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Paleontology book recs for ds13

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Guest youbetcha

My 13 yo son, a self confessed dinosaur nerd, recommends the following (in order):

(1) Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages by Thomas Holtz Jr. and Luis V. Rey

(2) The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs by Gregory S. Paul

(3) Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History by David Fastovsky and David Weishampel


While not the most recent, he rates the Holtz book as a "must have" and it remains his favorite reference in his paleontology library (30+ books).

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These are some of my favorite titles on dinosaurs and fossils for the layman, which could be a good place to start:


Dinosaur Livesby John Horner

Tyrannosaurus Sue: The Exraordinary Saga of the Largest, Most Fought Over T. Rex Ever Foundby Steve Fiffer

A Fish Caught in Time by Samantha Weinberg


As far as true college texts, there are not too many intro-level books that are specifically about dinosaurs or paleontology, because paleontology is usually studied in the early college years as a subset of geology-- and dinosaurs, while fascinating, are really fossils and are studied at first as a tool for dating rock formations and recreating environments. To do college-level study of dinosaurs, you need to understand the context in which the fossils (including dinosaurs) lived and that requires some understanding of other geologic principles. So, assuming your son has already read a freshman-level geology textbook, I'd next recommend moving to a historical geology textbook like this one by Dott and Prothero (a previous edition of this one was one of my favorites as an undergrad, and I still keep it around as a reference).


Other paleontology books that are a step up from Eyewitness and fairly technical, but not all the way to "texbooks" include:

Prehistoric Life by David Norman

Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History (DK book)



Let me if you want additional recommendations, I have a million. :001_smile:

Edited by jar7709
edited to add a couple titles and fix links
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