Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads


#StevesLibrary: The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

Many of you will have a passion that satisfies your inner six year-old, something that captivated you as a child and continues to do so to this day. For me, that passion is dinosaurs. As a child I always wanted to study dinosaurs to assist in becoming a palaeontologist (I even did an A-Level in Geology at college) but as it turns out I prefer chasing the living beings that resemble them. I can’t imagine what it would be like sitting in a hole in the ground digging up a dinosaur, I don’t have the patience for that. Regular readers of the blog will remember that I recently read the Tyrannosaur Chronicles by David Hone. Keeping with that theme, I thought I’d read this promising looking book from another accomplished palaeontologist, Steve Brusatte.

Unlike Hone’s book, Brusatte covers a wider scope of dinosaurs throughout this captivating read from their beginnings until their unfortunate end. There are also a number of photos of fossils and illustrations which help to explain Brusatte’s points, that also act as a visual reference. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is aimed at the general reader but it has something for everyone including those of us that are die-hard dinosaur fanatics. As someone that has discovered and named a number of dinosaur species, Brusatte provides a rare insight into this process and puts his own spin on things.

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is full of groundbreaking research, up-to-date research and draws on cutting-edge discoveries to provide a unique and concise overview of a group of animals that ruled the Earth for 150 million years. It is a shame that they were largely wiped out (excluding the birds) in a cataclysmic and apocalyptic event that closed the doors on this dynasty forever. However it isn’t all doom and gloom, as our own species is one of the many that flourished following the extinction of the no-avian dinosaurs. We are the winners in all of this chaos as it is unlikely that we would have evolved if they were still roaming the planet. Throughout their history, dinosaurs evolved to fill every terrestrial niche possible and grew to some gargantuan sizes. What isn’t to like?

If you’re interested in palaeontology, ecology, natural history or the natural world in general then you’ll love this book. Be sure to check it out and if you do, please let me know how you find it!

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