Why Dinosaurs Matter
What can long-dead dinosaurs teach us about our future? Plenty, according to paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara, who has discovered some of the largest creatures to ever walk the Earth.By tapping into the ubiquitous wonder that dinosaurs inspire, Lacovara weaves together the stories of our geological awakening, of humanity’s epic struggle to understand the nature of deep time, the meaning of fossils, and our own place on the vast and bountiful tree of life.Go on a journey––back to when dinosaurs ruled the Earth––to discover how dinosaurs achieved feats unparalleled by any other group of animals. Learn the secrets of how paleontologists find fossils, and explore quirky, but profound questions, such as: Is a penguin a dinosaur? And, how are the tiny arms of T. rex the key to its power and ferocity?In this revealing book, Lacovara offers the latest ideas about the shocking and calamitous death of the dinosaurs and ties their vulnerabilities to our own. Why Dinosaurs Matter is compelling and engaging—a great reminder that our place on this planet is both precarious and potentially fleeting. “As we move into an uncertain environmental future, it has never been more important to understand the past.”

Why Dinosaurs Matter Details

TitleWhy Dinosaurs Matter
Author
ReleaseSep 19th, 2017
PublisherSimon Schuster/ TED
ISBN-139781501120107
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Science, Animals, Dinosaurs, History, Geology, Palaeontology, Natural History

Why Dinosaurs Matter Review

  • Eliot Peper
    January 1, 1970
    Why Dinosaurs Matter by Kenneth Lacovara is a concise, pithy, and compulsively readable manifesto about the coolest creatures ever to walk the Earth and what they teach us about life, the universe, and everything. Lacovara is a renowned paleontologist who's unearthed some of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered and his enthusiasm for his subjects is as contagious as it is awe-inspiring. This book is candy for your curiosity and will ignite your sense of wonder.
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  • Chelsey
    January 1, 1970
    I'm definitely a bit disappointed by this. I came into it expecting to learn why dinosaurs mattered to the world, but I left without a real answer. The chapter on Lacovara's uncovering the Dreadnoughtus was fascinating, and I would've happily read more stories from his field work and research, but ultimately, the book neither dug deep enough to teach me anything really new about dinosaurs, nor was it personal enough to feel like an account of life stories, nor did it adequately answer the titula I'm definitely a bit disappointed by this. I came into it expecting to learn why dinosaurs mattered to the world, but I left without a real answer. The chapter on Lacovara's uncovering the Dreadnoughtus was fascinating, and I would've happily read more stories from his field work and research, but ultimately, the book neither dug deep enough to teach me anything really new about dinosaurs, nor was it personal enough to feel like an account of life stories, nor did it adequately answer the titular topic. Not bad, just disappointing.
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  • Brice Fuqua
    January 1, 1970
    Dinosaurs did not become extinct 65 million years ago. They are still around today. No, there is not a herd of Triceratops grazing in a remote Himalayan valley, nor are there Velociraptors hidden away in a top-secret government base. Dinosaurs are probably in your back yard, perching in tree branch. Birds are modern-day dinosaurs. Such is the claim made by paleontologist, Kenneth Lacovara in his book, Why Dinosaurs Matter. And he is in a position to know. Lacovara is best known for discovering Dinosaurs did not become extinct 65 million years ago. They are still around today. No, there is not a herd of Triceratops grazing in a remote Himalayan valley, nor are there Velociraptors hidden away in a top-secret government base. Dinosaurs are probably in your back yard, perching in tree branch. Birds are modern-day dinosaurs. Such is the claim made by paleontologist, Kenneth Lacovara in his book, Why Dinosaurs Matter. And he is in a position to know. Lacovara is best known for discovering and excavating Dreadnoughtus, one of the largest dinosaur fossils yet found.Lacovara is a popular TED Talks speaker, and this book is an extension of his video lectures. Like the TED videos, each chapter is short and focused on a single idea. He defends his startling assertion that bird are dinosaurs by pointing to their anatomy. Birds have the same hip bone structure as all dinosaurs, something that crocodiles do not have . So, although it defies common sense, a penguin is more dinosaur-like than a crocodile. Another myth that Lacovara explodes is the idea that dinosaurs were stupid, sluggish, brutes whose extinction was due to their inability to adapt to the gradual change in Earth’s climate. The author presents evidence that dinosaurs were, in fact, intelligent. Many were quite speedy and they managed to colonize every continent on Earth. In the book’s most dramatic chapter, Lacovara argues that the dinosaurs’ undoing was the result of a freak event; a giant meteorite impact off the Yucatan coast. This explosion so radically altered the climate that 75% of all land animal species perished. But the warm-blooded, feather-insulated bird ancestors hung on after their