10 books like The Riddle of the Dinosaur

By John Noble Wilford,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Riddle of the Dinosaur. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Palaeoartist's Handbook

By Mark Witton,

Book cover of The Palaeoartist's Handbook: Recreating Prehistoric Animals in Art

So often we find popular level dinosaur books with the most ridiculous and inaccurate illustrations. Usually, the fault lies with the middle-man – the children’s writer or the artist. In this book, we have an instance that is, luckily, becoming more common – the academic who has the skills to communicate directly with the general audience. Dr. Witton has the experience of studying fossil animals (pterosaurs are his specialty) and in his book demonstrates how the various aspects of his work command an accurate approach to his artwork (he is a superb artist). Any speculation in his book is based on his sound observations – who would have guessed that the keratinous covering of the horns of Triceratops continued to grow throughout life and so the horny sheaths would have produced weird curly structures like those of elderly sheep?

The Palaeoartist's Handbook

By Mark Witton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Extinct worlds live again in palaeoart: artworks of fossil animals, plants and environments carefully reconstructed from palaeontological and geological data. Such artworks are widespread in popular culture, appearing in documentaries, museums, books and magazines, and inspiring depictions of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals in cinema. This book outlines how fossil animals and environments can be reconstructed from their fossils, explaining how palaeoartists overcome gaps in fossil data and predict 'soft-tissue' anatomies no longer present around fossil bones. It goes on to show how science and art can meet to produce compelling, interesting takes on ancient worlds, and it explores the…


All Yesterdays

By John Conway,

Book cover of All Yesterdays: Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals

The reason that many dinosaur restorations are inaccurate is mostly because the artists base them only on the bones and skeletons. In an interesting exercise the authors and artists here have taken modern animals and imagined how future palaeontologists would illustrate them on the same basis. An elephant has no trunk (the soft musclular material would not have fossilized). A humming bird is a vampire (its long narrow beak looks so much like a hypodermic needle). A manatee is a pig-like animal grazing on upland meadows (or so we would surmise if we only knew of its skull). As a contrast they take the traditional view of fossil animals and make perfectly reasonable predictions of their behaviour based on modern animal lifestyles. Hypsilophodon eats millipedes (although it was definitely a vegetarian - but most modern vegetarian animals eat the occasional meaty snack). Protoceratops climbs trees (although its feet show it…

All Yesterdays

By John Conway,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

All Yesterdays is a book about the way we see dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. Lavishly illustrated with over sixty original artworks, All Yesterdays aims to challenge our notions of how prehistoric animals looked and behaved. As a critical exploration of palaeontological art, All Yesterdays asks questions about what is probable, what is possible, and what is commonly ignored. Written by palaeozoologist Darren Naish, and palaeontological artists John Conway and C.M. Kosemen, All Yesterdays is scientifically rigorous and artistically imaginative in its approach to fossils of the past - and those of the future.


The Unfeathered Bird

By Katerina van Grouw,

Book cover of The Unfeathered Bird

So you want to paint dinosaurs? An artist depicting a modern animal works from life, or works from photographs. Neither option is open to the dinosaur artist. But now that we know that dinosaurs are evolved from birds we have modern examples that can give us a start – at least we can see the layout of muscles and how they bulk out the body around the skeleton. This book is a wonderful atlas of bird parts and can provide a perfect guide to how bones are articulated and how the muscles are built up. It is the nearest that a dinosaur artist will get to a direct visual reference! And it is so beautifully done that it works as a coffee table book – something to be just looked at and admired.

