100 books like Prehistoric Animals

By J. Augusta, Z. Burian,

Here are 100 books that Prehistoric Animals fans have personally recommended if you like Prehistoric Animals. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions

Brian Villmoare Author Of The Evolution of Everything: The Patterns and Causes of Big History

From my list on former English majors who like science.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a college professor and paleoanthropologist–I study human fossils and the evolution of the human lineage. My field site is in the Afar region of Ethiopia, and I regularly spend a month or so wandering across the desert, picking up fossils. I view myself very much as a scientist and believe that the scientific view is the most reliable in some important ways. However, I came to science fairly late in life–I was an undergraduate philosophy and English literature student and didn’t go to graduate school until I was 30. Because of my liberal arts background, I have always felt it was important to bridge the science-humanities divide. 

Brian's book list on former English majors who like science

Brian Villmoare Why did Brian love this book?

This is simply one of the best books on natural history ever written, and I read it in two sittings. The title is subtlety deceptive: instead of the straightforward story of the dodo's extinction, this explores the interrelationship of evolution, biogeography, and humanity across time and space.

The book covers the American West, Amazonia, and New Guinea, documenting and explaining the relationship between ecological fragmentation and the natural world. From pygmy elephants to marsupial carnivores to rats, evolution has responded to geography in marvelous yet scientifically understandable ways since the appearance of life.

If you want to understand how the natural world is responding to natural geological changes and our own incursions and fragmentations of the planet without being hit over the head with ‘important moral lessons,’ this is the book for you.  

By David Quammen,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Song of the Dodo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Compulsively readable—a masterpiece, maybe the masterpiece of science journalism.” —Bill McKibben, Audubon

A brilliant, stirring work, breathtaking in its scope and far-reaching in its message, The Song of the Dodo is a crucial book in precarious times. Through personal observation, scientific theory, and history, David Quammen examines the mysteries of evolution and extinction and radically alters our understanding of the natural world and our place within it.

In this landmark of science writing, we learn how the isolation of islands makes them natural laboratories of evolutionary extravagance, as seen in the dragons of Komodo, the elephant birds of Madagascar, the…


Book cover of Extinct Birds

Errol Fuller Author Of The Great Auk

From my list on conservation and extinction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a painter who specializes mostly in sleazy sports (boxing, snooker, etc. – nothing really healthy!) who happens to have written and designed 18 books. Obviously, producing books has become something of a habit. These books are about curiosities of natural history and also about art – but they have little to do with my paintings. Anyone who is interested in either the books or the paintings can see them on my website. I suppose the book that I’m best known for is Drawn from Paradise, a book that I did with David Attenborough on one of our two mutual obsessions – birds of paradise. Apart from books and paintings, my life is fairly humdrum; in fact, there isn’t a lot of time for much else, although I’ve been married more than once and have children. I’ve now reached an age when I should start slowing down but I’ve no intention of stopping what I do until either bad health or death finish me off!

Errol's book list on conservation and extinction

Errol Fuller Why did Errol love this book?

This book is an encyclopedia of recently extinct birds, and anyone who is interested in this subject should get it. My own book on this matter (also titled Extinct Birds) is a romantic ramble through the subject – accurate and informative in its own way, but serving a rather different purpose to the volume under consideration here.

Julian Hume’s book contains everything that you might wish to know about any recently extinct avian species; indeed it contains virtually everything significant that is actually known! Sometimes the accounts are lengthy, sometimes they are more meagre but in this latter case, it is simply because so little is known about the bird in question.

By Julian Hume,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Extinct Birds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Extinct Birds was the first comprehensive review of the hundreds of the bird species and subspecies that have become extinct over the last 1,000 years of habitat degradation, over-hunting and rat introduction. It has become the standard text on this subject, covering both familiar icons of extinction as well as more obscure birds, some known from just one specimen or from travellers' tales. This second edition is expanded to include dozens of new species, as more are constantly added to the list, either through extinction or through new subfossil discoveries.

Extinct Birds is the result of decades of research into…


Book cover of The Dodo and its Kindred: Or The History, Affinities, and Osteology of the Dodo, Solitaire, and Other Extinct Birds of the Islands Mauritius, ...

