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Dixon, Dougal 1947–

Dixon, Dougal 1947–

Personal

Born March 1, 1947, in Dumfries, Scotland; son of Thomas Bell (an engineer) and Margaret Dixon; married Jean Mary Young, April 3, 1971; children: Gavin Thomas, Lindsay Kathleen. Education: University of St. Andrews, B.Sc. (geology; with honors), 1970, M.Sc., 1972. Hobbies and other interests: Sculpting, painting, film and video ("part-owner and projectionist of the local small-town independent cinema—a job done for love of the art form rather than the money!").

Addresses

Home and office—Wareham, Dorset, England. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Geologist, author, educator, and consultant. Mitchell-Beazley Ltd. (publisher), London, England, book editor, 1973-78; Blandford Press, Poole, Dorset, England, book editor, 1978-80; freelance writer and editor, 1980—. Part owner and projectionist for independent cinema. Civilian instructor for Air Training Corps, 1986-90. Chairman of Parent Teachers Association, Sandford Middle School, 1985-87; member of board of governors, Sandford First School, 1985-89; trustee, The Dinosaur Society UK, 1994—. Creator of dinosaur artwork for Dino Gallery, Los Angeles; creator of video Dinosaurs: Fun, Fact, and Fantasy, 1982.

Member

Bournemouth Science Fiction and Fantasy Group (vice chairman, 1980-81; chairman, 1981-82; secretary, 1990-2007).

Awards, Honors

Hugo Award nomination, 1982, for After Man; Rhone Poulenc Science Book Prize nomination, 1991, for The Big Book of Prehistoric Life; Helen Roney Sattler Award, 1993, Distinguished Achievement Award, Educational Press Association of America, 1993, and Outstanding Science Trade Book Award, National Science Teachers Association/Children's Book Council, 1994, all for Dougal Dixon's Dinosaurs; School Books Award for Science: Primary, Times Educational Supplement, 1996, for Discovery Dinosaurs.

Writings

JUVENILE NONFICTION

The Doomsday Machines, D. Thompson, 1980.

After Man: A Zoology of the Future, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1981.

Resources of the Earth (teaching pack), Science Museum, 1982.

Geology, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1982.

Geography, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1983.

Forests (picture atlas), F. Watts (New York, NY), 1984.

Mountains (picture atlas), F. Watts (New York, NY), 1984.

Deserts and Wastelands (picture atlas), F. Watts (New York, NY), 1984.

Jungles, revised edition (Dixon not associated with previous edition), Gloucester Press (New York, NY), 1984.

A Closer Look at Prehistoric Reptiles, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1984.

Minerals, Rocks, and Fossils: The Earth's Life History, Macdonald & Co. (London, England), 1984.

(With Jane Burton) Time Exposure: A Photographic Record of the Dinosaur Age, Beaufort Books (New York, NY), 1984.

In Times to Come, Thomas Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1985.

Ice Age Explorer, Bantam (New York, NY), 1985.

Find out about Dinosaurs and the Prehistoric World, Hamlyn (Twickenham, England), 1986.

Secrets of the Earth, Hamlyn (Twickenham, England), 1986.

Be a Dinosaur Detective, Templar (Dorking, England), 1987.

The First Dinosaurs, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 1987.

The Jurassic Dinosaurs, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 1987.

The Last Dinosaurs, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 1987.

Hunting the Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 1987.

The Illustrated Dinosaur Encyclopaedia, Golden Press (New York, NY), 1988.

Colourfax: Dinosaur and Fossil Activity Book, Hamlyn (Twickenham, England), 1988.

The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution, Salem House (Topsfield, MA), 1988.

The Macmillan Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1988.

Be a Fossil Detective, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1988.

Dino Dots, Meadowbrook (Deephaven, MN), 1988.

Today's World: The Planet Earth, Gloucester Press (New York, NY), 1989.

The Big Book of Dinosaurs, Bison Books (Carencro, LA), 1989.

The Very First Dinosaurs, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 1989.

The Last of the Dinosaurs, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 1989.

Learning about the Dinosaurs, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 1989.

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 1989.

