There’s no shortage of dinosaur encyclopedias. From technical volumes to children’s picture books, dinosaur catalogs have proliferated in both dead-tree and e-book formats. Among the slew of titles, though, the newly-released Inside the World of Dinosaurs for the iPad looks to be one of the prettiest offerings.
The major hook for the new app is a wealth of computer-animated dinosaurs. A total of 60 prehistoric creatures—mostly dinosaurs with a few non-dinosaurian Mesozoic favorites among the lot—are put through their paces in animated walk cycles and re-enacted battles. Aside from common paleo quibbles—the Deinonychus have “bunny hands” and their feathers are not well realized—the artwork seems to be on par with any dinosaur documentary you’re likely to see on television today. And you can browse through this prehistoric menagerie in different ways, including a timeline which places dinosaurs in their chronological order (a nice feature since the “Age of Dinosaurs” is too often viewed as block of time where Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods are smashed together.) A bonus is narration by Stephen Fry, the British actor who recently narrated March of the Dinosaurs.
Sadly, though, the app is only available to those with an iPad. I don’t think I could justify the purchase another piece of expensive hardware just to play with dinosaurs. If you have tried out this app, though, let us know what you think in the comments.