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Prehistoria from Grolier Publishing is a multimedia encyclopedia about prehistoric creatures living in this intriguing period millions of years ago. More than just a catalog of dinosaurs, reptiles, fishes and other creatures, Prehistoria also provides the user with information about how the Earth looked at that time, how exctinctions occured, fossils, etc... with texts, images, animations and live video.
The program is divided into six distinct parts. The gallery will invite you to look at the prehistoric creatures. It first allows you to pick a specific family from a choice of seven (Fishes, Amphibians, Reptiles, Ruling Reptiles, Birds, Mammal-like reptiles and Mammals). In each family, there are subspecies which are possibly divided again in more restricted subdivisions. When you finally reach a specific creature, you will discover a splendid colored image that can be saved in PCX or BMP graphic formats, or even printed. A small window comes along with the picture indicating the time the creature was living, where the fossils have been found and what was its approximate size. Other details concerning the creature's life, the fossils, etc... are provided in an article next to the image.
The Time Tracker is a tool that will retrieve creatures from one or several of the seven families mentionned above for a specific period between the Cambrian and the Quaternary. When you choose one era, the program displays a geological map of Earth as it was during this time. When you click successively from the oldest era to the newest, you will see how continents moved throughout the ages.
The Search features will allow you to find articles or images related to a specific word using AND or OR conditions. The Creature Show is like a slide show with the possibility of changing speed, but it is basically the same thing as the Gallery. The Classifications is a zoological index with classes, sub-classes and orders where creatures can be displayed once selected from the index.
Finally, the Grolier Museum regroups articles, images and video footages about several subjects named Fossil Lab, Extinction, Prehistoric Earth, Baby dinosaurs, Not a dinosaur, Questions and controversies and The lives of dinosaurs. There is even a Where to go next? choice that provides you with some bibliography and the names of museums throughout the planet where you can see fossils of dinosaurs and other past creatures. The Grolier Museum offers dozens of live video footage with animations, interviews and articles to help you to understand, for example, what are the hypothesis of the dinosaurs's extinction.
Prehistoria has the same overall quality as the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia we reviewed in the issue 3. The information is clear and concise with plenty of images and animations. There are over 500 creatures included in Prehistoria with rich details and beautiful illustrations. It is a must buy for anyone who is interested by dinosaurs and the prehistoric times.
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