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

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  5,675 ratings  ·  985 reviews
"THE ULTIMATE DINOSAUR BIOGRAPHY," hails Scientific American: A thrilling new history of the age of dinosaurs, from one of our finest young scientists.

A New York Times Bestseller • Goodreads Choice Awards WINNER

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Smithsonian, NPR Science Friday, The Times (London), Popular Mechanics, Science News, Library Journal, Booklist, and Chicago Public Librar
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by William Morrow
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  • The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Stephen Brusatte
    The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of Their Lost World
    Release date: Apr 30, 2019
    A New York Times Bestseller • Goodreads Choice Awards WINNER!

    "A masterpiece of science writing." —Washington Post

    "This is scientific storytelling at

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 100 copies available, 24 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Mar 18 - Apr 14, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    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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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    4.20  · 
    Rating details
     ·  5,675 ratings  ·  985 reviews

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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
    Emily May
    Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: nonfiction, 2018
    I love dinosaurs.

    I have an early memory of being at nursery school and always running straight for the plastic dinosaurs at playtime. I was a dinosaur hog. The Land Before Time was one of my favourite movies. I watched Jurassic Park and had a recurring nightmare about a T.Rex trying to attack our house.

    They are so fascinating. Unbelievably huge reptiles that roamed the entire planet. Not only that, but it's so strange that we regard them as something of a failed species. Dinosaurs were around f
    Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    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.
    Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: animals, science
    Jurassic Dinosaur GIF - Jurassic Dinosaur Raptor GIFs

    Unlike many people, I've never been fascinated by dinosaurs. I don't recall learning about them as a child, though perhaps I did and my interest wasn't piqued enough to remember. I think my only exposure to them was via the cartoon The Flintstones. I didn't get much of a science education as a child but as an adult, science (all areas that I've learned about) is one of my favourite subjects and my favourite type of book to read. So it's a bit odd that I didn't feel compelled to read or learn abo
    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
    ✨    jamieson   ✨
    I was a dinosaur obsessed kid. I watched the entire Land Before Time series, many many times, and would rewatch BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs so often that I can still quote large segments of it verbatim despite not having watched it for over a decade.

    I didn't know about this book until it won the Goodreads Choice Award for best non-fiction in 2018, and I knew I had to read it. Even though my obsession with Dinosaurs has faded, I still find the humongous animals that roamed the earth we stand on
    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
    Jan 18, 2019 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
    Fun 🦖 dinosaur 🦕 hunting tales old and new told in a light and airy style. A decent explanation of Pangea and its wild weather, and on the shaky advent of dinosaurs in the early Triassic, none of which I knew before. Then around 220 million years ago, we move into the splitting up of Pangea and the long season of volcanic activity, say, 20,000,000 years, during which many non-dino species were wiped out. This was the big opportunity dinosaurs had been waiting for. What the book provides is the l ...more
    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  ·  review of another edition
    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  ·  review of another edition
    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  ·  review of another edition
    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  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: x2018-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
    Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    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

    “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs” - ідеально заспокійлива книжка для панікерів і тривожних фіалок. Автор думає, що це таке зловісне попередження – ми знаємо про кілька великих вимирань, коли зокрема внаслідок кліматичних змін види, які на той час вважалися панівними, зійшли зі сцени майже вмить, отже, це може статися і з нами також. Особисто мене, навпаки, дуже втішає думка, що за кілька мільйонів років по тому формується нова повноцінна екосистема, пристосована до нових умов, уже із новими г
    Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Zachary F.
    Like many kids, I went through a major dinosaur phase. My bedroom was dinosaur-themed, I memorized a whole slew of lengthy Latinate species names with their corresponding attributes, and I toted around a humongous book of dinosaurs (entitled The Humongous Book of Dinosaurs ) until it was tattered and dog-eared. I'm not so obsessed now, but I still get excited when I imagine the fantastical menagerie of creatures that used to populate our planet, and I think it's kind of weird and sad that such ...more
    Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    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
    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  ·  review of another edition
    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  ·  review of another edition
    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
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    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.”
    “Jurassic Park’s villainous Velociraptor.” 0 likes
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