cold-blooded brethren died off, thus preserving dinosaurs in the form of avians. The chapter on Lacovara’s discovery of Dreadnoughtus is also fascinating. Located in an isolated valley in Patagonia, the Dreadnoughtus fossils proved to be so gigantic that it took four years to excavate and transport them. At one point, Lacovara invited an archeologist to visit the excavation site, where she immediately found two prehistoric hand axes. Lacovara, untrained in archeology had walked past the axes hundreds of times without realizing what they were. Why Dinosaurs Matter concludes on a melancholy note. Lacovara points out that species today are disappearing at a faster rate than they did at the end of the Cretaceous period. This is, of course, because of human activity. Climate change, habitat destruction, pollution and other factors are leading us into another mass extinction event. However, unlike previous extinctions, we humans have the power to halt it. Why Dinosaurs Matter is a fun, engaging introduction into an always popular subject. This volume would make an excellent addition to middle and high school libraries.
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  • Yasmin
    January 1, 1970
    I have no words to describe how much I loved this <3 It was simple and to the point and really inspiring! Lacovara, you now have a place on my list of heroes. Thank you for your amazing work and thank you for making me feel like a fortunate warrior for living in the blue dot.
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  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    Why Dinosaurs Matter is an immensely readable book. Dr. Kenneth Lacovara writes in an engaging, conversational style that holds your interest from the first sentence ("Albert Einstein was a complete and utter failure." - what???) to the last ("Maybe we can be like the dinosaurs... the adaptable champions of an era.").While he defends dinosaurs as "champions of [their] era," his main point is that we can learn from them. His explanation of the slow "discovery" of deep time and evolution is fascin Why Dinosaurs Matter is an immensely readable book. Dr. Kenneth Lacovara writes in an engaging, conversational style that holds your interest from the first sentence ("Albert Einstein was a complete and utter failure." - what???) to the last ("Maybe we can be like the dinosaurs... the adaptable champions of an era.").While he defends dinosaurs as "champions of [their] era," his main point is that we can learn from them. His explanation of the slow "discovery" of deep time and evolution is fascinating. Which one of these is a dinosaur: a mosasaur; a pterosaur; a crocodile; or a penguin? The answer is an understandable lesson in evolution. Why does T. rex have such short arms? Read the chapter on "The King" to find out.Chapter by chapter, Dr. Lacovara shares his love of paleontology and encourages us to love it, too. His chapter, Dinosaur Apocalypse, is both riveting and moving, but it is the final chapter that really explains why dinosaurs matter. Dinosaurs didn't see their end coming. There was nothing they could have done to alter their fate. Humans, on the other hand, are ushering in their own demise. We can see how we are damaging the environment and we have a choice to change things. Will we create the sixth mass extinction, or learn from the past? You really should read this book!
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  • Pooja
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC e-book copy of this book from NetGalley to review. Kenneth Lacovara’s book Why Dinosaurs Matter reads like a TED Talk, in that it’s highly engaging and equally fascinating. Through each chapter, Lacovara, a renowned paleontologist and discoverer of the Dreadnoughtus, takes us through the history of our planet, how it’s been viewed by scientists and scholars in our own human/primate era, how dinosaurs still exist today in their avian form, and highlights of our deep fascination I received an ARC e-book copy of this book from NetGalley to review. Kenneth Lacovara’s book Why Dinosaurs Matter reads like a TED Talk, in that it’s highly engaging and equally fascinating. Through each chapter, Lacovara, a renowned paleontologist and discoverer of the Dreadnoughtus, takes us through the history of our planet, how it’s been viewed by scientists and scholars in our own human/primate era, how dinosaurs still exist today in their avian form, and highlights of our deep fascination with dinosaurs in general. Lacovara keeps the writing in a conversational tone, covering each topic in short chapters. But I did feel that he didn’t really touch on the title of why dinosaurs actually matter until the end. It seemed to me like he also had an opportunity to provide more details on the creatures, his field studies and work, the discoveries others have made unearthing our past, and even more cultural references to when dinosaurs are featured. I loved reading about his discovery of the Dreadnoughtus and the time spent studying, then classifying the remains. I equally loved reading about Mary Anning and her fossil findings. Maybe if Lacovara added in more photos for reference (from his excavations or sketches of the dinosaurs he describes), it would’ve been cool to have those visual aids. Other than that though, I found this book really interesting and informative. I wasn’t a huge fan of dinosaurs before but this book has certainly changed that for sure.
