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The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New…

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World (edition 2018)

by Steve Brusatte (Author)

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4241837,401 (3.88)24
Title:The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World
Authors:Steve Brusatte (Author)
Info:William Morrow (2018), 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:natural history, science

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The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Steve Brusatte


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Originally posted on Word Cauldron.

Engaging and engrossing microhistory on what came before dinosaurs, how dinosaurs came to be, how they came to dominate, how they came to fly, how they went away, and what came after them, combined with little bit of a biography of the author and infused with humor. Conversational in a way that is very reminiscent to me of the Great Courses I have listened to. Vivid descriptions of the animals, their respective environments, and their struggles wrought by cosmic entities, Earth's growing pains, and day-to-day survival in a world nearly unimaginably different from our own, despite being on the same planet. This book delves into so many areas of science and shows that dinosaurs aren't just long-dead animals, they are a study in: history, technology, genealogy, statistics, evolution, anatomy, astronomy, ecology, biology, geology, behavior, environmentalism, and more. This book is intellectual while at the same time relatable, scientific without being eye-glazing, and educational without being patronizing. I enjoyed this immensely and will likely listen to it over and over (the audiobook narrator is excellent!). ( )
  wordcauldron | May 16, 2019 |
Brusatte is an up and coming paleontologist, and also an engaging writer who puts a good story, the rise and fall of dinosaurs, to use explaining what paleontologists do, how they discover such things as the weight and coloration of long extinct animals, and what sorts of people become paleontologists and fossil hunters. The best dinosaur book I have read in decades! ( )
  nmele | May 12, 2019 |
I received a complimentary copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway. Many thanks to all involved in providing me with this opportunity.
  Zoes_Human | May 4, 2019 |
This is fine, but far from the best popular science book I've read recently. When I read a book like this, written by a scientist active in the field, I want to know what the work is like—both the day-to-day chores and the exciting discoveries. Who the people are, and what makes them tick. Unfortunately, this book doesn't say that much about how paleontologists work, and in particular there are very few details about the author's own work. Several times we hear about how he filled in a spreadsheet and ran an algorithm on it. Perhaps Brusatte thinks this work is too boring for most people to care? But I want to know the details! To be fair, Brusatte does try to give capsule portraits of quite a number of other paleontologists. The anecdotes are usually too brief and shallow, and can lack a punch line.

The book does do a decent job surveying the history of dinosaurs, explaining a few of our most recent discoveries as well. I think the book did a good job at consolidating information that I'd been vaguely aware of, but only from scattershot sources. But the information density isn't that high, and perhaps could also have been conveyed in a magazine article. Occasionally, Brusatte falls into the trap of listing species names. Taxonomy is dull.

Overall, I liked the book. It is a very quick read. I just wanted more! ( )
  breic | Apr 4, 2019 |
In The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World, Steve Brusatte draws upon his extensive paleontological work and his friendships with others in the field to trace the earliest history of dinosaurs after the Permian mass extinction, through the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods of dinosaur evolution as well as the evidence for the catastrophic impact that ended the Cretaceous, began the Paleogene, and made it possible for mammals to inherit the Earth. The work alternates between discussions of how dinosaurs, early birds, and other ancient reptiles lived and Brusatte’s own experiences as a paleontologist, which help to explain for the lay-reader just how scientists know what they know in language clear enough for the average person to grasp. His comments about those possessing the melanocortin 1 receptor notwithstanding (pg. 78), the overall effect is a must-read for all who remain fascinated with these massive creatures and their world, so unlike our own. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Feb 23, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steve Brusatteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Marshall, ToddCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mustafa, MumtazCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A sweeping narrative scientific history that tells the epic story of the dinosaurs, examining their origins, their habitats, their extinction, and their living legacy.

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