Dinosaurs Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution in Palaeontology with Professor Mike Benton

Michael Benton is Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Bristol. He has been at the heart of all the new developments in dinosaur science for many years. He has written more than 50 books, including the standard textbooks in Paleontology and the seminal 'When Life Nearly Died.'


Much of paleobiology used to be speculative – how much did that dinosaur weigh, what colour was it, did it care for its young, how fast did it run? These used to be impossible questions to answer.

But there has been a revolution in the past twenty years : huge developments in technology and computer modelling, and a massive increase in the discovery of dinosaur fossils. What used to be speculation is now testable...

Amazing new fossils show us more about ancient life than we ever imagined. Some of these even preserve soft tissues, hair and feathers, and traces of guts and nervous systems.

One of Mike's major contributions has been the construction of the first supertree all dinoasaur species, so it's not only possible to work out how fast certain traits evolved, or whether a particular burst of evolution was triggered by environmental change, but also the whole relationship between different branches of the dinosaur family.

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Professor Michael Benton

At Bristol University, Mike has built a ground breaking research group of 7 staff, 20 research fellows and postdocs, 20 PhD students, and 30 Masters students.

The Bristol Paleobiology Research Group has been identified by the Center for World University Rankings as the top palaeontology research group in the world.

The book “The Dinosaurs Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution in Palaeontology” is published by Thames & Hudson (London, New York) on 25th April, 2019. You can order it here or here.

There will be signed copies of his book available to buy at the Ebenezer.

2019Martin Keeley