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  • Kathi
    January 1, 1970
    The father of geology, James Hutton, observed that the past is the key to the future. Much like a modern-day Hutton, Dr. Ken Lacovara takes us on a journey to the ancient past when dinosaurs ruled the land to understand the valuable lessons their evolution and their almost complete extinction can teach about mitigating the Sixth Extinction toward which we are blindly hurtling. Dr. Lacovara writes with clarity, passion and humor to engage us in the exciting path geologists and paleontologists tra The father of geology, James Hutton, observed that the past is the key to the future. Much like a modern-day Hutton, Dr. Ken Lacovara takes us on a journey to the ancient past when dinosaurs ruled the land to understand the valuable lessons their evolution and their almost complete extinction can teach about mitigating the Sixth Extinction toward which we are blindly hurtling. Dr. Lacovara writes with clarity, passion and humor to engage us in the exciting path geologists and paleontologists travel to unearth and understand the reign and demise of these rulers of the Mesozoic. He paints a portrait not of lumbering, swamp-bound behemoths ill equipped to cope with a changing world, but rather of vibrant ecosystems where dinosaurs dominated almost every niche with staggering efficiency. After reading Why Dinosaurs Matter, you will never again use “Dinosaur” as a pejorative – they ruled the Earth for over 165 million years, compared to the mere 200,000 years of human existence. Their fate was sealed by an asteroid that they did not see coming and could not stop. Dr. Lacovara poignantly illustrates that humankind has the ability to stave off our own extinction, if we can just learn the lessons of the past.
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    საინტერესო, პატარა, კოპწია წიგნია დინოზავრებზე, (ფორმას, დაკაბადონებას დიზაინსაც ვაქცევ ხოლმე ყურადღებას) უფრო მეტი მინდოდა, მინდოდა მეტი ინფორმაცია "უშიშარ" დინოზავრზე Dreadnoughtus-ზე, მეტი პალეონტოლოგიაზე, მაგრამ მაინც ოდნავ ვრცელი TED საუბარი გამოვიდა. თუმცა არაუშავს, ლაკოვარა თავისი დინოზავრებით მაინც მომწონს. იყო საინტერესო მომენტებიც, ულტრაიისფერის სინათლის აღმქმელ მხედველობის ნერვულ რეცეპტორებზე რომელიც ფრინველებს და ნიანგს აქვთ და ადამიანის არა. ამან კიდევ ერთხელ დამაფიქრა ფერების და რე საინტერესო, პატარა, კოპწია წიგნია დინოზავრებზე, (ფორმას, დაკაბადონებას დიზაინსაც ვაქცევ ხოლმე ყურადღებას) უფრო მეტი მინდოდა, მინდოდა მეტი ინფორმაცია "უშიშარ" დინოზავრზე Dreadnoughtus-ზე, მეტი პალეონტოლოგიაზე, მაგრამ მაინც ოდნავ ვრცელი TED საუბარი გამოვიდა. თუმცა არაუშავს, ლაკოვარა თავისი დინოზავრებით მაინც მომწონს. იყო საინტერესო მომენტებიც, ულტრაიისფერის სინათლის აღმქმელ მხედველობის ნერვულ რეცეპტორებზე რომელიც ფრინველებს და ნიანგს აქვთ და ადამიანის არა. ამან კიდევ ერთხელ დამაფიქრა ფერების და რეალობის კონსტრუქციაზე. საინტერესო იყო ტირანოზავრის კიდურებზე მსჯელობაც. თუმცა თუ გინდათ დინოზავრებზე რამე სერიოზული ლიტერატურა, ალბათ ამ შემთხვევაში უფრო ინსპირაციის მცდელობას აღმოაჩენთ ვიდრე ინფორმაციულ წიგნს.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    Like all TED Books, Why Dinosaurs Matter is meant to be read quickly while also being packed full of information. Dinosaurs have always fascinated people and this book takes you on a brief tour of some dinosaurs, including Dreadnoughtus which was discovered by the author. It details what happened after the meteor hit in the Gulf of Mexico and then relates why learning about dinosaurs, and what happened to them, is important to us now. I recommend this book to anyone interested in dinosaurs.
