Kaleidoscope of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life / Dinosaurs Rock!

Kaleidoscope of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
Greer Stothers
Wide Eyed Editions

If you thought that dinosaurs were just brown and green, then this book will make you think again.
By means of fossil evidence and modern scientific information that uses examples of living species, author/illustrator Greer Stothers, presents a fascinating, vibrant array of prehistoric creatures like we’ve never seen before’ showing them as they might have been with colours and patterns.
Some of the ideas are speculative and based on what is already known about modern equivalents:

the author visits different locations – polar regions, the sea, forests, deserts – for instance, as well as using art from such places as the Ice Age Americas, ancient Africa, the cave paintings in France from which to hypothesise. We’re also given a look at primeval plants some of which died out alongside non-avian dinosaurs while others survive today.

The ‘Mighty Melanin’ spread is especially rich in detail explaining how this pigment is contained within tiny melanosomes that can be preserved in fossil feathers, scales and skin, thus offering information on the original colours. However every single spread offers plenty of food for thought: What would mutant dinosaurs have looked like? Would a dinosaur living in a snowy region have been super-white?

What role did camouflage play in the time of dinosaurs?

With the countless young dinosaur enthusiasts out there, always hungry for more, the approach taken by Greer Stothers (who studied evolutionary biology at university) offers something stimulating and exciting.

Dinosaurs Rock!
Dougie Poynter
Macmillan Children’s Books

Dino fanatic (eco-warrior and bassist from McFly) Dougie Poynter turns his attention back to dinosaurs, but in a non-fiction book for older primary readers this time. He adopts a light-hearted style but this doesn’t mean that the writing is light on information, far from it. Dougie introduces readers to a wealth of dino-related topics. Before that though, we’re taken right back to the dawn of life on earth for a brief history of how these creatures evolved.

We get up close to a variety of dinosaurs with several profiles including the author’s favourites and then meet five experts on the topic some of whom work in the field of palaeontology. There’s a section on fossil evidence and we read something about Mary Anning and her discoveries in the field, as well as two Americans who started out as friends but then become arch rivals both making lots of mistakes in their efforts to become top palaeontologist.

Also included are a scattering of dino jokes, some historical errors, a sprinkling of true or false statements including this one – Dinosaurs were cold-blooded – that scientists still have different opinions on, with the majority currently thinking that most were warm-blooded.

Lots of the content is presented infographics style, which makes it more easily digested.

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