The Unfeathered Bird

By Katerina van Grouw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There is more to a bird than simply feathers. And just because birds evolved from a single flying ancestor doesn't mean they are structurally all the same. With over 385 stunning drawings depicting 200 species, The Unfeathered Bird is a richly illustrated book on bird anatomy that offers refreshingly original insights into what goes on beneath the feathered surface. Each exquisite drawing is made from an actual specimen and reproduced in sumptuous large format. The birds are shown in lifelike positions and engaged in behavior typical of the species: an underwater view of the skeleton of a swimming loon, the…


Dinosaurs Ever Evolving

By Allen A. Debus,

Book cover of Dinosaurs Ever Evolving: The Changing Face of Prehistoric Animals in Popular Culture

Like Wilford’s book, this one goes through the history of palaeontology, but puts it in the context of society at the time. For example the general appreciation of the dinosaur in the last 150 years has gone from an amazing curiosity, through a symbol of something that was too clumsy to survive, through a metaphor for our own vulnerability to climate change or pollution or nuclear annihilation, to the venerable ancestor of our lovely birds . . . It can be a bit nerdy at times – overly detailed plot lines of particular films or comic books – and can be somewhat repetitive – the same examples cropping up again and again. The sweep of the work references other writers in the field – including Septhen Jay Gould, Donald F. Glut and the above John Noble Wilford – giving a great coverage of the subject

Dinosaurs Ever Evolving

By Allen A. Debus,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dinosaurs Ever Evolving as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From their discovery in the 19th century to the dawn of the Nuclear Age, dinosaurs were seen in popular culture as ambassadors of the geological past and as icons of the ""life through time"" narrative of evolution. They took on a more foreboding character during the Cold War, serving as a warning to mankind with the advent of the hydrogen bomb. As fears of human extinction escalated during the ecological movement of the 1970s, dinosaurs communicated their metaphorical message of extinction, urging us from our destructive path. Using an eclectic variety of examples, this book outlines the three-fold ""evolution"" of…


Locked in Time

By Dean R. Lomax, Robert Nicholls,

Book cover of Locked in Time: Animal Behavior Unearthed in 50 Extraordinary Fossils

This is about dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts, but it’s unique and unusual. Author Dean Lomax has run to ground some of the most extraordinary fossils ever found, and artist Bob Nicholls turns them into stunning reconstructions. Here you can read about a beetle within a lizard within a snake, a giant beaver that made huge corkscrew burrows 3 meters deep, the mammal that ate dinosaurs, insects caught in the act of mating, and dinosaurs with cancer. What I like is that, weird and wonderful as each story may be, each is based strictly on the fossils and reasonable interpretations of those fossils. Dinosaurs may spark the imagination, but as scientists, it’s important to show people how we come to our conclusions, and that needs evidence and reason in a discussion.

Locked in Time

By Dean R. Lomax, Robert Nicholls,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Locked in Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fossils allow us to picture the forms of life that inhabited the earth eons ago. But we long to know more: how did these animals actually behave? We are fascinated by the daily lives of our fellow creatures-how they reproduce and raise their young, how they hunt their prey or elude their predators, and more. What would it be like to see prehistoric animals as they lived and breathed?

From dinosaurs fighting to their deaths to elephant-sized burrowing ground sloths, this book takes readers on a global journey deep into the earth's past. Locked in Time showcases fifty of the…


Dinosaurs

By Thomas R. Holtz Jr., Luis V. Rey (illustrator),

Book cover of Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages

Published in association with the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, this >400-page tome is beautifully and thoughtfully illustrated in color with amply detailed text so that it appeals to broad ages of readers, with younger readers relying more on the illustrations or an older co-reader. Written by a team of paleontologists, it is helpfully organized in 42 bite-sized chapters ranging from overview topics in the beginning to more specific ones toward the end.

Dinosaurs

By Thomas R. Holtz Jr., Luis V. Rey (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An award-winning encyclopdia written for young people—dubbed the "Dinosaur Bible" by enthusiasts!

Written by one of the world’s foremost experts on dinosaurs, this award-winning title—honored by the NSTA and the AAAS—is an essential addition to any dinophile’s library, regardless of age! Using casual language aimed at young people and non-scientists, it's a guide to all aspects of dinosaur science: how we figure out what dinosaurs looked like, how they lived, how they evolved, how they continue to live among us as birds, and much, much more. 