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  • Mel
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this look at the history of dinosaurs, our relationship to them, and why they matter.
  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    A really great look at the dinosaurs and how our understanding of them also helped us understand just how old the Earth really is. I thought this was fun, informative, and easily accessible. My only quip is the last chapter felt a little tacked on, as if we needed a moral lesson accompanying the history of dinosaurs. I agree completely with the final chapter (global warming and the upcoming sixth extinction), but I just don't think the execution of it really worked. Everything else was FANTASTIC A really great look at the dinosaurs and how our understanding of them also helped us understand just how old the Earth really is. I thought this was fun, informative, and easily accessible. My only quip is the last chapter felt a little tacked on, as if we needed a moral lesson accompanying the history of dinosaurs. I agree completely with the final chapter (global warming and the upcoming sixth extinction), but I just don't think the execution of it really worked. Everything else was FANTASTIC though!
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  • Laura Lamkin
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. I loved it so much I read it twice. Sure, I was a dinosaur fan as a kid, and it appealed right away to the dino-loving little boy within. But I have also read a whole lot of science as an adult. I did not expect to get anything new out of this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. I learned many new things, details and facts for sure, but also broader, more conceptual points. The author uses geologic and paleontological data and science, interesting in and of itself, to introd I loved this book. I loved it so much I read it twice. Sure, I was a dinosaur fan as a kid, and it appealed right away to the dino-loving little boy within. But I have also read a whole lot of science as an adult. I did not expect to get anything new out of this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. I learned many new things, details and facts for sure, but also broader, more conceptual points. The author uses geologic and paleontological data and science, interesting in and of itself, to introduce more abstract and over-arching points that are both wise and of compelling importance to our understanding of humanity and our place in the world.Why Dinosaurs Matter is a scholarly work, while also being entertaining, the finest of combos. In addition to being informative about paleontology and geology, Mr. Lacovara’s work brings important insights to the fore, such as the implications of understanding deep time for humanity’s understanding of the nature of our planet, of life, of human nature, of our own self-conception, and why all of this matters. Not only did I learn interesting facts about dinosaurs, my favorite having to do with T-Rex’s comically miniaturized forelimbs, but the work served to shatter misconceptions, and to push the discussion of dinosaurs to deeper, more profound, conceptual levels.So, the content is excellent, but also the form. Author Kenneth Lacovara, who narrates the work himself, does a great job. His writing demonstrates not only his obvious professional grasp of the material, but also a playfulness, an enjoyment of wordplay, and an appreciation of language. At the same time, his narration embodies an enthusiasm for the subject matter which is entirely infectious. He even manages to make Hadrosaur digestion sound cool!I highly recommend Why Dinosaurs Matter by Kenneth Lacovaran!
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  • Nikki
    January 1, 1970
    Received to review via Netgalley; publication date 19th September 2017The idea of this book is pretty much encapsulated in the words from the summary: “What can long-dead dinosaurs teach us about our future? Plenty.” It’s the story of the dinosaurs as a highly successfully set of creatures who ruled the world — for a time. It’s also the story of their decline and fall, so to speak, and the lessons we can learn from them. Also, a reminder that a penguin is very literally a dinosaur, just as we’re Received to review via Netgalley; publication date 19th September 2017The idea of this book is pretty much encapsulated in the words from the summary: “What can long-dead dinosaurs teach us about our future? Plenty.” It’s the story of the dinosaurs as a highly successfully set of creatures who ruled the world — for a time. It’s also the story of their decline and fall, so to speak, and the lessons we can learn from them. Also, a reminder that a penguin is very literally a dinosaur, just as we’re very literally primates.There’s nothing revelatory here if you’re into dinosaurs, but if you’re looking for something more general than David Hone’s The Tyrannosaur Chronicles, something to get you up to date on current dinosaur scholarship, this isn’t a bad place to start. And I agree with Lacovara: dinosaurs shouldn’t be viewed as synonymous with something obsolete. They ruled the world for a reason.Reviewed for The Bibliophibian.
