Book Review: The Dinosaurs Rediscovered
10 October 2019
Related event: The Dinosaurs Rediscovered
Twenty-first century dinosaurs: a whole new world of understanding
Picture this: a ginger feathered dinosaur with a striped orange and white tail perched in a tree like the Cheshire Cat of his time – or dashing across the landscape like Road Runner dressed in modish cowboy-trousers of black, white and red. Could this be an early bird of paradise? An how might a T-Rex compare to a six-tonne chicken?
Whatever you think you know about dinosaurs from your childhood, it’s time to update! Dinosaurs have changed a lot in the last ten years – or our understanding of them at least – and world expert Benton crams fifty years of smart thinking applied to old speculation between the covers, tracking dinosaur science’s move from natural history to testable scientific discipline. Both new fossils and new technologies offering computational models in macroevolution and inferences from an evolutionary tree across geological timescales have added to the data-rich detail available to paleobiologists. From teeth to terrain, engineering and electromicroscopy have enhanced our understanding of dinosaurs for the twenty-first century.
This overview of the rocky road to our current understanding of these giant lizards (and other animals) pulls together research and commentary from scientists around the globe with differing specialisms to offer a modern identity parade drawn from both lush and arid environments of the earth over 200 million years when dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes roamed the earth. It’s well illustrated with black-and-white dinosaurs and their key points every few pages, and a couple of sets of coloured plates and ersuasively pieced together by a world expert in paleontology. Presented with precision, this book both details the past with the occasional light-hearted anecdote, and looks ahead to future research with a spirit of open-mindedness.
Esther Lafferty, Communications Officer, IF Oxford
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