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Discovery Channels Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Predators Paperback – June 21, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 18 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Zenescope; First Edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 120 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0982750749
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0982750742
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 9 - 12 years
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 4 and up
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 7.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.9 x 0.4 x 8.8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 18 ratings

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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
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Reviewed in the United States on November 4, 2021
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1.0 out of 5 stars 1 of the worst I've ever reviewed
Reviewed in the United States on November 4, 2021
Short version: If you want the best collection of day-in-the-life dino stories, get Stout's "The New Dinosaurs" & read it in conjunction with other, more recent books (E.g. Naish/Barrett's "Dinosaurs: How They Lived and Evolved"). If you want the best educational graphic novel about dinos, get Howard's "Dinosaur Empire! (Earth Before Us #1): Journey through the Mesozoic Era" & read it in conjunction with other, more adult books (E.g. Naish/Barrett's book). Brusha et al.'s "Discovery Channel's Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Predators" (henceforth DC) fails at being either of these or even just decent in its own right. In fact, in some ways, it fails more than any other dino book I've ever reviewed.

Long version: Read on.

While I can't say that any 1 dino book is the worst ever, I can say that DC is 1 of the worst I've ever reviewed. Everything about DC feels like the ultimate cheap cash-in. Put another way, imagine what it'd be like if Dingo Pictures (Google "Dingo Pictures | Phelous") had made "The Christmas Tree" (Google "The Christmas Tree | Phelous"). DC is equivalent to that. In this review, I list the 4 main reasons why I think that is, besides the lack of expert consulting.*

1) Let me walk you through how bad DC's paleoart is: 1st, as a basis for comparison, see the mostly-accurate T. rex on the cover of Abramson et al.'s "Inside Dinosaurs" from around the same time; Then, see the shameless rip-off of the "Jurassic Park" T. rex on DC's cover; If you're anything like me when I 1st saw DC, you're probably thinking something like, "At least it looks good...Maybe it's worth a look inside"; However, I soon realized it isn't when I saw that the introductory T. rex are both shameless rip-offs of the JP T. rex & extremely outdated/abominable ones at that (I.e. 3-fingered bunny hands, big blocky scales, etc: [See attached photo] ); Worse still, they're inconsistently abominable (I.e. Their shapes/proportions/colors vary from panel to panel) & depicted in what looks like an inappropriately-modern environment that's been painted over with CG (E.g. Grass, grass everywhere).

2) DC may have the most annoyingly-inconsistent writing. This is especially apparent in the Fact Files: Some list both common & scientific names (I.e. Genus & Genus+species, respectively) while others only list common names; Some incorrectly capitalize the species part of scientific names while others don't; Some translate common names while others translate scientific names; Some put the translation in quotes while others don't; Some list orders or suborders under "Dinosaur type" (E.g. "Theropoda" for Allosaurus) while others list families (E.g. "Dromaeosaurids" for Velociraptor) & still others list neither (E.g. "Armored" for Ankylosaurus); Some include "Period" after "Jurassic" or "Cretaceous" while others don't; Some list continents under "Fossils Found" while others list countries & still others list states. The main text writing is also annoyingly inconsistent in terms of bolding & punctuation as well as annoyingly hyperbolic & all-caps (E.g. See the 1st Brusha et al. quote; The originally-bolded words are in brackets; However, I refuse to type the quote out in all-caps, hence why it's all lowercase).

3) DC may be the most hit-&-miss in terms of getting the facts straight. This is especially apparent in the Fact Files because the misses stick out more with less text.** However, as bad as the "FACT FILE" misses are, the main text misses may be even worse in degree (E.g. See the 1st Brusha et al. quote; In actuality, Velociraptor was beaver-sized & lived in a desert environment).

4) Despite only accounting for 0.5/5 stars, organization may be the worst aspect of DC in terms what it implies: For 1, the introductory & concluding chapters consist of a few sparsely & vaguely-written paragraphs/sentences; This is especially apparent in "TIMELINE" (E.g. See the 2nd Brusha et al. quote, which represents 2 back-to-back paragraphs about the Cretaceous; Notice that nothing is explained & there is no logical transition or flow); This implies that DC was just thrown together; For another, the stories themselves are arranged alphabetically, beginning with Allosaurus & ending with Velociraptor; This works in alphabet books (which are for younger kids) & certain reference works, but that's about it; This implies that the creators of DC don't think highly of their older kid audience.

*Not that the Discovery Channel was doing a good job consulting with experts at the time, even when it had experts to consult with (Google "Lies, damned lies, and Clash of the Dinosaurs").

**Even if you only read the Fact Files, you'll see that there's an average of at least 3 or 4 factual errors per page in DC, a 120 page book (E.g. Velociraptor =/= Russian obligate pack hunter; Also, the "Late Cretaceous Period" is NOT an "Era", hence the "Period").

Quoting Brusha et al.: "80 million years ago a predator not much larger than our modern day lion terrorized the forests and plains of the late cretaceous period...the velociraptor was armed with a more impressive array of [weapons] than a lion, or any [other] predator that walks the earth today."

Quoting Brusha et al.: "The cretaceous period is the most explosive period as dinosaur, animal, and fish diversity grew in scope. Pangea's component parts split further, a harbinger of more dramatic changes that would eventually doom the dinosaurs. The dinosaur began to evolve into species that not only ate plants but meat...The non-avian dinosaurs struggled to find food and their populations declined. The long-necked beasts that thrived on plants were gone. The cretaceous-tertiary extinction events remain a mystery but the results were clear: The day of the dinosaur has ended."
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Top reviews from other countries

Aayush Roy Choudhury
4.0 out of 5 stars ... all the latest information regarding the most popular and favorite dinosaurs and the illustrations are just amazing
Reviewed in India on February 12, 2018
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Cellier Orlando
5.0 out of 5 stars Le monde perdu
Reviewed in France on February 28, 2013