Wayland Library of Science and Technology, Volume 1: Air and Oceans, Volume 2: The Changing Landscape, Wayland (Hove, East Sussex, England), 1990.

Man after Man: An Anthropology of the Future, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1990.

The Giant Book of Dinosaurs, Hamlyn (Twickenham, England), 1990.

The Big Book of Prehistoric Life, Hamlyn (Twickenham, England), 1990.

The Big Book of the Earth, Hamlyn (Twickenham, England), 1991.

(With Rupert Matthews) Hamlyn Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Prehistoric Life, Hamlyn (Twickenham, England), 1992.

Equinox Junior Animal Series: Animal Evolution, Andromeda (Maquoketa, IA), 1992.

The Practical Geologist, Quarto, 1992.

Explore the World of Prehistoric Life on Earth, Ilex Press (Fawley, Southampton, England), 1992.

Geography Facts, Barnes & Noble (New York, NY), 1992.

Earth Facts, Apple Press (Milwaukie, OR), 1992.

Young Geographer: The Changing Earth, Wayland (Hove, East Sussex, England), 1992.

(Coauthor) The Macmillan Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals: A Visual Who's Who of Prehistoric Life, Collier Books (New York, NY), 1992.

Tell Me about Dinosaurs, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 1993.

Spotlights: Prehistoric Life, Andromeda (Maquoketa, IA), 1993.

Dougal Dixon's Dinosaurs, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 1994.

Questions and Answers about Dinosaurs, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 1995.

Digging up the Past: The Search for Dinosaurs, Wayland (Hove, East Sussex, England), 1995.

Dinosaurs, Ladybird Books (Loughborough, Leicester, England), 1995, Barron's (Hauppauge, NY), 1996.

The Search for Dinosaurs, Thomson Learning (New York, NY), 1996.

Prehistoric Life, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Explorer Plus, Rocks and Minerals, Readers's Digest (Pleasantville, NY), 1998.

Dougal Dixon's Amazing Dinosaurs: The Fiercest, the Tallest, the Toughest, the Smallest, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 2000, 2nd edition published as Amazing Dinosaurs: More Feathers, More Claws, Big Horns, Wide Jaws!, 2008.

(With Andrew Charman) Discovery Plus: Prehistoric Worlds, Silver Dolphin (San Diego, CA), 2000.

My First Book of Dinosaurs, Ticktock Media (Tunbridge Wells, England), 2001.

Dinosaurs: Carnivores, Ticktock Media (Tunbridge Wells, England), 2001, Gareth Stevens Pub. (Milwaukee, WI), 2003.

Dinosaurs: Herbivores, Ticktock Media (Tunbridge Wells, England), 2001, Gareth Stevens Pub. (Milwaukee, WI), 2003.

Dinosaurs: In the Sky, Ticktock Media (Tunbridge Wells, England), 2001, Gareth Stevens Pub. (Milwaukee, WI), 2003.

Dinosaurs: In the Sea, Ticktock Media (Tunbridge Wells, England), 2001, Gareth Stevens Pub. (Milwaukee, WI), 2003.

Megabites Dinosaurs, Dorling Kindersly (London, England), 2001.

Dinosaur Revealed, Dorling Kindersley (London, England), 2003.

The Future Is Wild: A Natural History of the Future (based on the Animal Planet television program), Firefly Books (Buffalo, NY), 2003.

The Dinosaur Skull, Ticktock Media (Tunbridge Wells, England), 2003, published as Dinosaur Dig, Gareth Stevens Pub. (Milwaukee, WI), 2004.

The Mammoth's Tomb, Ticktock Media (Tunbridge Wells, England), 2004, published as Frozen Mammoth, Gareth Stevens Pub. (Milwaukee, WI), 2004.

(With John Malam) Dinosaur, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 2004.

The Pocket Book of Dinosaurs, Greenwich Editions (London, England), 2004.

Dinosaur Explorer, QED Publications (North Mankato, MN), 2005.

Visual Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 2005.

The Story of the Discovery of T. Rex, Ticktock Media (Tunbridge Wells, England), 2006.

