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My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with…
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My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our…

by Brian Switek

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805150,606 (3.75)2
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This short book uses the latest paleontological discoveries to show how our view of dinosaurs has changed over the past century or so. Switek is obviously writing about a subject he loves, and it's very well-researched, but I found my interest flagging on occasion. Still, it's a very good overview of the field as it currently stands. ( )
  wanack | Jun 8, 2014 |
My Beloved Brontosaurus is exactly the sort of book I wanted about dinosaurs. Chatty, personal, but still closely focused on the creatures and how they lived (and died). I know a fair bit about dinosaurs thanks to another Coursera course, Dino 101, so not a lot of the information was new to me, but it was interesting to read it in another context, and to read slightly different angles on it. Switek's enthusiasm for the subject is kind of adorable, and actually made me smile a lot.

In terms of the content, it's not exactly on the cutting edge, or any kind of exhaustive survey of research on dinosaurs. It picks out interesting facts and theories, discusses some of the historical theories that are of interest or contributed to modern theories, and generally works fine even if you've never heard of Torosaurus, didn't know that the Velociraptor portrayed in Jurassic Park is actually Deinonychus, or couldn't tell the difference between an ornithischian and a saurischian dinosaur if your life depended on it. ( )
  shanaqui | May 28, 2014 |
The book doesn't quite live up to the excitement promised by its title or blurbs, but it is a clear-headed update on the latest in dinosaur science. If you haven't kept up with the latest discoveries, you'll learn a lot. ( )
  datrappert | Jul 5, 2013 |
  JSMEinstein | May 12, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374135061, Hardcover)

Paleontology meets pop culture in a talented young author’s journey into the lives of dinosaurs

Dinosaurs haunt museum halls, stomp across movie screens, and adorn just about any product you can name. Despite groundbreaking discoveries, the dinosaurs of our childhood are entrenched in our minds, and new science struggles to overcome the inaccurate monsters of Jurassic Park.
     In My Beloved Brontosaurus, the brilliant dinosaur fanatic Brian Switek investigates the tension between dinosaurs as scientific objects and pop-culture icons as he introduces us to the latest theories in paleontology, from how dinosaurs had sex to what colors they were and just how they got so big. To understand why they died—after 150 million years of success—we need to know how they lived. With infectious enthusiasm, Switek explains that these giant beasts left behind a wealth of information in their bones—and it’s only by piecing together these clues that we can begin to understand ourselves. After all, our furry little ancestors lived in the shadow of the dinosaurs.
     Switek visits excavation sites, museums, and high-tech labs to question what we’ve long held true about these creatures, weaving in stories from his obsession with dinosaurs that started when he was knee-high to a Stegosaurus. Endearing, surprising, and essential to our understanding of our place on Earth, My Beloved Brontosaurus is a book that science buffs and dinosaur fans will cherish for years to come.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:27 -0400)

"Paleontology meets pop culture in a young author's journey into the lives of dinosaurs"-- A regular columnist for Smithsonian and Wired questions our long-held beliefs about dinosaurs and presents the latest scientific findings on what colors they really were, how they got so big and how they actually may have died out.… (more)

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