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PNSO ‘Age of Pterosaurs’ book reviews

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Figure 1. Cover for Age of Pterosaurs, PNSO Field Guide. See figure 2 for competing reconstructions of similar pterosaurs.

Yang 2021 wrote
Age of Pterosaurs, one of several PNSO (Peking Natural Science-Art Organisation) field guides to the ancient world. I haven’t seen the book, other than the cover (Fig 1) which is enough. Here illustrator Zhao Chuang gets top billing over the author.

From the PNSO website:
“The English Age of Pterosaurs received many praise and recommendations from experts. Check out what they are saying about this stunning book. All the following comments quote from the Brown Books official website.”

What follows
are reviews from several well-known names in paleontology followed by another “man in the street” review from someone not-so-well-known.

“Having studied pterosaurs-the first vertebrates to develop active flight-for nearly four decades, I am still amazed at the variety of anatomical shapes revealed with each discovery that comes to light. China is providing many amazing new species that, among others, are masterfully captured by Zhao and Yang in their wonderful reconstructions that bring them back to life. I’m sure this book will make readers fall in love with these fantastic creatures.”

  -Dr. Alexander W. A. Kellner, Researcher and Director, National Museum /
UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In other words: praise for self, praise for pterosaurs, praise for China, praise for illustrator and author, hope and aspiration.

“The skies that are ruled by birds today were once ruled by a vastly different group: the pterosaurs. This book is a fascinating look at their diversity that visually brings them back to life. It is an amazing collection of scientific artistry that offers a graphic appreciation for how much the world has changed over time. It will no doubt grab the hearts and minds of many adults and children, perhaps planting the intellectual seeds to produce professional paleontologists for future generations to come.”

  -Lance Grande, Negaunee Distinguished Service Curator of the Field Museum

In other words: appreciation for birds and pterosaurs, praise for diversity, praise for artistry, hope and aspiration.

“It’s a beautiful book . . . as fine as the very best field guides to modern birds.” 

-Dr. Philip J. Currie, Curator of Dinosaurs and Professor of Dinosaur Palaeobiology, University of Alberta Museum of Paleontology

In other words: ‘beautiful’ and ‘as fine as’.

“Of all the wonderful prehistoric creatures I wish I could see in the flesh, I think pterosaurs are number one. Age of Pterosaurs is the next best thing. The photorealistic pictures truly bring these creatures to life in a fashion I have not seen before. The text and pictures give a good overview of the diversity of these creatures, likely making the reader join me in wishing they could see them in life as well.” 

-Dr. Robert McCord, Chief Curator of Natural History and Curator of Paleontology,
Arizona Museum of Natural History

In other words: Hope and aspiration, secondary praise for book, praise for artistry, praise for text, hope and aspiration.

And now a review from someone not so famous
in paleontology, this one found here at

Overall Review: 5/10 I’m somewhat disappointed, the books feel more like a coffee table art exhibit book than a “Field guide.” Although the paleoart is stunning, that’s pretty much all you’ll get out of these books.
Content: the book contains about 10 pages of general information, then follows the same pattern of 1 artwork focusing on one species every two pages. For pterosaurs, it’s pages 10-178 with 83 species listed.
Art: stunning and beautiful, and in the short time I’ve spent with it, seemingly accurate. The art is the main appeal of the books.
Information: lacking. Most entries get 2 paragraphs which almost always contain fluff and weird conjecture, such as temperament of individual species.
Worth: my GF got these for a banging Black Friday sale at 10$ a piece, but I think they go normally for 30$. The reason she gave them to me early is that she thought they were too underwhelming for Christmas. I wouldn’t pay more than 15$ personally.”

The Tapejaridae ” data-image-caption=”

Figure 1. The Tapejaridae, including Sinopterus, Huaxiapterus, Tapejara, Tupandactylus, Tupuxuara and Thalassodromeus

” data-medium-file=”″ data-large-file=”″ src=”″ alt=”The Tapejaridae” class=”wp-image-1212″ srcset=” 584w, 150w, 300w, 588w” sizes=”(max-width: 584px) 100vw, 584px” />

Figure 2. Click to enlarge. The Tapejaridae, including Sinopterus, Huaxiapterus, Tapejara, Tupandactylus, Tupuxuara and Thalassodromeus.

Yang Y 2021. Age of Pterosaurs. PNSO Field Guide to the Ancient World 2.


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