Dinosaurs ruled the Earth more than 23 times longer than humans and all our hominin ancestors have existed. Although these “terrible lizards” became extinct nearly 65 million years ago, their descendants still live among us today, patrolling the skies, stalking prey, and perched outside our windows at night. Modern birds descended from a group of carnivorous dinosaurs called theropods. Millions of years of evolution may have changed their form, but no other group of birds resembles the essence of their carnivorous ancestors like raptors.
Robert Johnson, master falconer, author, and professor of biology at Coastal Carolina University, explores the vast diversity of birds of prey, from eagles and hawks to falcons, vultures, and owls. Johnson sheds light on their adaptations and specializations and reviews the shared history of humans and raptors. He also explores questions such as what makes raptors a vital component in a healthy ecosystem, how they are faring in a world surrounded by human technology, and why some people love birds of prey and others despise them. Johnson also finally gives you a definitive scientific answer to the age-old question of “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”.