Prehistoric World, Ticktock Media (Tunbridge Wells, England), 2006, published in six volumes (includes Triassic Life, Jurassic Life, Early Life, Cretaceous Life, Mammoths and Other Ancient Beasts, and The Ice Age), Barron's (Hauppauge, NY), 2006.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs, Lorenz Books (London, England), 2006.

If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today, Running Press Kids (Philadelphia, PA), 2007.

The World of the Dinosaurs, Southwater (London, England), 2007.

Dino Dig, Discover Dinosaurs, Backpack Books (New York, NY), 2007.

The World Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures, Lorenz Books (London, England), 2007.

Greenworld, Diamond (Tokyo, Japan), 2008.

Sounds of the Wild: Dinosaurs, Templar (Dorking, England), 2008.

Discoverology: Dinosaurs, Quarto Books (London, England), 2008.

Face to Face: Dinosaurs, Q2A Media (New Delhi, India), 2008.

"DINOSAUR DYNASTY" SERIES

Dinosaurs: Giants of the Earth, Highlights for Children (Honesdale, PA), 1992.

Dinosaurs: The Real Monsters, Highlights for Children (Honesdale, PA), 1992.

Dinosaurs: All Shapes and Sizes, Highlights for Children (Honesdale, PA), 1992.

Dinosaurs: A Closer Look, Highlights for Children (Honesdale, PA), 1992.

Dinosaurs: The Fossil Hunters, Highlights for Children (Honesdale, PA), 1992.

Dougal Dixon's Dinosaurs (series compendium), Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, NY), 1992.

"WALKING WITH DINOSAURS" SERIES; BASED ON THE BBC TELEVISION PROGRAM

Giant of the Skies, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

The Lonely Journey, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

Cruel Sea, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

Time of the Titans, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

New Blood, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

The Long Trek, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

King of the Forest, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

Hidden Dangers, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

The Flight Home, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

Islands of Terror, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

A Vanishing World, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

Spirits of the Silent Forest, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

Dawn of the Dinosaurs, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

Time of the Giants, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

Monsters of the Deep, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

Fantastic Fliers, International Masters Publishers Limited (London, England), 1999.

"EXPEDITION EARTH" SERIES

Volcano Evacuation, Waterbird Books (Columbus, OH), 2004.

Hurricane Destruction, Waterbird Books (Columbus, OH), 2004.

Forest Fire, Waterbird Books (Columbus, OH), 2004.

Earthquake Emergency, Waterbird Books (Columbus, OH), 2004.

"ANIMAL STORY" SERIES

Big Cat Summer, Waterbird Books (Columbus, OH), 2004.

City Bear, Waterbird Books (Columbus, OH), 2004.

Gorilla Mountain, Waterbird Books (Columbus, OH), 2004.

Orangutan Rescue, Waterbird Books (Columbus, OH), 2004.

"DINOSAUR FIND" SERIES

Triceratops and Other Forest Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Stegosaurus and Other Plains Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Plateosaurus and Other Desert Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Deltadromeus and Other Shoreline Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Centrosaurus and Other Dinosaurs of Cold Places, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Ankylosaurus and Other Mountain Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Scutellosaurus and Other Small Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Saltopus and Other First Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Ornithomimus and Other Fast Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Giganotosaurus and Other Big Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Ceratosaurus and Other Fierce Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Styracosaurus and Other Last Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Nodosaurus and Other Dinosaurs of the East Coast, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Neovenator and Other Dinosaurs of Europe, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Minmi and Other Dinosaurs of Australia, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Maiasaura and Other Dinosaurs of the Midwest, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Dromaeosaurus and Other Dinosaurs of the North, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Celophysis and Other Dinosaurs of the South, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Allosaurus and Other Dinosaurs of the Rockies, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Aletopelta and Other Dinosaurs of the West Coast, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Agustinia and Other Dinosaurs of Central and South America, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Tyrannosaurus and Other Dinosaurs of North America, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Therizinosaurus and Other Dinosaurs of Asia, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Spinosaurus and Other Dinosaurs of Africa, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Tsintaosaurus and Other Duck-Billed Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2008.

Pawpawsaurus and Other Armored Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2008.

Diceratops and Other Horned Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2008.

