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

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  3,259 ratings  ·  558 reviews
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-cre ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by William Morrow
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D. Hi, Morgan: not alone, Indeed! Have you heard of the True-story based A Death in Belmont? This thrilling book is by Junger. If you don't get too…moreHi, Morgan: not alone, Indeed! Have you heard of the True-story based A Death in Belmont? This thrilling book is by Junger. If you don't get too squeamish about murder, you may enjoy it.(less)
Terry Enright I think a well read Junior High Schooler could get through. There are many Dinosaur names that are tongue twisters and will slow you down, but the…more I think a well read Junior High Schooler could get through. There are many Dinosaur names that are tongue twisters and will slow you down, but the concepts are well explained and some of the science was from 2017 so it's pretty up to date.(less)

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Will Byrnes
Image from the Smithsonian
Hope A Tyrannosaurus Rex is a thing with feathers.
----- Emily Dickinson Steve Brusatte
Wait, what? You’re kidding, right? Say it ain’t so. Well, there is some disagreement about this among paleontologists, but, according to Steve Brusatte, while they may not have matched up to Marc Bolan in a boa, and the feathers in question were maybe more like porcupine quills than the fluffy sort of plumage one might find on, say, an ostrich, those things poking out of the T. rex
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the parts about dinosaurs. Fun facts, history, evidence and speculation on behavior, recent discoveries, distribution as the continents divided and spread out. It's a compact assessable update on dinosaurs large and small. Oh, just another coelophysis, no this is something new!

I tuned out the sections of the author's personal experience. I wasn't interested. Based on other GR reviews, that's probably for the best.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, science, review-copy
Another ambivalent three stars for a book that has two strands of highly varying success in my opinion.

The good part of the book is the clear and vivid writing about dinosaurs. I particularly liked learning new things about dinosaur-like creatures that lived among them but happen to fall outside the classification, and reasons why dinosaurs could evolve to be absolutely gigantic (those big sauropods) or fly. I liked reading about the nomenclature of new and unusual finds (it's not all Latin anym
For me that word is enough to at least flip through the pages of a book. Brusatte's work can be easily considered as a layman's guide to dinosaurs. Really enjoyed the almost casual and anecdotal narrative by the author, made me feel less dumb for not knowing anything "scientific" about the species. Quite remarkable how fast I finished reading this one, considering that I take lot more time reading non-fics. It was definitely a hard-to-put-down/away kind of a book.
I liked how the autho
Robin Bonne
5/5 for the informational sections about dinosaurs. 1/5 for the autobiographical sections about the author’s academic/research career in which he comes off as a sexist narcissist. Gross.

Overall, read the sections about the dinosaurs and skip the parts about his personal experiences. I listened to the audiobook so I couldn’t skim the awful, masturbatory memoir stuff, which I found unfortunate. Every time he mentions a scientist, he turns it into a self-congratulating name drop. I wish the author
Clif Hostetler
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This book not only provides an overview of the current state of dinosaur research but also a history of paleontology and the characters who have worked in the field. It is a rapidly expanding field.
Right now is the golden age of dinosaur research. Somebody, somewhere around the world, is finding a new species of dinosaur now, on average, once a week. So that’s 50-some new species a year, and that’s not a new bone or a new skeleton, that’s a totally new type of dinosaur that we never knew existe
Michelle Curie
I love dinosaurs. How insane is it to think that millions ago, those creates roamed the same lands we inhabit today? It is an idea that has fascinated me as a kid watching Disney's Dinosaur and (of course) Jurassic Park as much as it does today as an adult, getting excited about books by paleontologists like Steve Brusatte.

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is an absolute joy to read and now possibly my favorite book on the subject. Brusatte specialized in the anatomy and evolution of dinosaurs
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a fun look at the development and world of the dinosaurs. Stephen Brusatte stated the interesting recent finds regarding dinosaurs and speculated, from the evidence, what their world could have been like. The section of what happened when the asteroid hit Earth was frightening. Those poor beasts.
There is some name dropping and a bit of "patting one self on the back" at one's brilliancy but then the top Scientists of all disciplines are brilliant, so perhaps that's an understood fact. No
Jul 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
The actual pop science part of this book is OK - a reasonably readable account of recent developments and discoveries in the sciences bearing of the history of the dinosaurs. If it had been edited to that level, it could have been a solid 3 stars.

