Dinosaurs are awesome, which is why we continue to have a huge fascination with them. On average, a new species is discovered every week! Each discovery yields new information about what they looked like, what they ate, and how they lived. Scientists now know that most dinosaurs had feathers, and have even been able to tell what color some species were. But, what we know now is still only the tip of the iceberg, and so much more remains a mystery.
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, by Stephen Brusatte – Stephen Brusatte, a paleontologist with the University of Edinburgh, has discovered 15 dinosaur species. In his book, he discusses the lives of the dinosaurs based on newer scientific knowledge. He starts with the mass extinction at the end of the Permian age, which gave way to the Triassic age, through the mass extinction at the end of the cretaceous age. He talks about the history of paleontology, and the science behind it, giving insight into how scientists are able glean information about dinosaurs from their bones, or other fossilized remains like footprints and nests. Fascinating and easy to understand, this is a great read for any adult who still nurtures a love of dinosaurs.
The Dinosaur Artist, by Paige Williams – In 2012, Eric Prokopi put the skeleton of a T. bataar, a close relative of t-Rex, up for auction, and it sold for over $1 million. Unfortunately, it turned out that Prokopi had smuggled the skeleton into the US from Mongolia, a country where all fossils found are declared as culturally significant, with laws prohibiting their removal to other countries. What followed was legal battle over the rights to the skeleton. Throughout her account of this crazy tale, journalist Paige Williams raises the question of who actually has the right to own fossils. Should they stay with scientists and museums? Or is private ownership all right, too?
The Story of the Dinosaurs in 25 Discoveries, by Donald Prothero – Paleontologist Donald Prothero goes through the history of paleontology and the discovery of dinosaurs by highlighting, you guessed it, 25 important discoveries. Starting with the discovery of the first dinosaur, Megalosaurus, Prothero’s book covers some of the most important discoveries that have increased our knowledge of how dinosaurs looked and lived. He also talks about the incredible – and often eccentric – men and women of paleontology, including Mary Anning, the “mother and paleontology,” and the two major figures in the famous “bone wars,” Edward Drinker Cope, and Othniel Charles Marsh. Complete with several photographs and drawings in each chapter, this one is informative and entertaining at the same time.
For a list with these three books, and more like them to itch that dinosaur scratch, follow the link below.