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Sonderbooks Book Review of

Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled

How do we know what dinosaurs really looked like?

by Catherine Thimmesh


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Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled

How do we know what dinosaurs really looked like?

by Catherine Thimmesh
Review posted March 3, 2014.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, 2013.

Here’s a science book on an ever-popular topic: Dinosaurs. I like science books that look at a field where not everything is known. They can explain how the theories have changed over the years, what scientists currently believe, and how scientists are pursuing further investigation. This book does all those things with the field of paleoart.

Whereas many illustrators depict dinosaurs for entertainment and draw from their imagination, paleoartists draw first from scientific evidence. Their goal is to create the most accurate representation possible, not the most dramatic….

Paleoartists use the fossil bones, and the plant studies, and the rock studies, and all of the other bits of evidence discovered by the various scientists. Then they attempt to bridge the divide between the “knowns” and the “unknowns.”

This book looks at the different scientific factors that a paleoartist considers and talks about changes in our views about dinosaurs, such as discoveries that they were probably warm-blooded, and that some had feathers.

The illustrations come from several different paleoartists, and they are compared with some of the earliest conceptions of dinosaurs, showing how much things have changed.

This book gives a fascinating new take on dinosaurs.