Deinocheirus and Other Big, Fierce Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2008.

Chungkingosaurus and Other Plated Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2008.

Bambiraptor and Other Feathered Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2008.

Baryonyx and Other Fish-eating Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2008.

Struthiomimus and Other Insect-eating Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2008.

Brachiosaurus and Other Plant-eating Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2008.

Tyrannosaurus and Other Big Hunting Dinosaurs, illustrated by Steve Weston and James Field, Picture Window Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2008.

EDITOR

(With Erik Abranson) The Physical Earth, Mitchell-Beazley (London, England), 1977.

N.B. Marshall, Developments in Deep Sea Biology, Blandford Press (Poole, Dorset, England), 1980.

B. Halstead, Dinosaurs, Blandford Press (Poole, Dorset, England), 1981.

Kate Petty, Dinosaurs, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1984.

Life and Science: The Earth, Bertelsman, 1984.

Encyclopedia of the Earth, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1986.

Neil Clark, 1,001 Facts about Dinosaurs, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 2002.

Consultant and/or contributing editor to books, including: Martyn Bramwell, editor, The Mitchell-Beazley Atlas of the Oceans, Mitchell-Beazley (London, England), 1977; Robin Baker, editor, The Mystery of Migration, Macdonald & Jane's (London, England), 1980; David G. Smith, editor, The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 1981; (with Jan Anderson) The Days of the Dinosaurs, Thomas Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1985; (with L. Bender) The Story of the Earth (six volumes), F. Watts (New York, NY), 1989; Science Projects: Fossils, Templar, 1990; How Nature Works, Mitchell-Beazley (London, England), 1991; (with D. Johanson) Journey from the Dawn, Hutchinson (London, England), 1992; I Wonder Why Triceratops Had Horns, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 1994; Dinosaur Pack, Dorling Kindersley (London, England), 1994; Walking with Dinosaurs, BBC Worldwide (London, England), 1999; Alexa Stace, Atlas of Earth, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 2000; Cassell's Atlas of Evolution, Cassell (London, England), 2001; Atlas of the Evolving Earth, Macmillan Reference (New York, NY), 2001; and Damien Broderick, editor, Year Million, Atlas & Co. (New York, NY), 2008. Contributor to numerous books, including Enjoying Nature with Your Family: Look, Learn, Collect, Conserve; Explore the Wildlife of Town and Country in Fascinating Projects and Experiments, edited by Michael Chinery, Crown (New York, NY), 1977, published in England as The Family Naturalist, Macdonald & Jane's (London, England), 1977; The International Book of the Forest, edited by M.A. Janulewicz, Mitchell-Beazley (London, England), 1981; The Ordnance Survey National Atlas of Great Britain, Country Life (Twickenham, England), 1986; and Amazing Science Facts, Quarto, 1993. Contributor to numerous encyclopedias and dictionaries, including Everyman Encyclopaedia, The Encyclopaedia of Knowledge, The World Reference Encyclopaedia, 20th-Century Encyclo-paedia, Encyclopaedia of Scotland, Encyclopaedia of Science, Hutchinson Pocket Encyclopaedia, Dictionary of Essential Knowledge, and Encyclopaedia Britannica; contributor of articles and artwork to periodicals, including Film Making, Cinemagic, Omni, Nature, World of Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs!, Focus, and Geology Today.

Adaptations

Eight sculptures of After Man animals were placed in the Newquay Zoo, Cornwall, in 1983; the "After Man Exhibition," based on Dixon's book, toured Japan in 1984, and the United States in 1985-86; an adaptation of After Man was broadcast by Nexus Television, Tokyo, 1990; an adaptation of Dinosaur was broadcast by Granada Television, 1991. The New Dinosaurs was adapted for a manga series by Diamond (Tokyo, Japan), 2008.

