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Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & Ranked

Until you’ve consumed all of the best Paleontology books, can you even claim to be a true fan?

1. Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth (2012)

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & RankedWith an extensive catalog at its heart, Prehistoric Life profiles hundreds of fascinating species in incredible detail. The story starts in earnest 3.8 billion years ago, with the earliest-known form of life on Earth, a bacteria that still exists today, and journeys through action-packed millennia, charting the appearance of new life forms as well as devastating extinction events. Of course, the ever-popular and endlessly intriguing dinosaurs feature large, but Prehistoric Life gives you the whole picture, and the plants, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, reptiles, and mammals that are the ancestors of today’s…
Author(s): DK Publishing

2. Dinosaurs―The Grand Tour: Everything Worth Knowing About Dinosaurs from Aardonyx to Zuniceratops (2016)

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & RankedWe live in a golden age of paleontological discovery—the perfect time to dig in to the spectacular world of dinosaurs. From Aardonyx, a lumbering beast that formed a link between two and four-legged dinosaurs, to Zuniceratops, who boasted a deadly pair of horns, Dinosaurs—The Grand Tour details everything worth knowing about every important dinosaur that scientists know about—more than 300 in all.   In Dinosaurs you’ll learn all the gory details—about geology, anatomy, evolution, astronomy, and even Native American and Chinese mythology….
Author(s): Keiron Pim, Jack Horner

3. Paleontology (A True Book: Earth Science) (2012)

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & RankedA True Book: Earth Science series presents fascinating facts and fun activities that will engage the budding earth scientist, while exploring the fields of geology, meteorology, ecology, and more. This series includes an age appropriate (grades 3-5) introduction to curriculum-relevant subjects and a robust resource section that encourages independent study. Millions of years ago, Earth was populated by animals unlike any that we know today. The only way to learn anything about these extinct species is to study the remains they have left behind in Earth’s rocks and soil. #29,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #15…
Author(s): Susan H. Gray

4. Vertebrate Palaeontology (2014)

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & RankedVertebrate palaeontology is a lively field, with new discoveries reported every week… and not only dinosaurs! This new edition reflects the international scope of vertebrate palaeontology, with a special focus on exciting new finds from China. A key aim is to explain the science. Gone are the days of guesswork. Young researchers use impressive new numerical and imaging methods to explore the tree of life, macroevolution, global change, and functional morphology. The fourth edition is completely revised. The cladistic framework is strengthened, and new…
Author(s): Michael J. Benton

5. I Dig It: A Graph Paper Paleontology Field Book For Notes And Mapping (2018)

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & RankedThis Field Book is a convenient 6×9 size, with a durable, perfect bound cover. Perfect for sketching or jotting down notes while on a paleontology dig or other project out in the field. Graph paper makes it easy to organize thoughts and fit a lot of information onto one page. Makes great Paleontologist gifts! #218,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #96 in Paleontology (Books) Would you like to ?If you are a seller for this product, would you like to ?…
Author(s): Modern Field Books

6. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of Their Lost World (2019)

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & Ranked“THE ULTIMATE DINOSAUR BIOGRAPHY,” hails Scientific American: A thrilling new history of the age of dinosaurs, from one of our finest young scientists. “A masterpiece of science writing.” —Washington PostA New York Times Bestseller • Goodreads Choice Awards Winner • A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Smithsonian, Science Friday, The Times (London), Popular Mechanics, Science News”This is scientific storytelling at its most visceral, striding with the beasts through their Triassic dawn, Jurassic dominance, and abrupt demise in the Cretaceous.”…
Author(s): Steve Brusatte

7. Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction: The Late Paleozoic Ice Age World (2018)

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & RankedPicture a world of dog-sized scorpions and millipedes as long as a car; tropical rainforests with trees towering over 150 feet into the sky and a giant polar continent five times larger than Antarctica. That world was not imaginary; it was the earth more than 300 million years ago in the Carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era. In Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction, George R. McGhee Jr. explores that ancient world, explaining its origins; its downfall in the end-Permian mass extinction, the greatest biodiversity crisis to occur since the evolution of animal life on Earth; and how its legacies still…
Author(s): McGhee Jr., George

8. Paleontology: A Philosophical Introduction (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy and Biology) (2011)

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & RankedIn the wake of the paleobiological revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, paleontologists continue to investigate far-reaching questions about how evolution works. Many of those questions have a philosophical dimension. How is macroevolution related to evolutionary changes within populations? Is evolutionary history contingent? How much can we know about the causes of evolutionary trends? How do paleontologists read the patterns in the fossil record to learn about the underlying evolutionary processes? Derek Turner explores these and other questions, introducing the reader to exciting recent work in the…
Author(s): Derek Turner

9. Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record (2009)

