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The Great Dinosaur Discoveries
The Great Dinosaur Discoveries
Darren Naish
University of California Press, 2009
192 pp., $36.95

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Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life
Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life
Scott D. Sampson
University of California Press, 2009
352 pp., $85.00

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John H. McWhorter


Reanimation

The bounty of the "Dinosaur Renaissance."

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What popular paleontology now needs is a book based on a more fine-grained timeline than Naish provides, incorporating even more of The List of dinosaur species while making clear their relevance to scientific hypotheses. In other words, a book seeking to bring these animals back alive, Sampson-style.

Until then, I will delight in two books that give me a sense of purchase upon The List which had eluded me since the 1980s. Sure, dinosaurs are, as the young'uns say today in reference to much besides T. Rex, "fierce." The challenge is to show that they are also interesting.

John H. McWhorter is the author of Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English (Gotham).

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