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

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

"THE ULTIMATE DINOSAUR BIOGRAPHY," hails Scientific American: A thrilling new history of the age of dinosaurs, from one of our finest young scientists. Now a New York Times bestseller!

"This is scientific storytelling at its most visceral, striding with the beasts through their Triassic dawn, Jurassic dominance, and abrupt demise in the Cretaceous." — Nature

The dinosaurs. Sixty-six million years ago, the Earth’s most fearsome creatures vanished. Today they remain one of our planet’s great mysteries. Now The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs reveals their extraordinary, 200-million-year-long story as never before.

In this captivating narrative (enlivened with more than seventy original illustrations and photographs), Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field—naming fifteen new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies and fieldwork—masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy. Captivating and revelatory, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a book for the ages.

Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.”

Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China.

An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come.

Title:The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World
ISBN:9780062490452
Format Type:

About Stephen Brusatte

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 University of Chicago, a Master's from the University of


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

  • 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 disagree...

  • Lori

    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...

  • Emily

    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 le...

  • Jaya

    Dinosaurs!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 anecd...

  • Clif Hostetler

    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. R...

  • 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 co...

  • Melissa Stewart

    It’s not easy to put scientists’ current understanding of the whole dinosaur world into perspective, but this book accomplishes that feat beautifully. The narrative writing style is so friendly an...

  • 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, re...

  • GoldGato

    Those darn dinosaurs.If things had unfolded a little differently back then, who knows what the modern world would be like? It's like wondering what might have happened if the archduke was never shot.T...

  • Gorab Jain

    How I wish there was a time machine and I could go back and experience the dinosaurs live in action - off course from a safe spot!Reading through this book is that time machine.What I loved:- The scie...