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & RankedThis book presents a comprehensive overview of the science of the history of life. Paleobiologists bring many analytical tools to bear in interpreting the fossil record and the book introduces the latest techniques, from multivariate investigations of biogeography and biostratigraphy to engineering analysis of dinosaur skulls, and from homeobox genes to cladistics. All the well-known fossil groups are included, including microfossils and invertebrates, but an important feature is the thorough coverage of plants, vertebrates and trace fossils together with discussion of the origins of both life and the metazoans. All key…
Author(s): Michael J. Benton, David A. T. Harper

10. Fossil Forensics: Separating Fact from Fantasy in Paleontology (2017)

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & RankedThere is a difference between fact and speculation. Unfortunately, scientists and science media often fail to make the distinction everywhere they should. This is especially true within paleontology. Paleontologists often develop theories which, while interesting or even exciting, lack supporting evidence, or are even flat out contradicted by available evidence. Fossil Forensics: Separating Fact from Fantasy in Paleontology brings you face to face with fossils of all kinds and from every layer of the fossil record. Photographs, diagrams, illustrations, and in-depth…
Author(s): Jerry Bergman , Philip Snow, et al.

11. Dinosaurs 101: What Everyone Should Know about Dinosaur Anatomy, Ecology, Evolution, and More (2019)

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & RankedDINOSAURS 101 is your one-stop source for everything you should know about dinosaurs and paleontology.Authored by world-renowned paleontologists, this book masterfully breaks down the otherwise complex world of dinosaurs and paleontology into well-organized and easy to understand language, concepts, and lessons. Further facilitating the reader’s knowledge of dinosaurs and paleontology, this book also includes over one hundred figures directly illustrating the language, concepts, and lessons it presents.Topics covered in detail include dinosaur: anatomy; eating habits and diet; attack and defense mechanisms; birth, growth, and…
Author(s): Persons IV, W. Scott, Philip J. Currie , et al.

12. Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body (2009)

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & RankedBy examining fossils and DNA, he shows us that our hands actually resemble fish fins, our heads are organized like long-extinct jawless fish, and major parts of our genomes look and function like those of worms and bacteria. Your Inner Fish makes us look at ourselves and our world in an illuminating new light. This is science writing at its finest—enlightening, accessible and told with irresistible enthusiasm. #15,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #10 in Biology of Fishes & Sharks #3 in Creationism #69 in Anatomy (Books) Would you like to ?If you are a seller for this product, would you…
Author(s): Neil Shubin

13. Jurassic Poop: What Dinosaurs (and Others) Left Behind (2006)

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & RankedLeft by an animal long ago, this durable doo-doo survived the long journey through the ages. It started out stinky, but now it’s frozen, dried or turned to rock. To a scientist, it’s anything but gross — it’s a priceless artifact that can help piece together the puzzle of ancient life.Funny and informative, Jurassic Poop is flush with amazing facts, stories and activities. Learn how to spot ancient poop imposters. Meet dung detectives getting to the bottom of history’s hind-end mysteries. Find out how poop gets preserved and discover what it can tell us about dinosaurs, humans and…
Author(s): Jacob Berkowitz, Steve Mack

Best Paleontology Books Reviewed & Ranked

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some paleontology books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Type specimens of fossil fishes: catalogue of the University of Alberta Laboratory for Vertebrate Paleontology

Author(s): Bruner, John Clay
Publisher: CRC Press, Year: 2019, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2417917

King of the Dinosaur Hunters: The Life of John Bell Hatcher and the Discoveries that Shaped Paleontology

Author(s): Lowell Dingus
Publisher: Pegasus Books, Year: 2018, Size: 44 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2320738

Human Paleontology and Prehistory: Contributions in Honor of Yoel Rak

Author(s): Assaf Marom, Erella Hovers (eds.)
Publisher: Springer, Year: 2017, Size: 11 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2119558

Patrons of Paleontology: How Government Support Shaped a Science

Author(s): Jane P. Davidson
Publisher: Indiana University Press, Year: 2017, Size: 28 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2216484

Dynamic Paleontology: Using Quantification and Other Tools to Decipher the History of Life

Author(s): Mark A.S. McMenamin
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2016, Size: 7 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1532525

Geology and Paleontology of the Quaternary of Uruguay

Author(s): Martin Ubilla, Sergio Martínez
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2016, Size: 4 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1532987

The White River Badlands: Geology and Paleontology

Author(s): Rachel C. Benton, Dennis O. Terry, Emmett Evanoff Jr., Hugh Gregory McDonald
Publisher: Indiana University Press, Year: 2015, Size: 17 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1370900

Biopolymers: A molecular paleontology approach

Author(s): Neal S. Gupta
Publisher: Springer Netherlands, Year: 2014, Size: 9 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1294144

Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are truly hot items according to Washington Post, others are written by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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