Beyond the Library

I Love Dinosaurs! But I’m a Grownup!

I loved dinosaurs as a kid. That statement shouldn’t be too surprising, as many children love dinosaurs, at least for a time. But while a lot of kids loose interest in dinosaurs somewhere around adolescence, I never did. I have been interested in dinosaurs and paleontology my whole life. It fascinates me to pictures these incredible animals, to try and imagine what they looked like, what color they were, what they ate, and how they behaved. Looking through a guide on prehistoric life is a lot like looking through a book on mythological monsters, but these creatures were all alive, living on our own planet, only long ago. The only thing I enjoy as much as learning about prehistoric beasts is sharing that interest with other people. And while many kids will gladly talk about dinosaurs and their love of them, I haven’t met many adults who do. I think a lot of adults (and teens) make the mistake of thinking dinosaurs are something mainly for kids to be interested in. But that is not true. Paleontology, the study of prehistoric life, can be a fascinating subject that all ages can enjoy. And there are many resources out there for grown up dino nerds.

As a youth and teen services librarian, I can tell you there are many, many books written for children about dinosaurs. But there are also many books written for adults as well, and not all of them are dry academic books either. One of my favorite recent titles is The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte. This book does what the subtitle promises, it tells the story of the dinosaurs, from their very early beginnings in the Triassic, to their rise to dominance in the Jurassic, to their extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period. Brusatte, a paleontologist, did a great job writing this book. It is engaging, and his enthusiasm for dinosaurs and fossils is very contagious. I never felt bored while reading this book and learned a lot. Another book I’ve been enjoying recently is Dinosaurs The Grand Tour: Everything Worth Knowing About Dinosaurs from Aardonyz to Zuniceratops by Keiron Pim, now in its second edition. This book is a dino field guide of sorts, profiling hundreds of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures that shared the Earth with them. There are many other books like this, but I really enjoy this one for some of the stories it gives about some of the discoveries that were made about the creatures and the people behind them. Plus I really like the illustrations by Fabio Pastori. Finally, I wanted to quickly mention a recent title called Dinosaurs Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution in Paleontology by Michael J. Benton. This book is more academic in style than the other two titles, but if you are an uber dino nerd like myself you may enjoy it for providing some details on some of the latest new discoveries in dinosaur science. All of these books are available on Hoopla.

    I also wanted to mention a few digital sources you can go to geek out over everything prehistoric. One of my favorite YouTube channels is PBS Eons, which covers different chapters in prehistory and the different prehistoric creatures that once inhabited our planet, including trilobites, giant amphibians, saber toothed cats, dire wolves, and of course dinosaurs. Also worth checking out is The Brain Scoop, a channel hosted by Emily,  Curiosity Correspondent from the Field Museum in Chicago, as she explores various topics in natural history, including paleontology. And speaking of the Field Museum (one of my favorite museums ever!) stop by their website,, to read articles and blog posts about dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures and see some fun videos. The American Museum of Natural History in New York,, is also providing some great digital resources, including virtual tours of their halls, including the fossil halls.

Of course as great as some of these sites are, they won’t fully replace visiting these institutions in real life. So I know I for one look forward to the day I can enter their vast halls again and gaze up in wonder at these amazing animals that once roamed our planet.

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