic tread is Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, where an aluminum geodesic dome protects some 600 tracks frozen in sandstone after being left in the soft sand of an ancient lakeshore 200 million years ago. Serving as a handbook for park visitors, this volume is also a springboard for more general exploration of the world of fossils and the age of dinosaurs.
Beautifully laid out and lavishly illustrated, the book also rewards a cover-to-cover read. Nicholas G. McDonald, a geology and biology instructor at Westminster School in Simsbury, vibrantly chronicles the creation of the Connecticut Valley, the lives of dinosaurs, the importance of fossils and the adventure of finding them, and the heroic efforts to protect and to preserve these fragile prehistoric records.
An excellent guide, the book will enrich even a casual visit to the Park. But it is much more. Mr. McDonald clearly and concisely describes the process of fossil creation and fossils' value in explaining the history of life on earth, including their importance in documenting extinctions. His account of complex geologic events is remarkably lucid. He provides insight into the continuing evolution of scientific thinking about fossils and earth history since the time teenager Pliny Moody uncovered the first slab of tracks in 1802 while plowing his family's South Hadley, Massachusetts farm.
No reader will again pass a Connecticut Valley sandstone outcrop without contemplating the possibility of finding tracks, fish scales, plant impressions, and bone fossils lying hidden in the layers. Whether it's Mr. Moody or bulldozer operator Edward McCarthy, who in 1966 had sense and curiosity enough to dismount his machine to look at some odd rocks at the site that would become the Park, fossil discovery is serendipitous and not exclusively the province of experts.
Mr. McDonald weaves an excellent story about efforts to create a park and preserve the trackway despite bureaucratic delays, budget woes, and technical failures such as the collapse of the original park building, a fabric bubble held up by air pressure. It's also a tale about the hard work and dedication of many people, but especially of Richard Krueger, a geologist who, over three decades, transformed the park from a rough construction site to a world class educational facility that includes an arboretum of plants reminiscent of early Jurassic forests.
Window into the Jurassic World will enable readers to see vastly more in even a cursory glance whenever they're in the Connecticut Valley. The book also provides a fuller appreciation of the significant role this small, seemingly ordinary patch of ground has played in our understanding of the planet's deep past.
David K. Leff is a writer, former Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection deputy commissioner, and a member of the Board of Directors of CFPA (Connecticut Forest and Parks Assoc.).
About the Author
Nicholas G. McDonald is a geology and biology instructor at Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut, and is emeritus Chairman of the Science Department. McDonald holds two degrees in geology, including a Master's from Wesleyan University. His discoveries of fishes, plants, mollusks, insects, crustaceans and trace fossils have broadened the understanding of Jurassic ecosystems in the region. His publications include a number of scholarly papers, and a bibliographic volume: The Connecticut Valley in the Age of Dinosaurs. For more than 20 years, the author has been a Visiting Scholar (research associate) in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Wesleyan University, and is currently a Curatorial Affiliate at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.
About the Photographer
Richard Bergen Photography, Hartford, Connecticut