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The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs - Steve Brusatte

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

By Steve Brusatte

  • Release Date: 2018-04-24
  • Genre: Science & Nature
Score: 4.5
From 168 Ratings


"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 Post

A 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." —Nature

The 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.


  • Egotistical Trip Through Time

    By FreethinkerX
    The author spends just as much time slapping himself on the back and cooing over his fellow paleontologists as fulfilling the promise of the title. Editing out the self-love could have cut the text by 1/3 and been more interesting.
  • Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

    By Kathieburd
    Awesome, thought provoking and endless information I had never learned about! Worth the read!!
  • Beginning lags

    By eglyftian
    The writing in this book is acceptable. Much of the beginning is in first person, and heavy biases of this author are sprinkled throughout the book. Some of the writing is I skimmed through a lot of was bone discovery writing which was often dull, finding that I just wanted him to skip the fluff and just keep the good stuff. There is a good part where he talks about finding sauropod tracks in Europe. He argues that previously dinosaurs were seen as stupid, stating they weren’t actually so primitive, yet says later that many ornithischians were incredibly dumb animals, unlike the super King T. Rex. That said, this book shines in it’s gripping detail of certain descriptions and the author’s extensive knowledge in dinosaurs. I can say I learned a lot of names of dinosaurs I never saw before. Overall, one of the better dinosaur books and worth getting if you like learning about dinosaurs.
  • Triple A book

    By Raffi tintin
    Excellent book, easy reading for a French speaking person. Makes you love more the ferocious beast and understand the timelines of history. Did not want to drop the book.
  • This book about dinosaurs seems well thought out

    By Guppy Guy Matt
    This book about dinosaurs seems well thought out and detailed, with just the right amount of technical jargon but still allows the reader to get immersed in the history of dinosaurs (and their cousins, etc). Please enjoy as I have, and I also will enjoy finishing this informative guide to the earth’s past...