As its title suggests, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is the story of the 186-million-year reign of the dinosaurs on earth, from their origins following the Permian-Triassic extinction to the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs at the Cretaceous–Tertiary boundary 66 million years ago. Author Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh, weaves the dinosaurs' story together with the story of his own journey from dinosaur-obsessed teen to prominent paleontologist. Along the way we meet many very colorful characters who have contributed to our understanding of the dinosaurs' story, some of them historical figures and others contemporary colleagues of Brusatte who have made significant discoveries.

Brusatte is a gifted storyteller and explainer of complex ideas, making this book a very enjoyable read. He presents paleontology as a vibrant field of inquiry, with new dinosaur species being discovered at a rate of about 50 per year. There are...

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