The rise and fall of the dinosaurs A new history of a lost world

Stephen Brusatte

Book - 2018

A sweeping narrative scientific history that tells the epic story of the dinosaurs, examining their origins, their habitats, their extinction, and their living legacy. Print run 75,000.

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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : William Morrow [2018]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
404 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9780062490421
0062490427
Main Author
Stephen Brusatte (author)
  • Prologue : the golden age of discovery
  • The dawn of the dinosaurs
  • Dinosaurs rise up
  • Dinosaurs become dominant
  • Dinosaurs and drifting continents
  • The tyrant dinosaurs
  • The king of the dinosaurs
  • Dinosaurs at the top of their game
  • Dinosaurs take flight
  • Dinosaurs die out
  • Epilogue : after the dinosaurs.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Every week, a new species of dinosaur is being discovered somewhere in the world. Every week. We are in a new golden age of dinosaur science, and Brusatte, author of a textbook, Dinosaur Paleobiology (2012), and resident expert for the BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs, provides an insider's view of the history of both dinosaurs and dinosaur science. With both dino-geek glee and science-writer exactitude, Brusatte travels the world as he tells the story of the rise of dinosaurs, from their origin in the Triassic to their eventual near extinction at the end of the Cretaceous. We follow researchers as they study dinosaur tracks, use computer models to determine body sizes and weights, trace the growth of T. rex by measuring skulls, map dinosaur genealogies as the continents drift, and see the evidence that the strike of a giant comet or asteroid spelled the end of their reign. A fascinating chapter points out that dinosaurs are not extinct, as one lineage did survive the chaos at the end of the Cretaceous: we call them birds. Superbly illustrated with photos and art, this is popular-science writing at its best. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Moving from small, darting creatures to the various swan-necked, armored, and teethy biggies we recognize best, University of Edinburgh paleontologist Brusatte offers a thoroughgoing account of dinosaurs from their origins and evolution to their habits and habitats to their fiery demise and lock on our imagination. With a 75,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

To any dinosaur enthusiast, paleontologist Brusatte (geosciences, Univ. of Edinburgh, Scotland; Dinosaurs) has a dream job: he travels all over the world to dig for and study dinosaur fossils, serves as resident paleontologist for the BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs miniseries and writes popular books on the subject. Here he traces how meek, little protodinosaurs evolved into the supercarnivores and colossal plant-eaters of the Mesozoic world, all the while adapting to drifting continents, shifting sea levels, and fluctuating climate. He then fills in the big evolutionary picture with details that bring the dinosaur species to life—what they looked like, how they lived, breathed, grew, and moved—and concludes with an explanation of why he unhesitatingly believes that dinosaurs went out at the top of their game, victims of a catastrophic asteroid. As Brusatte tells the dinosaurs' story, he also tells his own: how he turned a boyhood obsession with dinosaurs into an exhilarating scientific career. VERDICT While dinosaur books may not be a hard sell, one by a top paleontologist and lively writer should not be missed. Highly recommended for the dinosaur obsessed and anyone even mildly curious about the evolutionary importance of these iconic creatures.—Cynthia Lee Knight, Hunterdon Cty. Historical Soc., Flemington, NJ Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

As Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh, ably demonstrates, dinosaurs are not just for kids. His captivating text explores the excitement associated with searching for and discovering new dinosaur species, provides clues to many long-standing questions associated with dinosaurs, and furthers the understanding of ecological and evolutionary principles. This volume is a mix of memoir, chronicling Brusatte's personal odyssey from a child smitten by dinosaurs to a member of a vibrant scholarly community, and first-rate science writing for the general public. Brusatte does a superb job of relating current research, both his own and that of many colleagues around the globe. His explanations of how sauropods became so large, the reasons for the dominance of Tyrannosaurus rex, the evolution of flying ability in some dinosaurs, and the factors leading to the demise of most of these creatures are carefully crafted and presented. Brusatte is not shy about saying what is not yet known, while making it clear that this is a truly exciting period, in which new fossils are being uncovered at a dizzying pace. B&w illus. (Apr.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The "resident paleontologist" for BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs presents a narrative scientific history of the dinosaur eras that examines their origins, habitats, extinction and living legacy, chronicling nearly 200 million years of their evolution from small shadow dwellers through the emergences of prehistoric ancestors that became more than 10,000 modern bird species. 75,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A narrative scientific history of the dinosaur eras examines their origins, habitats, extinction, and living legacy, chronicling their evolution from small shadow dwellers through the emergence of prehistoric ancestors that became more than ten thousand modern bird species.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"THE ULTIMATE DINOSAUR BIOGRAPHY," hails Scientific American: A thrilling new history of the age of dinosaurs, from one of our finest young scientists. "A masterpiece of science writing." —Washington PostA New York Times Bestseller • Goodreads Choice Awards Winner • A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Smithsonian, Science Friday, The Times (London), Popular Mechanics, Science News"This is scientific storytelling at its most visceral, striding with the beasts through their Triassic dawn, Jurassic dominance, and abrupt demise in the Cretaceous." —NatureThe dinosaurs. Sixty-six million years ago, the Earth’s most fearsome creatures vanished. Today they remain one of our planet’s great mysteries. Now The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs reveals their extraordinary, 200-million-year-long story as never before.In this captivating narrative (enlivened with more than seventy original illustrations and photographs), Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field—naming fifteen new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies and fieldwork—masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy. Captivating and revelatory, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a book for the ages.Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.”Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China.An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come.Includes 75 images, world maps of the prehistoric earth, and a dinosaur family tree.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

"THE ULTIMATE DINOSAUR BIOGRAPHY," hails Scientific American: A thrilling new history of the age of dinosaurs, from one of our finest young scientists. "A masterpiece of science writing." 'Washington PostA New York Times Bestseller ' Goodreads Choice Awards Winner ' A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Smithsonian, Science Friday, The Times (London), Popular Mechanics, Science News"This is scientific storytelling at its most visceral, striding with the beasts through their Triassic dawn, Jurassic dominance, and abrupt demise in the Cretaceous." 'NatureThe dinosaurs. Sixty-six million years ago, the Earth's most fearsome creatures vanished. Today they remain one of our planet's great mysteries. Now The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs reveals their extraordinary, 200-million-year-long story as never before.In this captivating narrative (enlivened with more than seventy original illustrations and photographs), Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field'naming fifteen new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies and fieldwork'masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy. Captivating and revelatory, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a book for the ages.Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers'themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period'into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs' peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth's history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a 'sixth extinction."Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research'which he calls 'a new golden age of discovery''and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China.An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs' epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come.Includes 75 images, world maps of the prehistoric earth, and a dinosaur family tree.