A portrait gallery of extinct creatures, “scary, attractive, or a little bit bizarre to our eyes,” posed with modern relatives.
García Mora goes for outsized examples, from the titular T. Rex—looking positively dapper in a coat of neatly combed feathers as it towers over a pair of oblivious pullets—and the ancestral dragonfly Meganeura, “large as a seagull,” to giant sloths and armadillos. Rendered in muted, greenish-gold tones, the figures look properly massive but are actually rather small on the page, as plenty of space has been left for early cousin creatures, for scale-capturing views of modern descendants and silhouettes of human children, for close-ups of teeth, feet, or other physical features to show changes over time, and for quick but carefully accurate descriptive notes in tiny type. The gallery isn’t arranged in any particular order, coming to an abrupt end with group portraits of early sharks and other fish, but beyond the eye candy, it does offer examples of both adaptive radiation (species diverging into other species) and evolutionary convergence (different species acquiring similar characteristics) to enrich the basic notion of evolution as an ongoing process. There is no backmatter, making this a bit problematic as a nonfiction resource.
Best adapted for browsing but with some nutritious bits for students of paleontology or animal evolution in general. (Informational picture book. 10-13)