Sidelights

British writer Dougal Dixon blends his passionate interest in geology and zoology into his award-winning books about prehistoric life forms as well as his speculative writings concerning life forms of the future. Dixon's numerous books on dinosaurs, which have made his name all but synonymous with that early reptilian creature, include Dougal Dixon's Amazing Dinosaurs: The Fiercest, the Tallest, the Toughest, the Smallest, Be a Dinosaur Detective, and My First Book of Dinosaurs, as well as the volumes in his "Dinosaur Find," "Prehistoric World," "Expedition Earth," and "Dinosaur Dynasty" series. Gearing his dinosaur books to readers of many levels, Dixon has been credited for attracting young and old to the topic, while books such as After Man, The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution, and The Future Is Wild: A Natural History of the Future take readers into Earth's possible futures with a scientist as their guide. "Few know dinosaurs like Dougal Dixon," proclaimed Denia Hester in a Booklist review of the "Dinosaur Dynasty" series. "When he pens a book we can usually expect a well-written, scientifically sound volume with imaginative illustrations to boot." With many dozens of titles to his credit—plus those on which he has served as a consultant and editor—Dixon focuses on his favorite subject, dinosaurs, in over half of his books.

Born in Dumfries, Scotland, in 1947, Dixon formed an early love of writing. "I suppose I can trace my writing career back to my early school days when I devoted a lot of spare time to drawing and writing comic strips for my own amusement," the author once commented. "The strips were generally on science fiction or futuristic themes, and usually contained some strange-looking animals—obviously a foretaste of [later work]. I also contributed regularly to the school magazine. It was not until after my university education and until I had taken up a career in publishing that I appreciated the mechanics of having work published and began writing seriously." After working as an editor for various English publishing houses for several years, he turned to freelancing in 1980 and has not looked back since. By his second title he knew he was on firm ground in his new career.

A student of paleontology and a participant in geological excavations in England and Iceland, as well as more-recent dinosaur excavations with the Judith River Institute in Montana, Dixon has made a specialty of the study of dinosaurs. One of the most popular subjects in nonfiction books for children, dinosaurs have inspired a cottage industry, yet Dixon's books stand out among the competition, according to critics. Reviewing his Find Out about Dinosaurs and the Prehistoric World, for example, Simon Barrett declared in Books for Your Children that, in a "crowded field," Dixon's work has a good chance "to be the definitive work on the subject." Writing about Dixon's "New Dinosaur Library," which includes The First Dinosaurs, Hunting the Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals, The Jurassic Dinosaurs, and The Last Dinosaurs, a reviewer for Appraisal: Science Books for Young People described the multi-volume work as "a fine little series … that packs a surprising amount of accurate and well organized information into the modest 32-page format of each volume." Michael D. Jury, writing in Science Books and Films, deemed Hunting the Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals a good source for explaining "some of the processes paleontologists use to study, clarify, and reconstruct extinct reptiles."

Another popular title by Dixon is The Search for Dinosaurs. Reviewing that book in Magpies, a contributor noted that the author "approaches the subject by relating the paths to present knowledge" with regard to various dinosaur species. In addition to general information on these creatures, Dixon tells the history of paleontological detective work, which involved not only scientists but also "crooks, opportunists, shysters and thugs," according to the Magpies critic. Other popular dino titles from Dixon include The Illustrated Dinosaur Encyclopaedia, Questions and Answers about Dinosaurs, Dougal Dixon's Dinosaurs, and an information-filled collaboration with John Malam titled Dinosaur, as well as Amazing Dinosaurs: More Feathers, More Claws, Big Horns, Wide Jaws! Reviewing Dougal Dixon's Dinosaurs in Kirkus Reviews, a critic noted that the author presents "solid information for older fans in an appealing oversize volume." Peter D. Sieruta, reviewing the same title in Horn Book, felt that Dixon's overview of dinosaurs "possesses extra credibility" because Dixon himself is an "acknowledged authority in the field." In Appraisal B. Gary Hoyle remarked of an updated edition that Dougal Dixon's Dinosaurs remains "a wonderful introduction to the most popular beasts of the ancient world."

An updated edition of a previous work, Amazing Dinosaurs benefits from what School Library Journal contributor Patricia Manning described as "rigorous updating," new illustrations featuring the latest scientific theories, and the inclusion of several newly discovered dinosaurs. Dixon also breaks out dinosaur species into separate volumes in his "Dinosaur Find" series, which groups prehistoric creatures according to the environments in which they once lived. Reviewing the series in School Library Journal, Steven Englefried concluded that "the habitat theme serves well" as a way to introduce species to younger children, and Booklist contributor Gillian Engberg wrote of series installment Tyrannosaurus and Other Dinosaurs of North America that a "noteworthy feature is the text box … that draws parallels between dinosaur species and animals today."

