“Dinopedia” by Darren Naish

By | September 30th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Renowned dinosaur expert Darren Naish has produced a pocket guide to all things dinosaur. Entitled “Dinopedia” it’s a reader-friendly compendium packed full of facts about the Dinosauria. It is a handy A-Z updating dinosaur fans and those with a general interest in natural history on the fascinating and ever-changing world of dinosaur research.

The book has the feel of a real labour of love, the author sharing his passion for palaeontology with the general reader. Even the horned dinosaur on the front cover seems to be smiling.

Dinopedia front cover illustration
The front cover of Dinopedia features a horned dinosaur.

Princeton University Press

Published by Princeton University Press (UK release scheduled for October 5th, American release scheduled for November 30th, 2021), this is another in a long line of publications from this publisher with close links to the academic world. Darren himself is the author of many books, several on the bookshelves of Everything Dinosaur, but “Dinopedia” is a little different.

The hand-drawn illustrations give this compendium a very personal feel, as does the binding which is a figured cloth design, the binding decorated with embossed images and text. It takes the reader back to a simpler time, before the internet and cyberspace when textbooks were the only source of reference.

Subtitled “A Brief Compendium of Dinosaur Lore”, Darren gently guides the reader through the diverse and eclectic world of the Dinosauria. He outlines the different types of dinosaur focusing on the family or subfamily level of taxonomy with only a few specific genera such as Archaeopteryx and Deinonychus having specific entries. After all, these two theropods play an important role in helping to understand how our perceptions about dinosaurs have altered and this is a key theme of this book, the author providing an insight into how our understanding of dinosaur evolution has changed in recent times.

Drawing of a heterodontosaurid dinosaur
One of the illustrations by Darren Naish for his compendium of dinosaur-themed facts and figures “Dinopedia”. The hand-drawn figures give the book a very personal feel.

Dinosaurs and Popular Culture

As well as outlining the contribution made to palaeontology by a number of scientists, the author discusses the cultural impact of the Dinosauria. Sandwiched between a reprise on the ornithopod Iguanodon and an explanation of the K-Pg mass extinction event there is an entry dedicated to the film “Jurassic Park” which spawned a whole new generation of dinosaur fans.

The book is an ideal stocking filler for those obsessed with the “terrible lizards”, and we at Everything Dinosaur recommend it. “Dinopedia” would make a wonderful Christmas gift.

For more details about “Dinopedia” and to pre-order/purchase visit: Princeton University Press and search the website for “Dinopedia” or the author “Darren Naish”.