Brian Switek

Ancient success story

Some dinosaurs managed to survive mass extinction 66 million years ago – and birds are their descendants

The age of dinosaurs is a perennial favourite on any time traveller’s wishlist. Even though we’re technically still in it — birds carry on the legacy of Velociraptor and company — there’s an irresistible urge to visit the time when towering, scaly, feathery, toothy saurians stomped around the planet. Since backwards time travel is impossible and DNA degrades too fast for us to have any hope of creating a real Jurassic Park, however, what we know of the ‘terrible lizards’ is written in bone and fossil footprints, and paleontologist Steve Brusatte’s The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs weaves together...

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