In his first speculative book, After Man: A Zoology of the Future, Dixon postulates animal forms that might evolve fifty million years from now, after man has exterminated himself by polluting the environment and exhausting Earth's natural resources. Based upon a contemporary understanding of genetic, evolutionary, and geologic concepts, After Man contains "a brilliant idea cautiously and slowly developed via an introductory series of excellent essays on cell genetics, evolution by natural selection, animal behavior, food chains and the origins and history of life on earth," according to Times Literary Supplement reviewer Redmond O'Hanlon. According to Dan Brothwell in his review of After Man for the British Book News, Dixon's earth "is no world of absurd monsters" because "the author has taken careful note of the biological factors that account for the evolution of lifeforms and has moulded his zoology of the future on the biological reality of the past and present." In Time magazine, Peter Stoler called Dixon's futuristic projections "variously amusing or appalling." From super-rabbits to dog-sized rats, the author's future zoo may be bizarre, but according to Stoler it is also "perfectly logical." A contributor for Publishers Weekly wrote that in After Man Dixon "offers a detailed, lucid explanation of the principles of genetics [and] their influence on the evolutionary process."

"My education was almost purely scientific but my interests are primarily artistic," Dixon once commented regarding his first book of speculative fiction. "I entered publishing as a career to combine both inclinations. The speculation about the future processes of evolution, the subject of After Man, began in the 1960s from a chance remark my father made about extinction. My interest was rekindled in 1979 when I saw a ‘save the whale’ badge; I started the book after that. With After Man I intended to put forward and describe salient points of evolution and ecology—but in a totally novel and, I hope, attractive way…. The philosophy behind the book is optimistic—it is all about survival—despite my device of dismissing man in the introductory section. Happily most reviewers realized this, but a number still think that the book is ‘really’ about the extinction of man."

Dixon's other works of speculative zoology include Man after Man, The New Dinosaurs, and The Future Is Wild, the last a companion volume to an Animal Planet television series that posits the next 200 million years on Earth. The concept that fuels The New Dinosaurs is that the dinosaurs did not become extinct over sixty-five million years ago, but instead survived the mass extinction to thrive and evolve. "Dixon's creatures are created by extrapolating from the skeleton of a real dinosaur ancestor," explained William F. Allman in U.S. News and World Report, "and, just as a chicken is unlikely through some genetic mutation to give birth to an eagle, there are no meat-eating giants that arise from tiny herbivores." Allman concluded, "For all its whimsy, this exercise in evolutionary fancying sends a serious message that most researchers studying the real dinosaur era agree with." That message is that dinosaurs were well designed for their habitat, and if there had not been the cataclysm of an asteroid that erased them from the living, they may very well have continued to rule the earth, leaving no room for upstart mammals to gain a foothold. Writing in Smithsonian, Beth Py-Lieberman described The New Dinosaurs as "an alternative history of the world," but one that "is based on the real-life principles of Darwinian evolution." Robyn Cook Schuster, reviewing the book for School Library Journal, dubbed it the "quintessential ‘what if’ book for dinosaur enthusiasts," while Booklist contributor Denise P. Donavin declared that in The New Dinosaurs "Dixon has conceived another fine work of imagination and science."

In addition to his many dinosaur books, Dixon has published an impressive number of books on geology, biology, and general paleontology. His topics range from eco-systems such as deserts, jungles, forests, and mountains, to geological topics, including the Ice Age and hobbyist geology. Critical response has been equally high for these publications. In a School Library Journal review of Deserts and Wastelands, for example, Pamela K. Bombay attested that the book serves as a "vivid, well-executed and accurate introduction to desert landscapes." Yet it is for his wide-ranging and authoritative work on dinosaurs that Dixon continues to be best known, and it is on such titles that the author has concentrated most of his energies.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Appraisal: Science Books for Young People, fall, 1988, review of "New Dinosaur Library" series, pp. 60-61; winter, 1999, B. Gary Hoyle, review of Dougal Dixon's Dinosaurs, p. 18.

