The Ultimate Dinosaur Reading List

If you ever want to put things in perspective, consider this: Less time separates human beings in history from Tyrannosaurus rex than T. rex from Stegosaurus. That’s right. While T. rex went extinct about 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous Period, the Jurassic Period’s stegosaurus roamed the Earth 83 million years before T. rex had even evolved. All told, dinosaurs ruled the planet for some 180 million years, while homo sapiens emerged a paltry 200,000 years ago. 

That’s just one of many reasons our fascination with the terrible lizards is wholly justified. We’ve curated this Brachiosaurus-sized collection of 20 great articles all about dinosaurs and the people who obsess over them, including what dinosaurs looked like, what it’s like to be a paleontologist hunting for dinosaur fossils, and whether Jurassic Park could actually happen.

The Surprising History (and Future) of Dinosaurs

Chantel Tattoli • Paris Review

Most dinosaurs are dusted off as fragmentary skeletons. But those few bones can be enough to describe a new species, and on average, a new species is discovered every week. We are in the golden age of paleontology.

How to Weigh a Dinosaur

Elizabeth Yuko • Lifehacker

Though you may have never specifically thought about how much dinosaurs weighed, this is something that paleobiologists have been trying to figure out for more than a century.

How to Outrun a Dinosaur

Cody Cassidy • Wired

If, through some scientific malfunction, you found yourself transported 70 million years into the past, you might be safer from certain hungry reptiles than you think.

This Is What Dinosaur Meat Tasted Like

Hilary Pollack • Vice

We asked experts for insight into what tearing into a rack of Tyrannosaur ribs would be like, from a flavor and texture perspective, and it doesn’t sound half bad.

The Day the Dinosaurs Died

Douglas Preston • The New Yorker

A young paleontologist may have discovered a record of the most significant event in the history of life on Earth.

How Dinosaurs Shrank and Became Birds

Emily Singer • Quanta Magazine

Modern birds appeared to emerge in a snap of evolutionary time. But new research illuminates the long series of evolutionary changes that made the transformation possible.

To Date a Dinosaur

Laura Poppick • Knowable Magazine

Stegosaur expert Susie Maidment is laying crucial groundwork for assigning ages to fossils from North America’s most dinosaur-rich rocks. More precise timings promise to reveal plenty about how the beasts lived and evolved through time.

The Best Books on Dinosaurs

Recommended by Paul Barrett • Five Books

Palaeontology and dinosaur specialist Paul Barrett says many of the 1,200 known species of dinosaur were far more complex than we once thought. Some were brightly feathered, many were at least partly warm-blooded

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