Extinctions review: A fast-paced story of going extinct on

2H2KWF7 Flowers and trees during the Cretaceous period, illustration

The Cretaceous imagined, complete with flowers and a pterosaur


Michael J. Benton (Thames & Hudson)

“DO YOU guys ever think about dying?” blurts out Stereotypical Barbie, horrifying her friends and kicking off Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie. Maybe she had just read Michael J. Benton’s Extinctions: How life survives, adapts and evolves, an account of the worst calamities to have befallen life during the past billion or so years.

For a book that is essentially a catalogue of mass death, it is a remarkably breezy read. This isn’t surprising, given Benton has …

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