Errol Fuller Author Of The Great Auk

From my list on conservation and extinction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a painter who specializes mostly in sleazy sports (boxing, snooker, etc. – nothing really healthy!) who happens to have written and designed 18 books. Obviously, producing books has become something of a habit. These books are about curiosities of natural history and also about art – but they have little to do with my paintings. Anyone who is interested in either the books or the paintings can see them on my website. I suppose the book that I’m best known for is Drawn from Paradise, a book that I did with David Attenborough on one of our two mutual obsessions – birds of paradise. Apart from books and paintings, my life is fairly humdrum; in fact, there isn’t a lot of time for much else, although I’ve been married more than once and have children. I’ve now reached an age when I should start slowing down but I’ve no intention of stopping what I do until either bad health or death finish me off!

Errol's book list on conservation and extinction

Errol Fuller Why did Errol love this book?

This is a beautifully presented antique book and, unfortunately for anyone who wants it, it is fiercely expensive. It is the second of my choices with Dodo in the title, but this one really is about the species.

There have been many books and scientific papers written about the subject but, curiously, most of them are full of erroneous information or are derivative in the extreme. Even my own book Dodo – from Extinction to Icon is limited. I wrote somewhere that all we actually know about the living bird could be written on the back of a postcard. Perhaps because this remark is essentially accurate, many writers on the subject have felt the need to embellish the truth and invent or copy all manner of misinformation.

The book produced by Mr. Strickland and Mr. Melville is of a very different stamp. Although written so long ago, it is a…

By Hugh Edwin Strickland, Alexander Gordon Melville,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dodo and its Kindred as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Well versed in natural history, particularly geology and ornithology, Hugh Edwin Strickland (1811-53) became fascinated by the dodo and mankind's influence on its extinction. Seeking to investigate this flightless bird and other extinct species from islands in the Indian Ocean, he invited the comparative anatomist Alexander Gordon Melville (1819-1901) to help him separate myth from reality. Divided into two sections, this 1848 monograph begins with Strickland's evaluation of the evidence, including historical reports as well as paintings and sketches, many of which are reproduced. Melville then analyses the osteology of the dodo and Rodrigues solitaire, describing his findings from dissections…


Book cover of The End of the Game: The Last Word from Paradise

Errol Fuller Author Of The Great Auk

From my list on conservation and extinction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a painter who specializes mostly in sleazy sports (boxing, snooker, etc. – nothing really healthy!) who happens to have written and designed 18 books. Obviously, producing books has become something of a habit. These books are about curiosities of natural history and also about art – but they have little to do with my paintings. Anyone who is interested in either the books or the paintings can see them on my website. I suppose the book that I’m best known for is Drawn from Paradise, a book that I did with David Attenborough on one of our two mutual obsessions – birds of paradise. Apart from books and paintings, my life is fairly humdrum; in fact, there isn’t a lot of time for much else, although I’ve been married more than once and have children. I’ve now reached an age when I should start slowing down but I’ve no intention of stopping what I do until either bad health or death finish me off!

Errol's book list on conservation and extinction

Errol Fuller Why did Errol love this book?

Peter Beard settled in Kenya in the late 1950s and became obsessed with the plight of wildlife in Africa. The book is full of evocative photos that he took over a period of some 20 years – some of them absolutely tragic. It is not a book for the faint-hearted; but it tells with truth the stories of explorers, entrepreneurs, big game hunters, and missionaries.

It has been published in several editions and formats. The copy I have is a large paperback that dates from 1989, but there are editions that were produced before that time and many that have been published since.

This book is certainly not an attempt to be gently persuasive, and the author’s position can be summed up in these words that he wrote:

When I first escaped to East Africa in August 1955…it was one of the heaviest wildlife areas…in the world…No one then could…

By Peter Beard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The End of the Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book describes the origins, history, and prospects of big game in Africa.Researched, photographed, and compiled over 20 years, Peter Beard's "End of the Game" tells the tale of the enterprisers, explorers, missionaries, and big-game hunters whose quests for adventure and "progress" were to change the face of Africa in the 20th century. This landmark volume is assembled from hundreds of historical photographs and writings, starting with the building of the Mombasa Railroad ("The Lunatic Line") and the opening-up of darkest Africa. The stories behind the heroic figures in Beard's work - Theodore Roosevelt, Frederick Courtney Selous, Karen Blixen (Isak…


Book cover of How to Build a Dinosaur: The New Science of Reverse Evolution

Jeff Campbell Author Of Glowing Bunnies!? Why We're Making Hybrids, Chimeras, and Clones

From my list on stop worrying and love bioengineered animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author of YA science books (as well as being an editor), my goal is to inspire teens to think deeply about our world, but especially about our relationships with animals. To be honest, I knew bubkis about bioengineering until I was writing my previous book, Last of the Giants, about the extinction crisis. My head exploded as I learned how close we are to “de-extincting” lost species. The power that genetic engineering gives us to alter animals is unnerving, and it’s critical that we understand and discuss it. Bioengineering will change our future, and teens today will be the ones deciding how.    

