Artful digital collage makes it easy to imagine memorable modern encounters with a hippo-eating snake and other extinct creatures.
Except for a species of dwarf elephant that was about the same size as the sheep among which it poses here, the animals on display were all outsized—ranging from the evocatively named Titanoboa and a hawk-sized dragonfly dubbed Meganeura to 8-foot-long prehistoric beavers and the armored frog Beelzebufo. Mendez superimposes photorealistic digital images of each into contemporary settings, often to dramatic effect: the aforementioned amphibian is posed nose to nose with a German shepherd, for instance, and a white woman looks understandably shocked at the 7-foot-long Arthropleura, a Carboniferous millipede, rearing up on her kitchen counter. Along with an opening overview and closing notes about fossil-hunting, Rake supplies basic facts about each creature’s size, range, and probable habits. Rake and Mendez repeat the formula for equally memorable scenarios in the co-published Prehistoric Giants, Prehistoric Predators, and Prehistoric Sea Beasts.
Armchair thrills aplenty for Anthropocene readers.(index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)