Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Taking Wing: Archaeopteryx and the Evolution of Bird Flight” as Want to Read:
Taking Wing: Archaeopteryx and the Evolution of Bird Flight
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Taking Wing: Archaeopteryx and the Evolution of Bird Flight

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  62 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In 1861, just a few years after the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, a scientist named Hermann von Meyer made an amazing discovery. Hidden in the Bavarian region of Germany was a fossil skeleton so exquisitely preserved that its wings and feathers were as obvious as its reptilian jaws and tail. This transitional creature offered tangible proof of D ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 15th 1999 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1998)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Taking Wing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Taking Wing

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 145)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Steve Van Slyke
Sep 06, 2013 Steve Van Slyke rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any devoted science reader
Shelves: science, evolution
Is Archaeopteryx a bird, or is it not? Could it fly or glide or neither? Was it descended from the dinosaur line, the crocodilian line or some other line? Did feathers initially evolve for flight or some other purpose? Did flight evolve from the trees down or the ground up? There have been a blizzard of scientific papers on these and related topics since the first fossil specimen was identified just two years after Darwin published On the Origin of Species.

One of the things that makes this book
Bob Stocker
May 04, 2011 Bob Stocker rated it it was ok
The first Archaeopteryx specimen, a fossilized feather, was found in 1860. Since then, seven fossilized skeletons have been discovered including one that had been collected in 1855 and was misidentified as a dinosaur until 1970. Taking Wing: Archaeopteryx and the Evolution of Bird Flight by Pat Shipman explores theories about what Archaeopteryx was like, how it evolved from other animals, and how its descendents evolved into modern birds.

Some of the questions considered are fascinating. How do b
Elizabeth Wilson
Apr 12, 2016 Elizabeth Wilson rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that makes you want to learn even more about not just birds, but how the evolution of our bodies work. Why do mammals have shoulder bones, but birds have a wishbone? What is the importance of bird muscles to breathing? Shipman even looks at the competing theories of ground-up versus tree-down methods of developing flight. Definitely a Good Read!
Apr 25, 2014 Claire rated it really liked it
Great way to read about the evolution of dinosaurs to birds. Shipman conveys this science in an easy to understand manner. Anyone can read!
Apr 08, 2011 Cmb rated it liked it
I just finished reading this book. It is a rather wordy and long-winded treatment of the analysis of archaeopteryx fossils and the theories about how bird flight originated. There is a lot of discussion about the different viewpoints about how avian flight originated which I found less interesting and quite a lot of discussion of science studies that corroborate the different views. These I much enjoyed. Overall, for me, the book is a slow read but loaded with science that I was not aware of
Apr 29, 2012 Russell rated it really liked it
Lots of great archaeopteryx information but some of his theories are a little off.
Didn't finish, donated to charity during a house move.
R East
R East rated it it was amazing
Jul 25, 2016
Gabi rated it it was amazing
Jul 22, 2016
Alia marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2016
Michael marked it as to-read
Jul 01, 2016
Averly marked it as to-read
Jun 10, 2016
Jennifer marked it as to-read
May 23, 2016
Helen rated it liked it
Apr 08, 2016
Kerryn marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2016
/-Vince-\ marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2016
Jason Bright
Jason Bright rated it it was amazing
Jan 30, 2016
Simon marked it as to-read
Jan 14, 2016
Whitney Tarver
Whitney Tarver marked it as to-read
Jan 12, 2016
Jessica rated it liked it
Mar 09, 2016
Sammy Hugh
Sammy Hugh rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2015
Kate Joyre
Kate Joyre is currently reading it
Sep 25, 2015
Mike Stack
Mike Stack rated it it was ok
Aug 06, 2015
Josue Moreno Vázquez
Josue Moreno Vázquez marked it as to-read
Aug 05, 2015
Cor Heijboer
Cor Heijboer marked it as to-read
Jul 05, 2015
Christie marked it as to-read
May 28, 2015
Ben marked it as to-read
May 25, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Pat Shipman is a professor of anthropology at Penn State University. Coauthor of the award-winning The Ape in the Tree, she writes for American Scientist and lives in Moncure, North Carolina.
More about Pat Shipman...

Share This Book