For fans of Sapiens, Your Inner Fish, The Sixth Extinction, and I Contain Multitudes, a sweeping narrative scientific history—the only one of its kind—that tells the epic story of the dinosaurs, examining their origins, their habitats, their extinction, and their living legacy, from one of the most accomplished young paleontologists in the world today.
In this ambitious and engrossing narrative history that spans nearly 200 million years, Stephen Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field—discovering ten new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies—tells the complete story of the life and death of the dinosaurs. Brusatte follows these magnificent creatures from the Early Triassic period at the start of their evolution, roughly 250 million years ago, through the Jurassic period to the end of the Cretaceous period (66 million years ago), when a giant meteor struck the earth and all non-bird species went extinct.
Brusatte traces their evolution from small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the long-necked, armored carnivores we are familiar with today. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ heyday, when thousands of species—including fearsome predators such as Tyrannosaurus rex—thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of more than 10,000 modern bird species, emerged.
Brusatte recalls compelling stories from his decade-long journey studying these legendary beasts during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research, and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable discoveries he has made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs, monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex, and raptor dinosaurs from China.
An electrifying scientific history and biography that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be the definitive narrative history of the subject for years to come.