Unfortunately, there is a peculiar injection of personalities into this book, and unpleasant personalities at that - imagine a cross of Animal House with Raiders of the Lost Arc. I finished reading this book because of my interest in the science, but I
Melissa Stewart
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s not easy to put scientists’ current understanding of the whole dinosaur world into perspective, but this book accomplishes that feat beautifully. The narrative writing style is so friendly and accessible that readers can sit back and enjoy the ride as Brusatte takes us on a captivating chronological tour of the Mesozoic—the Age of Reptiles—beginning about 250 million years ago and ending 66 million years ago with the famous asteroid (or comet) impact that wiped out all the dinosaurs except ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
I caught the dino bug when I was probably seven years old, and have never stopped being utterly entranced by these amazing creatures. Much of what I learned as a child about the big lizards has since been refuted by new fossils, better analysis, and new research. Stephen Brusatte caught the dino bug when he was young and became a vertebrate paleontologist. His passion comes through loud and clear in this book, as he takes his readers from ancient history to the end of most dinosaurs on this plan ...more
Those darn dinosaurs.

If things had unfolded a little differently back then, who knows what the modern world would be like? It's like wondering what might have happened if the archduke was never shot.

The whole these-were-the-coolest-beings-that-ever-roamed-the-earth moniker has always made me a dino fan. The amazing variations of these huge oddballs have always been intriguing and this book does its best to piece everything together. Which is a very good thing, because there have been so many new
Peter Tillman
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: at-bg-pa, sci-tech
Off to a good start. I prefer to read pop-science books written by scientists, and Brusatte is a young, working vertebrate paleontologist at the Univ. of Edinburgh. Like all of us, he caught the dino bug when he was a kid. Unlike most, he made a career of it, and it's been an interesting one. Dino books are generally written by seniors, so it's fun to see one of the "young guns" take up the pen (or computer). Brusatte is an adequate writer, which is fine, since he's got some great stories to tel ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, non-fiction
As with most people I went through a dinosaur phase as a kid where I could list off a list of Latin and Greek scientific names of extinct reptiles that was around ten times longer than the list of politicians I'd ever heard of. I got to go through the same thing when my kids went through the phase as well and I got all caught up with things like Walking With Dinosaurs and its ilk. Which is all a round-about way of saying that I thought of myself as being fairly well-informed about paleontology, ...more
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
It has been 20 years since my youngest son was 8-years old and obsessed with ‘all things dinosaur’. There have been amazing breakthroughs in our knowledge regarding dinosaurs; and with the advent of grandsons, it was clearly time for me to ‘up my game’!
Brusatte has written a highly readable account of those new advances. He is an enthusiastic fossil hunter that takes the reader around the world from Georgia O’Keefe’s Ghost Ranch “bursting with dinosaur bones”; to Hell Creek, Montana—a Triceratop
Gorab Jain
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gorab by: Jaya
Shelves: 2018, non-fiction
How I wish there was a time machine and I could go back and experience the dinosaurs live in action - off course from a safe spot!
Reading through this book is that time machine.

What I loved:
- The science of deduction and simplistic narration, churning out facts from speculations.
- How the changes in world geography gave way to the evolution of dinosaurs?
- Why and how their bodies triggered and sustained the growth into giants?
- The evolutionary purpose of various body parts.
- The skin color and
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, nonfiction
The rise and fall of the dinosaurs is an incredible story, of a time when giant beasts and other fantastic creatures made the world their own. They walked on the very ground below us, their fossils now entombed in rock – the clues that tell this story. To me, it's one of the greatest narratives in the history of our planet.

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is thoroughly enjoyable pop science: author (and celebrated young paleontologist) Steve Brusatte uses his own learning journey to outline
Even though I love dinosaurs, I don't really read science books...ever. So, I was surprised I liked this book, let alone finished it. It was quite informative, especially for those, like me, who haven't been able to keep up with all of the findings in this subject for the last couple of decades. I think I liked this book because it was part memoir as well as science. The author has a sense of humor, and is only three years older than me, so his pop culture and generation comments were right on p ...more
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Girish by: Srividya
Phew! A pop history on Dinosaurs written by a Paleantologist is enough to trigger your curiosity and awaken the science geek in you. However, you do worry about a Ross Geller level book you will be stuck with for ages. Stephen Brusatte is more Douglas Adams than Ross Geller and he tells a story that is at once engaging and enlightening.

Imagine a huge jigsaw puzzle that has to pieced together. The challenge is that the pieces are found years apart and you have dedicated science heroes who try to
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: august-2018
Kādu vasaras rītu līdz ar saullēktu aiz loga sākās dinozauru dziesmas. Klausījos viņos un domāju, sen nekas nav lasīts par dinozauriem. Tik sen, ka pat nespēju atminēties, vai esmu meteora vai lēnās izmiršanas piekritējs. Nolēmu kļūdu izlabot, iegādājos grāmatu par dinozauriem un sāku lasīt.