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  • Guy Winch
    January 1, 1970
    Why Dinosaurs Matter Ken Lacovara's new book, 'Why Dinosaurs Matter' had me at the opening line:"Albert Einstein was a complete and utter failure." This fascinating book will give you a new way to think about dinosaurs and an appreciation of why they are very much relevant to our lives today. Anyone who loves science and stories of discovery will be thoroughly entertained by the wonderful behind-the-scenes insights and beautiful prose. I absolutely loved it.
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  • Rajan S
    January 1, 1970
    Good attempt to connect 250 million years of evolution to extinction of Dinosaurs with possible 6th extinction caused by reckless act of humans. Metaphorically, humans are the asteroid, we see it coming and can do something about it is what the author drives at in last chapter. Geological literacy combined with philosophical metaphors to finding and naming the giant 'dreadnought'. Author has represented the asteroid hit event in a cinematic way is appreciable. Penguins are descendants of dinosau Good attempt to connect 250 million years of evolution to extinction of Dinosaurs with possible 6th extinction caused by reckless act of humans. Metaphorically, humans are the asteroid, we see it coming and can do something about it is what the author drives at in last chapter. Geological literacy combined with philosophical metaphors to finding and naming the giant 'dreadnought'. Author has represented the asteroid hit event in a cinematic way is appreciable. Penguins are descendants of dinosaur is a revelation.
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  • Katie M.
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. Why Dinosaurs Matter discusses the present understanding of dinosaurs and something of the history of paleontology. The writing is highly engaging, making the book accessible to an audience without much scientific background without resorting to oversimplification. The section on what dinosaurs experienced at the moment of the meteor strike was especially vivid and fascinating. However, this book suffered from not having any useful figures/pictures. There are some illustrations, but t 3.5 stars. Why Dinosaurs Matter discusses the present understanding of dinosaurs and something of the history of paleontology. The writing is highly engaging, making the book accessible to an audience without much scientific background without resorting to oversimplification. The section on what dinosaurs experienced at the moment of the meteor strike was especially vivid and fascinating. However, this book suffered from not having any useful figures/pictures. There are some illustrations, but they're all abstracted drawings that look stylish but don't convey information. Why would the author spend all that time discussing the phylogenetic relationships between the various groups of dinosaurs, explaining why birds are considered dinosaurs, but not include a cladogram? It would have made the discussion much easier to follow. (A cladogram is a diagram that shows branches of an evolutionary family tree. They're pretty obvious to interpret even if you don't know the word for them.) The author's descriptions of Dreadnoughtus, the enormous sauropod he discovered, would have been even more interesting with a good artist's depiction. I'm not asking for a picture book, but a few well-chosen figures would have added both clarity and interest to the text.
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  • Donato Colangelo
    January 1, 1970
    The title is misleading. I bought the book expecting a satisfactory digression about this fashinating and undoubtedly important question, but unfortunately I found little of the sort. The central part of the book deals with the story of paleontology and the paradigm shift concerning the age of the Earth and the nature of fossils. Then the author describes, in an exciting chapter, the discovery of Dreadnoughtus. In all of this pile of information, though, the concept of the importance of dinosaur The title is misleading. I bought the book expecting a satisfactory digression about this fashinating and undoubtedly important question, but unfortunately I found little of the sort. The central part of the book deals with the story of paleontology and the paradigm shift concerning the age of the Earth and the nature of fossils. Then the author describes, in an exciting chapter, the discovery of Dreadnoughtus. In all of this pile of information, though, the concept of the importance of dinosauria is never developed. It disappears after the first chapter, never to be reprised till the last chapter.The book is well written and presents an unusual style. In itself is a nice reading experience. The big flaw is the title. To me it seems as the title chosen was the wrong one. I cannot explain it otherwise. So I chose the book in the title base and I found myself reading something I did not expect...
