“Dinosaurs How they lived and evolved” Book Review

By | July 6th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

A Review of “Dinosaurs How they lived and evolved”

Time to sink our teeth into “Dinosaurs – how they lived and evolved”, the second edition of this comprehensive account of the Dinosauria written by Darren Naish and Paul  M. Barrett.  This book was first published four years ago but this is a much revised edition with a soft cover.  Conveniently split into six broad chapters, it is aimed at the general reader as well as the dedicated dinosaur enthusiast and student of the Earth Sciences.  The authors possess a rare gift, sadly often lacking in other science communicators, that is, the ability to convey complex ideas and information in an entertaining and coherent manner.

The text is supported by a small glossary, a section directing the reader to further sources of information and a comprehensive index.  In addition, the carefully selected illustrations, diagrams, stunning photographs and artwork help to acquaint the reader with new ideas and developments in vertebrate palaeontology.

The Front Cover of “Dinosaurs How They Lived and Evolved”

The front cover of the dinosaur book.

The front cover of the revised and updated second edition of “Dinosaurs How they lived and evolved” by Darren Naish and Paul. M. Barrett.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

What’s New in this Edition?

Originally published in 2016, this second edition is described by the publishers as a “fully revised and updated version”, suffice to say this expression probably undersells this new edition somewhat.  Such is the nature of palaeontology that our knowledge of the Dinosauria is constantly changing, new ideas are being put forward and long established mindsets challenged.  This publication updates the general reader and incorporates some substantial changes.  There’s much more to this book than just a new cover!  Although we have to congratulate the authors for selecting renowned palaeoartist Bob Nicholls and his interpretation of the Chinese heterodontosaurid Tianyulong, it is an inspired choice (see above).  This stunning artwork dramatically sums up how what we know about dinosaurs has changed and the way in which these “fearfully great lizards” are depicted.

In the second edition a number of images have been changed and several of the simplified cladograms have been revised to incorporate new research.

For example, in Chapter 2 “The Dinosaur Family Tree” this chapter has been rewritten and includes the controversial reassessment of the Dinosauria by Baron et al that was published in 2017.

To read more about the scientific paper: Root and Branch Reform of the Dinosaur Family Tree.

Many new taxa are included with illustrations and the sections covering the origin of birds and their relationships within the Maniraptora have been revised and updated.

Simple, Easy to Understand Diagrams

Ornithopoda cladogram.

Simplified cladograms provide information and many have been updated to reflect new research.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Beautiful Photographs of Famous Museum Exhibits

Throughout this beautifully illustrated publication there are lots of full colour photographs of famous dinosaur fossils and museum exhibits to enjoy.  Credit to the authors for concluding this excellent book with a final chapter that not only details the mass extinction event that marks the end of the Mesozoic but looks at how the Aves faired during this period of dramatic turmoil and their continuance of the theropod line into modern times.

The Book Features Detailed Images of Iconic Dinosaur Fossils and Museum Exhibits

Coelophysis dinosaur fossil.

The book contains beautiful photographs of some of the most iconic dinosaur fossils.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This dinosaur book is highly recommended.