Steve's Herpetological Blog

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

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#StevesLibrary: The Tyrannosaur Chronicles

Who would have guessed it? Tyrannosaurus rex is my favourite dinosaur. Yes I know how cliché that sounds but I am a big kid in a tall man’s body don’t forget. It was T. rex that made me fall in love with dinosaurs from a young age. Now being born in the same year as Jurassic Park came out means that I didn’t see it until I was 6 or 7 (maybe earlier but I can’t remember), but when I did it secured my love for the tyrant lizard king. Therefore it was a pleasure to read The Tyrannosaur Chronicles by the talented David Hone, to learn more about my favourite group of dinosaurs.

It is very rare that I find a book that I can’t simply put down but The Tyrannosaur Chronicles is one of those books. I read the first 100 pages in the first evening of reading it and woke up early a couple of days just to squeeze more (and I’m not a morning person). David Hone has done the impossible by squeezing 100 million years into a highly enjoyable and accessible book. If you love dinosaurs, the natural world or evolution then this is a book you need to check out. Before reading the book, I was very familiar with the later tyrannosaurs from North America but now I’m aware of the 30 or so species from across the world. As Hone points out, we’re still learning so much about these animals that more species may join them very soon.

Hone provides a concise and modern overview of the Tyrannosaurs, blowing the dust off of their bones and examining them in the light of 21st Century science. There is still a lot we don’t know about them or may ever know but Hone uses every piece of evidence available to deliver a very balanced book on the Tyrannosaurs. Whilst it does contain a number of pictures and diagram, this is no kids book as you’ll need an understanding of palaeontology, evolution and phylogeny to fully appreciate it. However as popular science books go in terms of dinosaurs, it’s a tantalising read and I hope there’s a sequel lined up!

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