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  • Wouter
    January 1, 1970
    The point that Lacovara tries to make has merit. Unfortunately the set-up of the book is unhelpful to make this book a classic. By taking a chronological perspective of geology and palaeontology, the first part of the book reads like a superficial version of many other books that explore the significance of deep time (Sean Carroll’s The Big Picture and Carl Sagan’s work spring to mind). Taking a leaf from the book of Steven Spielberg, only halfway through the book the dinosaurs arrive, when Laco The point that Lacovara tries to make has merit. Unfortunately the set-up of the book is unhelpful to make this book a classic. By taking a chronological perspective of geology and palaeontology, the first part of the book reads like a superficial version of many other books that explore the significance of deep time (Sean Carroll’s The Big Picture and Carl Sagan’s work spring to mind). Taking a leaf from the book of Steven Spielberg, only halfway through the book the dinosaurs arrive, when Lacovara starts digging into the very first fossil finds. Just like a Stegosaurus, the sting is in the tail of this book. His personal stories surrounding the discovery of Dreadnoughtus are interesting and the concluding chapter is the first one that really tackles the main question (why dinosaurs matter) head on. The book could have excelled had the author dared to let go of human chronology and put dinosaurs centre stage from the get-go. All in all an enjoyable read, but not one for the ages.
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  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this one but it didn't actually tell me much. I'm behind on my titanosaur reading, so I'm glad for the update. Much of this is what anyone inclined to pick up this book already knows. It's a well-written brief, but ultimately meh. I'd have preferred more history or more in-depth arguments to why they mattered. The introduction was great, likewise, the summation-some really great lines there-but if his main argument is to gain perspective and humility it's lost in the middle. (Nor is it I enjoyed this one but it didn't actually tell me much. I'm behind on my titanosaur reading, so I'm glad for the update. Much of this is what anyone inclined to pick up this book already knows. It's a well-written brief, but ultimately meh. I'd have preferred more history or more in-depth arguments to why they mattered. The introduction was great, likewise, the summation-some really great lines there-but if his main argument is to gain perspective and humility it's lost in the middle. (Nor is it specific to the study of dinosaurs. Most of science should give that-take a few minutes to watch the video about the largest stars in the universe.)It's less up to date on the dinosaurs and a lot longer of a book, but I think Bryson's a Short History of Nearly Everything does something similar, better in terms of overarching themes.
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  • Joe Corson
    January 1, 1970
    The answer to the question posed by the title is only very briefly and loosely answered. The final message was honorable and important, but there was way too much buildup to make it worth reading the entire book for it. The first and last chapters were all that answered the question. Sure, the chapters in between developed a sense of the evolution and greatness of the dinosaurs, but that wasn't necessary to answer the question. The title was more of an excuse to write a brief history of geology, The answer to the question posed by the title is only very briefly and loosely answered. The final message was honorable and important, but there was way too much buildup to make it worth reading the entire book for it. The first and last chapters were all that answered the question. Sure, the chapters in between developed a sense of the evolution and greatness of the dinosaurs, but that wasn't necessary to answer the question. The title was more of an excuse to write a brief history of geology, paleontology, and dinosaurs. I would have liked to see more of the modern applications of what was learned by the dinosaurs (besides the abstract takeaway at the end), such as more of the innovations derived from dinosaur biology (touched briefly at the beginning of the book).
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  • JDL Wahaha
    January 1, 1970
    Hmm, I listened to the audiobook 3 times and fell asleep during the first two play lol. Let's see, he said Einstein is a failure because he's dead. Penguins are dinosaurs. Human were fish. Hmm... something about teeth. Hmm... He is really enthusiastic about his experience and findings and I think it's really nice. It certainly took me to a different view on dinosaur bones and some big words I didn't really understand. This is my second audiobook. I think I'm more of visual person because I tend Hmm, I listened to the audiobook 3 times and fell asleep during the first two play lol. Let's see, he said Einstein is a failure because he's dead. Penguins are dinosaurs. Human were fish. Hmm... something about teeth. Hmm... He is really enthusiastic about his experience and findings and I think it's really nice. It certainly took me to a different view on dinosaur bones and some big words I didn't really understand. This is my second audiobook. I think I'm more of visual person because I tend to forget what was brought up earlier and kept being distracted by the surroundings. The content is not so bad i guess (if i'm more awake during the talk).
