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: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs, the author 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. 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.
Brian Switek is the author of Written in Stone. He is a regular online columnist for Smithsonian and Wired. He has written for Scientific American, Nature, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian. His examinations of fossil discoveries and the latest in paleontology have been featured on the BBC and NPR. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. Co-sponsored with the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History at UConn.