By Kenneth Lacovara
Good day everyone and welcome to my first book review. For my first review I’m going to talk about the book I just finished called Why Dinosaurs Matter. I was instantly interested in this book when I first saw it not only due to to my love of dinosaurs but because in general I thought it was quite an interesting question; why do dinosaurs matter? After all they have been dead for 65 million years (at least all except for the birds), how can they effect us now? This book answers that very question and asks many more, mind tickling ones through out.
Also it’s worth noting the cover illustration is lovely and is a part of what made me want it too.
The book opens with one of my favourite chapters which is called: in defence of dinosaurs. In which Kenneth has a very strong first line that reads “Albert Einstein was a complete and utter failure”. He then lists nearly a full page of how he revolutionised science and so many aspects of every day life with his genius. But in the end, he died from an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Where did all his genius get him? Dead, that’s where. Now of course that is preposterous. A man’s achievements can’t just be undone due to how they died. That’s his point. In the Cambridge dictionary the word dinosaur means “something that is old and that has not been able to change when conditions have changed and is therefore no longer useful”. We often use the word dinosaur in this way. Like when a grandparent is baffled by their new phone and tries to talk to Siri like she is a sentient being, you may refer to them as a dinosaur. However this really doesn’t do the creatures justice. The dinosaurs ruled the earth for 180 million years and saw the earth change in ways we couldn’t imagine. They adapted to every change, mastered every environment and filled every niche. They became the biggest things to ever walk the earth and yet we write them off as some dumb creatures that couldn’t stop their extinction. The thing that was said about Einstein illustrates just how stupid it is for us to suggest that the dinosaurs were a failure just due to the fact that they are not around anymore. Their brilliance must not be understated.
The rest of the chapters cover a plethora of interesting topics like looking at whether penguins are dinosaurs, the reign of the T-Rex, the fall of the dinosaurs, the titan that was Dreadnaughtus and how Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallece came up with the theory of evolution. It becomes very clear throughout every chapter just how important the study of ancient life is to our future.
Kenneth’s writing style flows really nicely despite using a lot of big, field specific words. There is the odd bit of humour injected in the non stop knowledge fest which really helps pace the book.
Ultimately the book was a joy to read. And if I were to answer the question of why dinosaurs matter based on what I read in this book, I’d say that they are the ultimate door to the past that lets us start to understand our future. Dinosaurs are synonymised with the past because of how they have so brilliantly captured the imagination of the public. Above the Egyptians, Aztecs, cave men, pirates, wooly mammoths and saber toothed tigers, the dinosaurs have cemented themselves as our reference point for the ancient past. We can learn so much of how the world changed and how they adapted to change with it and start to implement these things in our modern world.
In a blink of an eye in earth’s history we have started (and are living in) the sixth mass extinction. The difference is, unlike the dinosaurs we can see the asteroid coming, it’s just a shame that asteroid is us. However we can still narrowly escape it if things change. And we have to because it’s worth noting that when the dinosaurs and seventy five percent of life vanished from the planet after the asteroid hit and ended the mesozoic era, the asteroid vanished too. And if we are the asteroid this time around, it doesn’t bode well…
So yeah they are my thoughts on the book, I loved it. But now I don’t know what my rating system is for books. How about… Either add it to my library or burn it. Yeah that’s extreme enough. I’m going with adding it to my library for this. Though I may not read it anymore than three more times, it is a happy addition to my bookshelves.
Thank you all for read
See ya later
P.s did anyone else realise when it comes to Dinosaurs I suddenly start talking all professional?