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  • Carianne Carleo-Evangelist
    January 1, 1970
    This was the perfect book to read on the tail of AMNH's exhibit on feathered dinosaurs, which covered some of the tenets in Dr. Lacovara's book visually. We often hear "birds are dinosaurs", but what does that actually mean-and is there more significance to T Rex's short arms than endless memes? Like AMNH's Michael Novacek, Dr. Lacovara writes in an easily accessible manner that simultaneously builds on and develops the public's curiosity about dinosaurs while addressing some of the myths that c This was the perfect book to read on the tail of AMNH's exhibit on feathered dinosaurs, which covered some of the tenets in Dr. Lacovara's book visually. We often hear "birds are dinosaurs", but what does that actually mean-and is there more significance to T Rex's short arms than endless memes? Like AMNH's Michael Novacek, Dr. Lacovara writes in an easily accessible manner that simultaneously builds on and develops the public's curiosity about dinosaurs while addressing some of the myths that commonly surround these animals. I also enjoyed learning a little more about the Dreadnoughtus, which he discovered. A light, engaging read
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  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    An expanded TED talk in pocket size book form about why we should look to history and past scientific evidence to solve today’s problems. Common sense, but this book in particular addresses the mindset of why do we focus on large failures (i.e “dinosaurs went extinct”) vs small achievements (i.e physical anatomy of creatures that rival modern architecture). This book was suggested to me by someone who thought their suggestion was funny since I’m not a fan of dinosaurs, but I walked away with a r An expanded TED talk in pocket size book form about why we should look to history and past scientific evidence to solve today’s problems. Common sense, but this book in particular addresses the mindset of why do we focus on large failures (i.e “dinosaurs went extinct”) vs small achievements (i.e physical anatomy of creatures that rival modern architecture). This book was suggested to me by someone who thought their suggestion was funny since I’m not a fan of dinosaurs, but I walked away with a reminder to keep my mindset in check and newfound knowledge.
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  • Sean Munson
    January 1, 1970
    Overall, a pleasant and engaging read. Lacovara nicely interweaves a discussion of our evolving understanding of dinosaurs (no pun intended), the people and discoveries who have shaped that understanding, and diversity of dinosaurs. I found myself reading this with Google Image Search open, so that I could see example renderings or fossils for the various creatures Lacovara discussed -- I'd love to see an edition with perhaps more illustrations.
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  • Mary Beth
    January 1, 1970
    This was a well written book that explains our place in time and how “deep time” really explains the dinosaur place in time. I had only a small idea of everything the dinosaurs encompassed but now I know that there is so much more. It is amazing and fascinating. They were here for millions of years. We have no concept of that kind of time. We are a blink, barely noticeable on the deep time scale. Truly amazing. I learned a lot from this book.
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  • Greg
    January 1, 1970
    This guy writes about dinosaurs with the enthusiasm of a 10 year old kid with the knowledge of a world renowned paleontologist. The short length of the book ensures that it stays to the interesting high tops of the subject but goes into enough detail to peak your curiosity. I don't know that he effectively answers the question of, "Why do dinosaurs matter?", but he certainly packs some great information about our modern day knowledge of these great creatures.
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  • Alex Yard
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, which can be found on RunSpotRun.com.In essence, this book is not all that worth your time. Some interesting factoids, but it sort of reads like some online science articles. Some of the more fascinating moments involve deep time, age of the earth in general and evolutionary processes that aren't specific to dinosaurs, which made the focus feel unfocused.
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  • Les Hopper
    January 1, 1970
    Nice overview of a few interesting facts, mostly ones you'll already know. Otherwise just a slightly bloated leaflet without much of a thread. Why do dinosaurs matter? Well, the book doesn't really say, but essentially it's just because most people liked them and they're pretty interesting. Agreed, but not exactly deep or insightful. It gets two stars not one because...dinosaurs!
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  • Ross
    January 1, 1970
    Not a fit for me. From the title I thought this would be recent up-to-date new science.It turned out to be an introduction to paleontology for Junior High School level intellects, and I happen to have a PhD in the subject area.So I only read a small part of the book before abandoning it.Note that this is a very good book for Junior High School students
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    How can a book about dinosaurs be this bad? Instead of writing a lengthy review, I will give the book an appropriate subtitle as if it was written a hundred years ago...Why Dinosaurs Matter: A Story of the Lack of Intelligence of Ancient Humanity (and Current Religious Persons) for Not Understanding the True Age of the Earth; With a Climax to Remind the Reader of the Utter Meaningless and Eventual End to Life on Earth.
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