Field of Science

Finally a Dinosaur Textbook with a Section on Dinosaur Origins! Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History

In 2010 when I reviewed the first edition of Fastovsky and Weishampel "Dinosaurs: a Concise Natural History" for the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology I gave it a good review, recommending it for classroom use.  However, one complaint I had was that as a book on dinosaurs it had almost no coverage of dinosaur origins.  David Fastovsky took note and assured me that the next edition would remedy this. 

Well I'm happy to say that the second edition is out and does indeed have a much expanded section on dinosaur origins. Thanks to David and David for not taking my constructive criticism too hard and adding this section. In my opinion this makes what I think is the best dinosaur textbook available even better. 


  1. It's a great book but I feel Steve Brusatte's Dinosaur Paleobiology is a necessary complement.

  2. I did forget about Steve's new book...I bought a copy but have not had a chance to read it yet, but I believe it too has an early dinosaur chapter so my apologies.

  3. Jerrold - I think the two books are meant for different audiences. Fastovsky & Weishampel is definitely geared more towards a lower division non-major university survey course; the type folks take to satisfy distribution requirements or for fun. In contrast, Brusatte's book is for a bit more specialized audience.

  4. Thanks guys. Jerry, always appreciate your kind words! The two books are a bit different, but complementary. Lower division undergrads would probably have a tough time if they started off with Dinosaur Paleobiology. Dave and Dave's book is probably the best dinosaur textbook for a general audience (along with Tony Martin's book). Dinosaur Paleobiology is a bit more specialized, and more of a review of dinosaur science for an upper division/grad student/researcher crowd. The obvious thing to do, though, is read and buy both of them! :-)


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