It also includes brief entries on all 800+ "named" species of Mesozoic dinosaurs, as…


The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

By Steve Brusatte,

Book cover of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of Their Lost World

The best seller of all time, a lively romp through dinosaur research (and researchers). This is for all readers, and you’ll be hooked by the lively, pacy text by Steve, as he hurtles from continent to continent, digging up bones from China to Poland, working on Tyrannosaurus rex and other great beasts in the basements of the world’s museums, and sharing with readers what it’s like to be a working paleontologist. For aspiring young bone-diggers, this is an inspiration, although it’s not like this all the time: paleontologists also sometimes have to mark student essays and fight with university systems to get their field trip costs refunded!

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

By Steve Brusatte,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Times Science Book of the Year.
A Sunday Times Bestseller.

66 million years ago the dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the earth. Today, Dr. Steve Brusatte, one of the leading scientists of a new generation of dinosaur hunters, armed with cutting edge technology, is piecing together the complete story of how the dinosaurs ruled the earth for 150 million years.

The world of the dinosaurs has fascinated on book and screen for decades - from early science fiction classics like The Lost World, to Godzilla terrorizing the streets of Tokyo, and the monsters of Jurassic Park. But…


I am not a Dinosaur!

By Will Lach, Jonny Lambert (illustrator),

Book cover of I am not a Dinosaur!

From the lizard-looking Dimetrodon to the wooly mammoth to the 1,000-pound turtle-like Glyptodont, as well as the modern-day Latimeria fish species that was believed to have gone extinct millions of years ago (Surprise! It turned up in a fisherman’s net!), puts this book in the “must-read” category. A bouncy rhyming text that highlights large creatures that roamed the Earth both before and alongside dinosaurs, makes this book a win, especially since it lands at a modern-day avian dinosaur that can be seen in tweety parakeet.

I am not a Dinosaur!

By Will Lach, Jonny Lambert (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I am not a Dinosaur! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Way back in time, astonishing creatures lived on our planet. But they weren’t all dinosaurs! In this fun, fascinating book, you’ll meet some of these amazing prehistoric creatures, from a very big fish with 7-inch teeth to a flying reptile. Based on specimens in the collections of the American Museum of Natural History, I Am NOT a Dinosaur! uses riddle-like rhymes and bright illustrations to reveal 16 creatures. With an introduction from Chairman of Paleontology at the Museum, Dr. Mark Norell, the book also features short notes, fossil photos, and an illustrated timeline to explain everything, simply and clearly, to…


Dinosaurs a Children's Encyclopedia

By Dorling Kindersley,

Book cover of Dinosaurs a Children's Encyclopedia

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.

Dinosaurs a Children's Encyclopedia

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…


Dinosaurs

By David E. Fastovsky, David B. Weishampel, John Sibbick (illustrator)

Book cover of Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History

This is the best textbook about dinosaurs. If you want to have all the latest information about the diversity of dinosaurs, how their bones are found and excavated, their history through time, all the key groups, how they are related to each other, and what we know about their life and times, this is the book. This is a tried and tested textbook, now in its fourth edition, but full of anecdotes, great text and great illustrations, many of them by the maestro, John Sibbick.

Dinosaurs

By David E. Fastovsky, David B. Weishampel, John Sibbick (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The ideal textbook for non-science majors, this lively and engaging introduction encourages students to ask questions, assess data critically and think like a scientist. Building on the success of previous editions, Dinosaurs has been thoroughly updated to include new discoveries in the field, such as the toothed bird specimens found in China and recent discoveries of dinosaur soft anatomy. Illustrations by leading paleontological illustrator John Sibbick and new, carefully-chosen photographs, clearly show how dinosaurs looked, lived and their role in Earth history. Making science accessible and relevant through clear explanations and extensive illustrations, the text guides students through the dinosaur…


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