Scholarly, hilarious, and sometimes absurd, this interdisciplinary book is fascinating. I learned that Europe had been an archipelago, and that the apex predator of one island was a giant carnivorous hedgehog. And that such a thing as the giant winged and likely dinosaur-eating Transylvanian pterosaur Hatzegopteryx existed, described elsewhere as a “giraffe-sized, quadrupedal Panzer-stork.” No kidding, look it up. Sometimes it’s the ancient fauna that amaze; other times it’s the protopaleontologists that defy belief. This natural history is about as dry as albondigas soup.