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

(The Rise and Fall)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  25,576 ratings  ·  3,318 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 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

Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by William Morrow
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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 co…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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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
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 t
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, 2018, 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
Jun 18, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dinosaurs are awesome. That’s a fact.

Mind-boggling colossal creatures that ruled the prehistoric planet for so much longer than our own meager blip on the planetary timescale. The creatures who probably still would be thriving if not for that unfortunately aimed giant space rock 65-ish million years ago. They are majestic, fascinating, and we are finally coming closer to understanding and appreciating their nature as the magnificent creatures they were.
“Hadrosaurs and ceratopsians eating flo
Nov 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“With each new discovery we make, each new study, we learn a little more about dinosaurs and their evolutionary story. That is the tale I am going to tell in this book – the epic account of where dinosaurs came from, how they rose to dominance, how some of them became colossal and others developed feathers and wings and turned into birds, and then how the rest of them disappeared, ultimately paving the way for the modern world, and for us. In doing so, I want to convey how we’ve pieced together ...more
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.
Now that I am an expert on dinosaurs......

lol, not even close to being an expert but I did learn a lot from this book. For instance, new species of dinosaurs are still being discovered, they weren't always big, and about the big "bang/meteor" which ended their reign on earth.

My interest in dinosaurs occurred the same way that most people's interest was piqued. Through museum visits and television. Land of the Lost anyone? My sister and I loved watching it on Saturday mornings - we were especiall
¸¸.•*¨*•♫ Mrs. Buttercup •*¨*•♫♪
If, like me, you were a kid during the Jurassic Park era, you know that the new generations have an interest in dinosaurs which is ten hundred times less than we had in the 1990s. At the time, dinosaurs were everywhere: on TV, on our first computers, in video games, even in cereal boxes. Sometimes I can't help but being flabbergasted by the notion that today's kindergartners don't know what a dyplodocus is, or exactly how tall and heavy a brontosaurus was.

Of course, my notions about dinosaurs
Jenna is buying a house and mostly too busy for GR ❤ ❀  ❤
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
I had a conversation about dinosaurs this morning. Well, in fact, I had three. One of them started with this awesome meme that my equally awesome friend Renée shared yesterday:


"So intelligence doesn't guarantee survival."

"Well, judging by its short arms, it seems to be a Thesaurus Rex. They are basically turkeys now, right? So one could say they survived. In a way. At least their cousins did. The real Thesaurus Rex didn't get anywhere with its highbrow palaver either."

"Well, they all didn't beli
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
Steve Brusatte takes the reader deep inside his extensive research as a palaeontologist to explore the world during the time of the dinosaurs. Offering thrilling facts and great anecdotes, this is one piece sure to be talked about for years. Choosing to discuss a topic that has likely enthralled most readers at some time or another, Brusatte seeks to help the reader better understand the world at the time of dinosaurs, including how Earth changed to facilitate dinosaur emergence, the various eco ...more
✨    jami   ✨
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
I’m late to the party with this book, and wasn’t planning to read it until I saw that the author has a new book coming out soon, on prehistoric mammals. That interested me as it’s not a subject I know much about. On the basis of “In for a penny, in for a pound”, I decided to try this out.

The book starts with description of the end-Permian extinction, regarded as the most severe of all the mass extinctions. I’ve read about this before but would say that the explanation in the book is one of the c
BAM the enigma
So I’m listening to this book this time just so I can hear how all of these dinosaurs 🦖 are pronounced. It’s easy to just guess, but I have a feeling I’m off, especially on the ones found in Asia. Or anything with an X in it. I’m also wondering if the bird 🦅 connection will still be my favorite part...

This book made me wish I was still a teacher. I could have built an entire unit around the information found in these chapters for all age groups. It can be simplified or really diversified for all
Sep 15, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, non-fiction
So much enthusiasm for the field is apparent in this book. Dinosaurs and their lives come to life, with the latest insights from science branching out in ever more remote places and fossil finds
Birds are dinosaurs

Love to return to one of my favorite topic of my childhood!
Dinosaurs are an incredible topic and Steve Brusatte clearly loves them and brings a lot of passion to the table, while reminiscing on growing up with Jurassic Park as a cultural milestone from his youth.

