Dinosaurs occupy a sacred place in our childhoods with their awe-inspiring size, terrifying claws and teeth, and otherworldly abilities. They loom over museum halls, thunder through movies, and are a fundamental part of our collective imagination. Now, in My Beloved Brontosaurus, dinosaur fanatic Brian Switek enriches the childlike sense of wonder that these amazing creatures instill in us as he investigates the latest discoveries in paleontology and breathes new life into old bones.
Switek reunites us with these mysterious creatures as he visits desolate excavation sites and hallowed museum vaults, and explores everything from the sex lives of Apatosaurus and T. rex’s feather-laden body to just why dinosaurs vanished (and of course, on his journey, he celebrates the book’s titular hero, “Brontosaurus,” as a symbol of scientific progress, who suffered a second extinction when we learned he never existed, after all).
With infectious enthusiasm, Switek questions what we’ve long held true about these beasts, weaving in stories from his obsession with dinosaurs that started when he was just knee-high to a Stegosaurus. Endearing, surprising, and essential to our understanding of our own evolution and our place on Earth, My Beloved Brontosaurus is a book that dinosaur fans and anyone interested in scientific progress will cherish for years to come.
My Beloved Brontosaurus is published by Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Advance Praise for My Beloved Brontosaurus
"Brian Switek is my favorite dinosaur tour guide in the world—smart, funny, lyrical, and can't-put-it-down readable." —Deborah Blum, bestselling author of The Poisoner's Handbook
"Switek has a true passion for the giants of the ancient past! Whether you are new to the world of the 'fearfully great lizards' or are a lapsed dinosaur-fanatic, this book will help you understand how paleontologists bring fossils to life." —Thomas R. Holtz, Jr., Department of Geology, University of Maryland; author of Dinosaurs: The Most Complete Up-To-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages
"You won’t find a better guide to paleontology than Brian Switek, a fossil-crazed writer whose clear-eyed skepticism never dampens his boyish enthusiasm. And why should it? Dinosaurs, Switek shows convincingly, need no hype to blow your mind. The man is fearless. This book is splendid." —David Dobbs, author of My Mother's Lover and Reef Madness
"With this new book, Brian Switek reaffirms his status as one of our premier gifted young science writers. He doesn’t just get the interviews; he studies the specimens and goes out in the field – and he gets the science right. He introduces you to the young paleontologists who are getting the real work done and the new paradigms out. It’s an exciting time for dinosaur research, and Brian is the best guide I know." —Kevin Padian, University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley
"A revealing work of pop paleontology . . . Engaging and accessible enough for the lay person, readers will readily agree when Switek concludes that 'dinosaurs are better than ever.'" —Publishers Weekly