Jurassic World Dominion dinosaur expert from Edinburgh writes new children's book with his wife

As dinosaur consultant on the new blockbuster movie Jurassic World Dominion, he helped bring to life the incredible world of the prehistoric creatures for a global audience of millions.

Now Edinburgh University paleontologist and professor Steve Brusatte has teamed up with his wife Anne to inspire a new generation of young Scottish dinosaur fans.

The couple have written the first ever children's picture book featuring a cast of dinosaurs and other animals that really roamed Scotland's real Jurassic Park 170 million years ago.

Hide Ad

They launched the book, "Dugie the Dinosaur, Scotland's Sauropod", at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose.

Shalla Gray's stunningly illustrated front cover of new children's book, Dugie the Dinosaur
Hide Ad
Read More
Finding a very real Jurassic Park on the Isle of Skye

The book, aimed at children aged from five to ten, was inspired by the real life fossils and footprints found by Steve and his team on the Isle of Skye.

Hide Ad

Steve's work caught the attention of the Jurassic World filmmakers and he was approached to be the paleontologist consultant on Jurassic World Dominion.

He has spent the last two years working with the director, artists and writers to try to make the dinosaurs as realistic as possible.

Jurassic World Dominion palaeontologist Steve Brusatte travels the world from his base at Edinburgh University to learn more about dinosaurs

Anne, 36, a primary school teacher in Edinburgh, came up with the heroic story of a young long-necked sauropod separated from his herd and the creatures he encounters in his quest to get home.

Hide Ad

And Illinois-born Steve, 38, who has written several scientific books and over 100 academic papers on dinosaurs and fossils, used his expertise to match the amazing animals and their surroundings to Jurassic Scotland.

The couple hope Dugie, illustrated by Shalla Gray, lead artist for Wigtownshire publishers Curly Tale Books, will inspire a lifelong passion among young readers, including their own son Anthony, to whom the book is dedicated.

Hide Ad

Steve said: "Everything in the story and the illustrations are things that would have actually lived in Scotland. It's not just the big dinosaurs but the mammals, the reptiles and the insects that convey what the environment would have been like.”

The illustrations in Dugie the Dinosaur will spark the imaginations of youngsters Pic: Shalla Gray

Steve, the was resident paleontologist for the BBC's Walking With Dinosaurs, made sure the creatures brought to life on-screen were scientifically accurate.

Hide Ad

These included, for the first time, feathered dinosaurs - fierce velociraptors that also appear in the children's book after fossil teeth found on Skye provided evidence that raptors once lived in Scotland.

Giant creatures in the book, from stegosaurs and pterodactyls to a terrifying "marine lizard" known as a Dearcmhara, have all been proven to have lived in what is now Skye alongside small mammals, lizards and creepie crawlies.

Hide Ad
Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) getting up close and personal with an Allosaurus and a Carnotaurus in Jurassic World Dominion PIC: Universal Studios / Amblin Entertainment

Anne came up with the story featuring Scotland's dinosaurs after a family trip to Skye less than a year after the birth of their son, Anthony, who sat in a giant fossilised footprint.

The book is dedicated "to Anthony, who sat in Dugie's footsteps before his first birthday".

Anne said: "In the story, Dugie is a young sauropod that lives with his family in the lagoons on Skye. Separated from the herd in a storm and trying to find his way home, he meets a stegosaur and a pterodactyl, but they are chased by scary raptors on the way.

Hide Ad

"It's a picture book and a fictional story but all the creatures really lived in Scotland. I think the only artistic licence is in the colours, which are very hard to prove from fossils. Lots of children love to read and I hope a book like Dugie the Dinosaur could have a lasting effect."

* Dugie the Dinosaur, Scotland's Sauropod, by Anne & Steve Brusatte and illustrated by Shalla Gray, is published by Curly Tale Books, priced £9.99.

Hide Ad
Dugie the Dinosaur's colourful jungle home Pic: Shalla Gra



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.