Every year 50 new speci
Jan 18, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Fun 🦖 dinosaur 🦕 hunting tales old and new told in a light and airy style. A decent explanation of the shaky advent of dinosaurs in the early Triassic, which I didn’t know. 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 long chronology of dinosaurs and their appear ...more
Tina Haigler
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"A FEW HOURS BEFORE LIGHT broke on a cold November morning in 2014, I got out of a taxi and pushed my way into Beijing's central railway station."

I had no idea how little I actually knew about dinosaurs, until I read this. I was obsessed as a kid. I would read anything and everything dinosaur related I could get my hands on. As an adult though, I've been seriously slacking, which became all too apparent when I picked up this book.

This book covers from the period of Earth's history, before the fi
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to William Morrow for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

I never liked dinosaurs. There I said it. As a young boy, I hated anything that could be associated with "boys", "men" or "masculinity". Not in a sexist way. I just had undiagnosed gender dysphoria. But that's not what I am here to talk about today.

Even though I don't have much interest in dinosaurs, I still enjoyed this book. Mind you, that isn't because I understood a single word of what he was saying but becau
Roy Lotz
Like so many people, I went through a dinosaur phase as a child. It was almost inevitable. Growing up on the Upper West Side, I could visit the Museum of Natural History nearly every week. Natural selection has overcome many engineering problems—flight, sight, growth, digestion—and it has certainly not failed in its ability to awe little boys. I picked up this book to finally learn something about these ancient beasts.

Any fair evaluation of this book must conclude that it does its job: it summar
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
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
Jo (The Book Geek)
I love learning about dinosaurs. They fascinated me when I was in attendance at school, and as an adult, I find them even more so. What definitely doesn't fascinate me, is Steve Brusatte's writing, and the terribly irritating way he injects his own personal life story into this. Granted, he certainly knows his stuff, but I wanted to know specifically about dinosaurs, not what Steve Brusatte ate for breakfast approximately seven years ago.

I'm not ashamed to admit, that as a child, Jurassic Park w
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall: A brilliant combination of paleontology, research, and evolution detailing the rise and fall of the dinosaurs told by a dinosaur expert. Enthusiastic, fact-filled, and wonderfully written, anyone will learn and be captivated by this book 7.5/10

Summary: Dr. Brusatte is an American paleontologist that now is a professor and consultant in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh and one of the most world-renowned dinosaur experts. 66 million years ago, the dinosaurs were wiped from the face
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
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dinosaur, grrrrrrr says George Pig (brother of Peppa Pig).

George loves Mr Dinosaur, and in a simplistic way this character from a kids cartoon mirrors children's and our wider interest and fascination with these creatures. As Stephen Brusatte says in this very informative and enjoyable study, most school-age children across the world can recognise a T-Rex or a Stegosaurus; many more can name and recognise many others too.

Dr Brusatte's book covers those two "big names" in the study of dinosaurs
Lizzie Stewart
An absolutely fascinating story of dinosaur life beginning at the end of the Permian and carrying through to modern day. This book was a pleasure to read and introduces a range of fantastic creatures, including dinosaurs so large their vertebrae were the size of bathtubs. It was incredible to immerse myself in a world of such size and breadth and to reflect on the resilience of the earth as it moves from the Permian to the present.
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
Fred Shaw
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fascinating and enlightening book. Well written, easy to read, and well, the characters are huge stars of the show.

To me everyday is real important. What I eat, what I wear gets top priority. But let’s face it. In the scheme of time we are but a blip. I am in awe of the history the author tells.

To put things in perspective, dinosaurs appeared and ruled the earth for over 250 mission years and their reign ended abruptly about 60 million years ago. Man walked erect 6 million years ago and
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
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Author writes under the penname Steve Brusatte as well.

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 Un

Other books in the series

The Rise and Fall (3 books)
  • The Age of Dinosaurs: The Rise and Fall of the World’s Most Remarkable Animals
  • The Rise and Reign of the Mammals: A New History, from the Shadow of the Dinosaurs to Us

Articles featuring this book

If we need a paperweight, we're grabbing a hardcover. Otherwise, we're big fans of paperbacks. They're the lighter, less expensive option—the...
55 likes · 19 comments
“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.”
“Bats look and behave a whole lot differently than mice or foxes or elephants, but nobody would argue that they're not mammals. No, bats are just a weird type of mammal that evolved wings and developed the ability to fly. Birds are just a weird group of dinosaurs that did the same thing.” 3 likes
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