Title: The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World
Author: Steve Brusatte
Narrator: Patrick Lawlor
Length: 10 hours and 7 mins
This was a fascinating and very comprehensive look at the history of dinosaurs. Brusatte starts from the Early Triassic period, roughly 250 million years ago, all the way to the Cretaceous period, 66 million years ago, when a giant meteor struck the earth.
Like any child of the 90s, I grew up watching Jurassic Park and learning about dinosaurs. Not that a lot of what I learned was accurate or very in depth, but I still remember being excited to get books about them. Well this book brought back all those feelings, even if the information dump was a bit overwhelming at times.
So what did I learn from this book that amazed me and I feel the need to share. There was a line of dinosaurs called pseudosuchian, which are a crocodile-line of dinosaurs, and that they were pretty successful during the Triassic period. Did you know that bones have growth rings like trees do? And that they have used them to figure out the ages of dinosaurs like the T-rex. There is so much more I could add but I won’t, just know that this is very informative and eye opening.
Another topic that is discussed frequently in this book is Pangea and how the movement of the continents influenced the evolution of dinosaurs. This was fascinating because this wasn’t a topic that was really covered very well in school. I mostly learned about plate tectonics and how the continents broke apart, not how it affected evolution.
Interwoven in this history are Steve’s antidotes about dig sites, fellow paleontologists, and the variety of experiments that have been done to uncover more about dinosaurs. This was a wonderful addition to the history because it broke up the info dumps and kept the information from being too dense. I also loved learning about all the different people who work together to uncover this history, especially since some of them weren’t even paleontologists but still uncovered fascinating things about dinosaurs.
Overall, this was a comprehensive and informative book. I really learned a lot and will definitely reread this again in the future, just so more of the information sticks, because it is a lot. If you like dinosaurs, I highly suggest picking up this book.
Trigger Warnings: graphic descriptions of potential death scenes of dinosaurs, murder-suicide