Dinosaurs didn’t die out when an asteroid hit Earth 66 million years ago. Get ready to unthink what you thought you knew and journey into the deep, dark depths of the Jurassic.

The discovery of the first feathered dinosaur in China in 1996 sent shockwaves through the palaeontological world. Were the feathers part of a complex mating ritual, or a stepping stone in the evolution of flight? And just how closely related is T. rex to a chicken?

Award-winning journalist John Pickrell reveals how dinosaurs developed flight and became the birds in our backyards. He delves into the latest discoveries in China, the US, Europe and uncovers a thriving black market in fossils and infighting between dinosaur hunters, plus the controversial plan to use a chicken to bring dinosaurs back from the dead.

ISBN 9781742233666 | Published in Australia by NewSouth | Published in North America by Columbia University Press | 240pp | 234x153mm | $29.99

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best bird books

“I’ve never before assembled a formal end-of-year-list of what I consider to be the best bird books published but, inspired by Ian ‘Birdbooker’ Paulsen’s recent blog piece, “The Best Bird Books of 2014”, I decided to share my bird books choices for this year, too,” says Guardian blogger GrrlScientist. “Ian’s choices are aimed at ornithologists, birders and book collectors, so you will see that my choices are significantly different; almost all of my choices are targeted primarily towards those who seek stories about birds.” Find the full list here.

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Banner image: Feathered dinosaur Guanlong wucaii faces off against its modern relative and ‘flying dinosaur’ the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Guanlong is the earliest known tyrannosaur (Late Jurassic, 158–163 million years ago) and one of the smallest members of the group at about 4 metres long. Credit: Guanlong wucaii © Peter Schouten, reproduced with permission. Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Thinkstock.