The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: Four Surprising New Discoveries

University of Edinburgh

Professor Steve Brusatte is a paleontologist at the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He holds a BS in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago, an MSc in Paleobiology from the University of Bristol, and a PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Columbia University. A noted specialist on the anatomy, genealogy, and evolution of the carnivorous dinosaurs, like Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor, Steve has named and described over a dozen new species of dinosaurs and mammals and has written over one hundred and fifty scientific papers. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, and the science consultant for Jurassic World 3: Dominion, the forthcoming film in the Jurassic Park franchise.

Overview

The dinosaurs ruled the Earth for over 150 million years–evolving into spectacular giants, like Brontosaurus and Trex. Over the last two decades, we have learned more about dinosaurs than ever before, thanks to a blistering pace of new fossil discoveries that have produced around 50 new dinosaur species per year, on average. This lecture will recount the story of where dinosaurs came from, how they rose to dominance, how most of them went extinct when a giant asteroid hit, and how some of them lived on as today’s birds. Professor Brusatte will highlight four intriguing new discoveries from his research: footprints of the oldest dinosaur antecedents from Poland; fossils of some of the first enormous dinosaurs from Scotland; new small-bodied tyrannosaur ancestors from Uzbekistan and China; and feathered and winged raptors closely related to birds from China. At a time when Homo sapiens has existed for less than 200,000 years­–and we are already talking about planetary extinction–dinosaurs are a timely reminder of what humans can learn from the magnificent creatures that ruled the earth before us.

 

 

Recommended Reading:

Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World, by Steve Brusatte

Dinosaur Paleobiology, by Stephen L. Brusatte

Dinosaurs Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution in Paleontology, by Michael J. Benton

Dinosaurs: How They Lived and Evolved, by Darren Naish and Paul Barrett

 

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What factors contributed to the rise of dinosaurs in the Triassic period?
  2. Why were some dinosaurs able to get so large?
  3. How did the earliest tyrannosaurs differ from the largest, last-surviving species like Trex?
  4. How did evolution produce a bird from a dinosaur?

 

Reviews

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Mark Brazitis

Great lecture!

The professor is very impressive. His knowledge of the topic helped me to better understand dinosaurs. His presentation style was very energetic, unassuming and friendly. Very enjoyable!

1 year ago
Henning Pehlemann

Great lesson

Very interesting topic presented in a captivating way!

12 months ago
Maggie Olmstead

Enlightening!

I learned a lot in a short time. Thanks so much!

12 months ago
Eric Jay Dolin

Fascinating!

Engaging, informative, and very interesting talk. Easy to understand and appreciate even if you don’t know a great deal about dinosaurs. Thanks!

12 months ago
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