December 4, 2023

Ruler of the Earth –

Most of the countless books about dinosaurs are still on the surface. The Age of Dinosaurs seems to be reduced to a short interlude in Earth’s history. It is very interesting when an expert gives a report who can also write clearly. Paleontologist Armin Schmidt, a fan of dinosaurs since his childhood, was present at the excavations and told vivid stories about them. Above all, he has an overview of the relevant specialized literature, is informed about the current state of science and is able to correctly classify discoveries and results. Researchers have become increasingly better at reconstructing the past, and have scientifically described about 45 new dinosaur species every year since 2003.

Schmitt’s book is organized chronologically: from the boom of the dinosaurs after the catastrophic transition from the Mesozoic to their demise due to an asteroid impact. This group of animals dominated the Earth for approximately 200 million years. The author describes how feathers were created and which species have feathers. It is dedicated to the powerful lungs of dinosaurs and fossil discoveries in Germany. In a detailed chapter on Tyrannosaurus, he explains why these giant carnivores had no medium-sized competitors at the time. But it was precisely their huge size that led to the extinction of dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. Klaus Jacob

Armin Schmidt
Great giants
DTV, 352 pp., 13 euros,-
ISBN 978-3-423-35207-9