Friday, June 19, 2015

Understanding Dinosaurs - Part 10: Further Reading

So now I hope you all know at least a little bit more about dinosaurs than when we started this series. It has been a lot of fun to research and write. If you would like to know more on some of the topics I covered, you can always go back and explore all the links within each article.
What? You already did that? Still want more? Okay, I think I can help you there. Below are a number of books, websites and documentaries to further scratch that paleontology itch. I hope it further ignites an interest not only in dinosaurs, but in science in general.
A special thanks to everyone who has been very supportive of this article series.

Further Reading:

Dinosaurs: The Grand Tour - Keiron Pim/Jack Horner
The book that inspired this entire series. One of the best general overviews of dinosaurs with dozens of facts about hundreds of species. Beautifully illustrated and written in simple layman's terms that anyone can read and understand. A great introduction to the deeper world of dinosaurs.

The Great Dinosaur Debate - Robert T Bakker
Written by the author of my favorite fictional dinosaur book (Raptor Red), this enjoyable non-fictional book discusses some of the more controversial theories to come out of paleontology in the last few decades. Most interestingly is Bakker's theories on warm-blooded dinosaurs (a theory now widely accepted).

Wonderful Life - Stephen Jay Gould
This book, by one of the greatest evolutionary biologists, covers the evolution of early life on earth as depicted in the Burgess Shale fossils found in the Canadian Rockies. It doesn't discuss dinosaurs, but rather the earliest forms of life from nearly half a billion years ago.

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia - Dr. Thomas R Holtz Jr.
Like the first entry on this list, this is a massive encyclopedic tome written as a great introduction into the many forms of dinosaurs and interesting facts about their lives and evolution. Written for young readers, its facts and concepts are easy to understand. Great for young dino-nerds who are craving a big reference book.

Feathered Dinosaurs: The Origin of Birds - John Long
A thorough and well written overview of the evidence showing the connection between birds and dinosaurs. Beautifully illustrated, this feathered branch of the dinosaur family tree comes to life with current up-to-date science.


Dinosaur Planet
A four-episode series produced by Discovery Channel, with a more narrative style than straight up fact-driven documentary.

Walking with Dinosaurs
This is an obvious recommendation. Though a few years out of date, it was the first major CGI driven dinosaur documentary. Rather than presenting boring interviews and shots of fossils, BBC created a series that looked and felt more like the nature documentaries of David Attenborough. This series has since gone on to inspire literally every dinosaur documentary since.
(Note: a theatrical film was also released but had a ridiculous audio track added on top giving the dinosaurs voices. I do not in any way recommend that. However if you have the bluray, or see the newly released version titled Prehistoric Planet, the original documentary audio track is available.)

Planet Dinosaur
The follow-up series from BBC plays like an updated Walking with Dinosaurs, however this series covers more of what is known and speculated about dinosaur anatomy and behavior. It also shows a few less depicted species alongside the more well known ones.

Bigger than T. rex
This Nova documentary covers the history of the spinosaurus discovery, the loss of its fossil remains during WWII and more excitingly takes a deep look at the new evidence that shows how little we really know about this creature. Sadly, after watching it, you'll probably start pointing out the inaccuracy of every spinosaurus toy in the toystore.

Note: Many Discovery Channel and other well made TV documentaries are available on YouTube. Many of these are uploaded without the permission of the producers. They can be found by searching for "dinosaur documentaries". However, be warned, amateur and less scientific 'documentaries' also exist here.

Web Videos~

SciShow - Hank Green's fantastic science show answers lots of dino related questions.
5 Animals That Aren't Dinosaurs
What Killed the Dinosaurs?
Will We Ever Run Out of Dinosaurs?
Resurrection Biology

CrashCourse - related to SciShow, a quick classroom overview of various topics.
Evolutionary Biology

Vsauce - Michael Stevens discusses interesting ideas and the science behind them
Jurassic World Science

Discovery News - Answers to all your odd science questions
Dinosaur related topics


Discovery Channel - Dinosaurs

The Smithsonian Institute

Bizarre Dinosaurs - National Geographic

Dinosaur Timeline - The New Scientist

Dinosaur World - BBC

Live Science


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