The Last Days of the Dinosaurs: Provost Author Lecture with Riley Black
April 25, noon-1pm
Office of the Provost and University Libraries present the annual author lecture, featuring Riley Black and her book The Last Days of the Dinosaurs. Join us on April 25 from noon-1pm in AAC 290 for Black's talk and a Q&A led by Provost Mary Clark.
The Last Days of the Dinosaurs
Picture yourself in the Cretaceous period; it’s a sunny afternoon in the Hell Creek of ancient Montana 66 million years ago. A Triceratops horridus ambles along the edge of the forest. In a matter of hours, everything here will be wiped away. Lush vegetation will be replaced with fire. Tyrannosaurus rex will be toppled from their throne, along with every other species of non-avian dinosaur no matter their size, diet, or disposition. They just don’t know it yet.
In The Last Days of the Dinosaurs: An Asteroid, Extinction and the Beginning of Our World, Riley Black walks readers through what happened in the days, the years, the centuries, and the million years after the impact, tracking the sweeping disruptions that overtook this one spot, and imagining what might have been happening elsewhere on the globe. But while The Last Days of the Dinosaurs starts with the worst single day in the history of life on Earth, that’s not where the story ends. This is also “the story of how life bounces back from the worst day in history. Life’s losses were sharp and deeply felt 66 million years ago,” writes Black “but each fiddlehead struggling for light, each shivering mammal in its burrow, each turtle that plopped off a log into weed-choked waters set the stage for the world as we know it now. This is not a monument to loss. This is an ode to resilience that can only be seen in the wake of catastrophe.”
THE LAST DAYS OF THE DINOSAURS is a story of both a fall and a rise; the end of the largest, strangest and most ferocious land animals our Earth has ever seen and the beginning of a story that ends in us.
RILEY BLACK (she/her) has been heralded as “one of our premier gifted young science writers” and is the critically-acclaimed author of Skeleton Keys, My Beloved Brontosaurus, Written in Stone, and When Dinosaurs Ruled. An online columnist for Scientific American, Riley has become a widely-recognized expert on paleontology and has appeared on programs such as Nova, Science Friday, HuffingtonPost Live, and All Things Considered. Riley has also written on nerdy pop culture.