Pirms sešdesmit pieciem miljoniem gadu dinozauri pazuda no zemes virsmas. Tas ļāva izvērsties zīdītājiem, un nu cilvēki cenšas salikt kopā dinozauru laiku vēsturi. Grāmatu ir sarakstījis viens no mūsdienu sla
Atila Iamarino
Mais um dos livros modernos de dinossauros que adorei ler. Brusatte reconta sobre o surgimento dos dinos, a diversificação deles e a extinção em seguida. É uma leitura super leve, cheia dos últimos achados sobre comportamento, distribuição e diversidade de dinos. Ele passa pelas formações onde as descobertas foram feitas, quem participou do processo (com pouquíssimos nomes femininos, infelizmente), o que formações revelam e como nosso conhecimento avança de acordo com as descobertas. Com direito ...more
Ula ~thelostlibrary~
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
I loved this book so much! The first thing I ever wanted to be was a Palaeontologist and now I'm studying Geology, so this was a book after my own heart. It's also so so cool that Steve Brusatte did his masters at my university and some of my lectures even make appearances in this book. It is definitely the best book about dinosaurs I can imagine reading for pleasure and not school work, in fact it even clarified some of the subjects I have been taught recently. Not only was it informative but i ...more
Maria Hill AKA MH Books
1/3 personal memoir, 1/3 biographies/history of paleontologists/ paleontology and 1/3 history of the Dinosaurs. Steve Burette makes the past academic in me jealous as he talks about the fieldwork he has done and famous paleontologist he has met since his undergrad, through his Ph.D. and now as a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. Meanwhile, we learn the overall story of the Dinosaurs from Triassic, Jurassic up to their eventual almost (except birds) extinction in the Cretaceous period. I a ...more
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
THE RISE AND FALL OF THE DINOSAURS: A New History of a Lost World. (2018). Steve Brusatte. ****.
The author is a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh, although he was a native-born America from Chicago. He is a practicing scientist in the field, and has had several important discoveries attributed to him. Since the book was published this year, it is probably only about two years out of date on some key pieces of information. It is saved by having the word ‘history’ in the title. The aut
I haven't thought much about dinosaurs since I was in elementary school, so this was an absorbing and engaging look at what we do -- and don't -- know about dinosaurs at this point. So much has happened in the decades since my youth, and getting caught up was more than worthwhile. There are over 50 dinosaur species discovered each year (!!) and more, science agrees that birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs (!!!). I didn't realize that the Burpee, which is just down the road from me, has suc ...more
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I once took a class in college specifically because the syllabus mentioned there was a section on dinosaurs. Then I proceeded to fail at carbon dating everything. I love learning about dinosaurs despite the fact I feel like I still don’t know anything about them.

Brusatte combines his own personal stories, research, and general facts about dinosaurs. I only wanted to read about the last item in this list, finding the research to be arduous or confusing (often consisting of foreign names of dinosa
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
God I love dinosaurs.

This book was so easy to read - I feel like I breezed through it. Probably helps that I know a ton about dinosaurs anyway, but still.

Rise and Fall is a kind-of timeline of the Age of the Dinosaurs, from the pre-Triassic to the extinction. I say kind-of because he skips around quite a lot. It's more of a general overview, with frequent asides to tell anecdotes from his career as a paleontologist. These were interesting and so it wasn't too annoying where anecdotes shoved into
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biology, favorites
48th book for 2018.

My three-year-old daughter loves dinosaurs. So I have gradually trying upgrade my pretty antiquated knowledge by reading a few books. This is by far the best general introduction I have come across, and confirms by belief that working scientists (if they can write) make for far superior authors of popular science books than journalists.

Brusatte offers a fascinating paleo-history of the reign of the dinosaurs, from their beginnings in the Triassic, their rise to dominance in t
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popular-science
Reading about natural history is in some ways similar to reading about astronomy. They both give you perspective and cause you to understand how insignificant we are.
The main element is time (and in the case of astrology time and distance). It is hard for me to imagine a hundred years, I can read and somehow get a grip of events happening a thousand years ago , 10 thousand years ago. Homo Sapiens diverged from Homo Erectus about 200,000 to 300,000 years ago, and that is hard to grasp. In the cas
Amy Wood
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're in the market for an expertly written but approachable guide to all things dinosaurs, this is your book. Author and paleontologist Steve Brusatte has written a scientific narrative that effectively spans the entire career of the dinosaurs on this planet, and he makes this story both understandable and legitimately exciting for all non-paleontologist readers. What's more, he paints a vivid and extremely entertaining picture of the blood, sweat, and tears that have been shed (literally) ...more
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Fate of the Ichthyosaurs 2 14 Oct 05, 2018 12:51PM  
Steve Brusatte is a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh and a specialist on the evolution of dinosaurs. He has traveled the world digging up dinosaurs, named over 15 new species (including the tyrannosaur 'Pinocchio rex'), and published ground-breaking studies on the origin and extinction of dinosaurs. He has a Bachelor's from the University of Chicago, a Master's from the University of ...more
“Dinosaurs had been around for over 150 million years when their time of reckoning came. They had endured hardships, evolved superpowers like fast metabolisms and enormous size, and vanquished their rivals so that they ruled an entire planet…
Then, literally, in a split second, it ended.”
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