Jeff's book list on stop worrying and love bioengineered animals

Jeff Campbell Why did Jeff love this book?

It’s nice when scientists talk like regular people, with a sense of humor and simple explanations of how impossibly complex stuff works. That’s paleontologist Jack Horner, who has been the dinosaur consultant on all the Jurassic Park films. He’s currently trying to re-create a real-life dinosaur, which he makes sound like tinkering with the engine of a 1960s Mustang. Who me? Just trying to get a chicken embryo to grow into a dinosaur, to see if I can. And if it works, by the way, there’s your proof about the theory of evolution.  

By Jack Horner, James Gorman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Build a Dinosaur as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A world-renowned paleontologist reveals groundbreaking science that trumps science fiction: how to grow a living dinosaur.

Over a decade after Jurassic Park, Jack Horner and his colleagues in molecular biology labs are in the process of building the technology to create a real dinosaur.

Based on new research in evolutionary developmental biology on how a few select cells grow to create arms, legs, eyes, and brains that function together, Jack Horner takes the science a step further in a plan to "reverse evolution" and reveals the awesome, even frightening, power being acquired to recreate the prehistoric past. The key is…


Book cover of The Riddle of the Dinosaur

Dougal Dixon Author Of After Man: A Zoology of the Future

From my list on popular depiction of evolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dougal Dixon graduated from the University of St. Andrews with two degrees in geology. But although his education was entirely scientific his background was deeply artistic – a potentially unemployable combination back in the ‘70s. And so he ended up in publishing, as the Earth Science editor for an illustrated encyclopedia publisher. Since then he has become a full-time writer, specializing in geological articles for encyclopedias, handbooks on fossil collecting, and principally children’s books on dinosaurs. As well as that he has done a number of books on speculative evolution – exploring the principles of biology in novel ways.

Dougal's book list on popular depiction of evolution

Dougal Dixon Why did Dougal love this book?

We can be a bit precious about all this. But it is important to keep in mind that we have not always known as much as we do now about the history of life on earth. Wilford gives us a very readable account of the practical history of palaeontology - the people involved, the excitement of the discoveries, the anecdotes of the expeditions, the thought processes that went into the interpretations . . . And how the public have percieved the various discoveries throughout history.

By John Noble Wilford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Riddle of the Dinosaur as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sketches the history of paleontology, traces the study of dinosaurs, and summarizes what we have learned about their lives and the reason for their extinction


Book cover of Tyrannosaurus Sue: The Extraordinary Saga of the Largest, Most Fought Over T. Rex Ever Found

Simon J. Knell Author Of The Great Fossil Enigma: The Search for the Conodont Animal

From my list on extinct animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about those people (geologists, art historians, historians, and curators), places (museums, universities, and societies), and things (fossils, paintings, and historical artifacts) that shape our understanding of the world. I am not so much interested in the history of ideas as in the very nature of art, geology, history, and the museum. And like my recommended authors, the approach I take to my subjects is, I hope, always rather novel. In The Great Fossil Enigma, for example, I felt that the tiny, suggestive, but ultimately ambiguous, nature of the fossils permitted me to see into the scientific mind. This tends to be where extinct animals live after their demise. 

Simon's book list on extinct animals

Simon J. Knell Why did Simon love this book?

Fiffer describes himself as a lawyer, journalist, and author. For the story he tells, these turn out to be perfect qualifications because he is not so much interested in telling the reader about the animal as in the scandal and intrigue that surrounded the discovery of this now-famous museum specimen. A fast-paced tale of unexpected twists and turns, when the FBI appears you start to wonder if you haven’t slipped into the pages of a David Baldacci thriller. It's a great true story and one likely to raise your eyebrows.

By Steve Fiffer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tyrannosaurus Sue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1990, the skeleton of a battle-scarred Tyrannosaurus rex matriarch was found, virtually complete, in what many call the most spectacular dinosaur fossil discovery to date. Not just another dinosaur book, Tyrannosaurus Sue is a fascinating introduction to the centuries-old history of commercial fossil hunting, a legal thriller and a provocative look at academic versus commercial science and the chase for the money that fuels both. - Steve Fiffer, an attorney who has followed the story for the past seven years, has captured the whole range of characters and issues embroiled in the fight for Sue. Fiffer communicates both the…


Book cover of The Dinosaur Heresies

Mord McGhee Author Of Murder Red Ink

From my list on which spark the dreamer.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a decades-long collector of fossils & student of undiscovered and/or extinct creatures, I’ve gained traction in both fields on a professional level, which is what my spark ignited into. My choice for the final position could’ve been a tie between The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien, Roadmarks by Roger Zelazny, Farseer by Robert J. Sawyer, but since I could only choose 5 which sparked the dreamer.