Booklist, October 1, 1988, Denise P. Donavin, review of The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution, p. 207; September 15, 1993, Denia Hester, review of Dougal Dixon's Dinosaurs, p. 146; August, 1994, Denia Hester, review of "Dinosaur Dynasty" series, p. 2040; March 15, 2000, Roger Leslie, review of Dougal Dixon's Amazing Dinosaurs, p. 1372; October 15, 2004, Carolos Orellana, review of Stegosaurus and Other Plains Dinosaurs, p. 426; December 1, 2004, Hazel Rochman, review of Dinosaur, p. 665; March 15, 2007, Gillian Engberg, review of Tyrannosaurus and Other Dinosaurs of North America, p. 44.

Books for Your Children, autumn, 1986, Simon Barrett, review of Find out about Dinosaurs and the Prehistoric World, p. 7.

British Book News, February, 1982, Dan Brothwell, review of After Man.

Economist, January 9, 1982, review of After Man, p. 87.

Horn Book, spring, 1994, Peter D. Sieruta, review of Dougal Dixon's Dinosaurs, p. 120.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 1993, review of Dougal Dixon's Dinosaurs, p. 1142.

Kliatt, May, 2003, Paula Rohrlick, review of The Future Is Wild: A Natural History of the Future, p. 40.

Magpies, March, 1996, review of The Search for Dinosaurs, p. 38.

New York Times Book Review, April 4, 1982, Timothy Ferris, review of After Man, p. 17.

Publishers Weekly, September 9, 1981, review of After Man, p. 140; August 26, 1988, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of The New Dinosaurs, p. 72; March 20, 2000, review of Dougal Dixon's Amazing Dinosaurs, p. 95; January 27, 2003, review of The Future Is Wild, p. 253.

School Library Journal, March, 1985, Kathleen Bogan Miksis, review of Forests, p. 162; November, 1985, Pamela K. Bombay, review of Deserts and Wastelands, p. 83; January, 1988, Cathryn A. Camper, review of The Last Dinosaurs, p. 80; August, 1988, Cathryn A. Camper, review of Be a Dinosaur Detective, p. 101; January, 1989, Robyn Cook Schuster, review of The New Dinosaurs, p. 107; October, 1993, Cathryn A. Camper, review of Dougal Dixon's Dinosaurs, p. 143; February, 1996, Cathryn A. Camper, review of The Search for Dinosaurs, pp. 105-106; June, 1998, Cathryn A. Camper, review of Dougal Dixon's Dinosaurs, p. 157; May, 2000, Cathryn A. Camper, review of Dougal Dixon's Amazing Dinosaurs: The Fiercest, the Tallest, the Toughest, the Smallest, p. 161; June, 2003, Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, review of The Future Is Wild, p. 158; January, 2005, Arwen Marshall, review of Big Cat Summer, p. 146; February, 2005, Steven Engelfried, review of Ankylosaurusand Other Mountain Dinosaurs, p. 116; March, 2008, Patricia Manning, review of Amazing Dinosaurs: More Feathers, More Claws, Big Horns, Wide Jaws!, p. 217.

Science Books and Films, September, 1982; January, 1988, Michael D. Jury, review of Hunting the Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals, pp. 173-174; October, 1993, review of Dougal Dixon's Dinosaurs, p. 195; March-April, 2005, JoAnn Coburn, review of "Dinosaur Dig" series, p. 79.

Smithsonian, October, 1988, Beth Py-Lieberman, "Don't Look Now, but the Dinosaurs Are Back—and Thriving," p. 124.

Time, September 28, 1981, Peter Stoler, review of After Man, p. 78.

Times Literary Supplement, September 30, 1983, Redmond O'Hanlon, review of After Man.

U.S. News and World Report, November 21, 1988, William F. Allman, review of The New Dinosaurs, pp. 59-60.

ONLINE

Dougal Dixon Home Page,http://www.dougal-dixon.co.uk (May 30, 2008).

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