Mord's book list on which spark the dreamer

Mord McGhee Why did Mord love this book?

It is Bakker’s controversial rethinking of the lives and science behind earth’s prehistory. In his avant-garde ideas, Bakker proposes and answers questions of things like what these monsters are and how they defended themselves or hunted. He even spoke on how they might have reproduced.

It’s a book to create dreamers who can take the torch to shed new light on those questions we all share in common as members of humanity.

By Robert T. Bakker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dinosaur Heresies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For over a century, dinosaurs have been thought of as plodding, dim-witted giant lizards too awkward and ill-equipped to survive the ravages of environmental change. Bakker offers startling new evidence destined to forever alter the perception of the much-maligned monsters, depicting them as never before imagined: hot-blooded, amazingly agile, and surprisingly intelligent. Illustrations.


Book cover of Damien's Quest

Kim Ann Author Of Where Do Dinosaurs Go on Vacation?

From my list on for dinosaur fans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a children’s book author that writes fun, colorful, imaginative books that help children develop a love of stories. My passion for books started at a young age, as one of my favorite things to do was visit the local library with my mom. I have had a lifelong passion for writing and began writing poetry books at nine years old for my school library. I started writing and publishing children’s picture books professionally and founded my publishing company, Lucky Four Press, LLC, in 2019. I hope you enjoy these dino-tastic books I recommended!

Kim's book list on for dinosaur fans

Kim Ann Why did Kim love this book?

A cute book by Jake Evanoff about a young cave boy, Damien, and his friend Trey the Triceratops.

The characters are both relatable and fun. During the story, the pair set out to discover the truth about Damien’s past without much thought about what trouble they might get into. It is an exciting adventure story about friendship, family, and acceptance.

A perfect bedtime story for dino-loving kids.

By Jake Evanoff, Nino Balita (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Damien's Quest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

He's set out with his best pal to find the place he came from. On his quest to uncover the truth, will he discover something even greater?Nine-year-old Damien loves spending time with the triceratops that took him in, especially his friend Trey. Yet he can’t help but wonder if he truly belongs with them. So one night after everyone has fallen asleep, he decides he’s going to find out once and for all with Trey’s help.Stopping at nothing to reveal the truth, the brave duo search everywhere they possibly can; from the highest mountain tops to the deepest caves. But…


Book cover of Dinosaurs a Children's Encyclopedia

Michael J. Benton Author Of Dinosaurs: New Visions of a Lost World

From my list on dinosaurs from a palaeontologist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been mad about dinosaurs and ancient life since I was seven. I have been amazingly lucky to be able to develop a career as a professional palaeontologist and to be able to research and talk about the subject. We were first to show the original colours of dinosaur feathers, and this discovery provides a perfect way to open the discussion about how palaeontologists know what they say they know. In my books, I seek to amaze, amuse and inform. I have written many books, including pop science, textbooks, technical-scientific works, and books for children, and every year brings new discoveries to be transmitted to the world.

Michael's book list on dinosaurs from a palaeontologist

Michael J. Benton Why did Michael love this book?

The books so far are more for adults than children, although many children show remarkable powers of reading and learning with any dinosaur book. But this one is aimed at children, and it’s comprehensive and up-to-date.

Dinosaur fans love lists and catalogues, and they want a book that has everything. This is probably the best such book, and it packs in a huge amount of material into its 300 pages.

By Dorling Kindersley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dinosaurs a Children's Encyclopedia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Travel back in time to learn about every kind of dinosaur with this comprehensive dinosaur book for children.

With nearly 400,000 copies sold Dinosaurs: A Children's Encyclopedia is a global best-seller. It includes detailed fact files and colour illustrations of more than 320 species.

Discover the biggest, the scariest, and the strangest animals ever to inhabit our world, from Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus to horse-eating prehistoric birds and giant millipedes the size of crocodiles. Find out exactly where and when each animal lived, how large it grew, and how it captured prey or fought off enemies. Expert-verified reconstructions reveal what each…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in extinction, prehistory, and dinosaurs?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about extinction, prehistory, and dinosaurs.

Extinction Explore 32 books about extinction
Prehistory Explore 45 books about prehistory
Dinosaurs Explore 92 books about dinosaurs