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Just like the author of this book, Brian Switek, I did not get the memo that only children were supposed to love dinosaurs to distraction I grew up next to dinosaur country, the badlands of Drumheller and Dinosaur Provincial Park by Brooks, Alberta My first dinosaur book was a How and Why book and my father used to claim that I knew the names of all the dinosaurs by the time I was two That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I do remember insisting on going to the Chamber of Commerce displ Just like the author of this book, Brian Switek, I did not get the memo that only children were supposed to love dinosaurs to distraction I grew up next to dinosaur country, the badlands of Drumheller and Dinosaur Provincial Park by Brooks, Alberta My first dinosaur book was a How and Why book and my father used to claim that I knew the names of all the dinosaurs by the time I was two That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I do remember insisting on going to the Chamber of Commerce display of dinosaur bones almost every time the family went to Drumheller for any purpose and I was absolutely delighted when the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology opened there in 1985 My birthday was often celebrated by a trip to the museum and I don t feel like a summer is complete without at least one visit to the Museum and Drumheller In fact, I just recently made my 2013 pilgrimage.I m still fascinated by all things dinosaur, although I don t have the time I used to have keep up with all the new discoveries and new interpretations of old material That s why I enjoyed this book so much its Switek s job to keep up with it all and he provided me with a much needed update on all the latest information What are the paleontologists debating these days Many of the same things from different angles, actually Figuring out which fossils, currently identified as separate species, are actually growth stages of other species Finding outabout the original dinosaurs of the Triassic period and about what actually defines a dinosaur Figuring out what made them so successful as a group and why they finally went extinct after all those millennia of awesome Bringing birds into the dinosaur fold and determining why they are the only dinosaurs to survive the K T extinction Switek is obviously and completely devoted to dinosaurs, which I can understand and appreciate His passion comes through in his writing and its very inspiring for those of us who have to make our livings in other fields, but have always wanted to be paleontologists I would love to have coffee with him I also adored the book jacket artwork a kneeling man offering a lovely boquet of flowers to an enormous sauropod, which is taking it gently from his hand It beautifully captures his tribute to Brontosaurus, which runs throughout the book.Highly recommended to every one who hasn t lost their love of all things saurian My second five star in one day I love dinosaurs Really I do If I hadn t been a science teacher, I d have been a paleontologist In fact, when the science curriculum changed to include early Earth history, I was ecstatic Anyhow, Mr Switek covers a myriad of in the news dinosaur stories in other words, a lot of the new stuff, though he also mentions how ideas and theories concerning dinosaurs and the world they lived in has changed He covers dinosaur sex like how DID they do it And My second five star in one day I love dinosaurs Really I do If I hadn t been a science teacher, I d have been a paleontologist In fact, when the science curriculum changed to include early Earth history, I was ecstatic Anyhow, Mr Switek covers a myriad of in the news dinosaur stories in other words, a lot of the new stuff, though he also mentions how ideas and theories concerning dinosaurs and the world they lived in has changed He covers dinosaur sex like how DID they do it And the relationship between dinosaurs and birds what about all those feathers Then there s their coloration, which we would never ever be able to figure out until guess what scientists are doing now Then extinction and fossils sites and of course, the author s irrepressible love for the subject Really, he needs to get into a program and get his Ph.D Anyhow, it s a great book, fairly current published 2013 , and I always look forward to reading his articles online, too I OWN this book Five stars My Beloved Brontosaurus by Brian Switek, published in April, 2013, is a review of the most recent discoveries about dinosaurs Switek is an amateur paleontologist with a life long fascination with dinosaurs He s written many articles for quite a few magazines He is also an online columnist for National Geographic The book opens with Switek writing about his fascination with dinosaurs from an early age He is especially nostalgic about the dinosaur once known as Brontosaurus Thunder Lizard My Beloved Brontosaurus by Brian Switek, published in April, 2013, is a review of the most recent discoveries about dinosaurs Switek is an amateur paleontologist with a life long fascination with dinosaurs He s written many articles for quite a few magazines He is also an online columnist for National Geographic The book opens with Switek writing about his fascination with dinosaurs from an early age He is especially nostalgic about the dinosaur once known as Brontosaurus Thunder Lizard Due to the priority of nomenclature, this famous name was thrown out when it was determined that the name Apatosaurus had priority As with Switek, I remember the deep sense of depression I felt when Brontosaurus disappeared from our paleontological lexicon I, too, remember fondly spending hours as a child reading everything I could about dinosaurs I learned all the long names besides Brontosaurus, there were the trusty Tyrannosaurus rex, Tricerotops, Stegosaurus, Anklyosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus, Trachodon, Allosaurus, etc and was ready to throw them out at a moment s notice in general conversation No doubt, looking back on it, I was obnoxious I remember buying model kits to put together my own models I remember actively and aggressively seeking out small solid plastic figurines of the dinosaurs I loved that these had the names of the dinosaurs molded in plastic on their tails I remember avidly looking at the set of Viewmaster slides that had dinosaurs I pestered my parents incessantly until they finally took me to see One Million Years B.C at the theater in 1967 And strangely enough, I was farinterested in the dinosaurs than a scantily clad Raquel Welch I also recall the World s Fair in New York City in 1965 It had a dinosaur exhibit, and although I wasn t able to go, I always wanted to go to the local Sinclair Gas station to get whatever dinosaur themed memorabilia they had I still have to this day one of the little booklet pamphlets they gave out promoting the exhibit.And so, although I am now a mathematician by trade, my love for dinosaurs is still strong I continue to buy and read books about dinosaurs My Beloved Brontosaurus is just the most recent in a lifelong love for these mysterious creatures of the dim past With that being said, I clearly was already inclined to like this book I was looking forward to reading it The great fear in such a case is that with such high expectations, the book would prove to be a disappointment However, My Beloved Brontosaurus did not let me down It was a fascinating and marvelous book on the advances science has made since I was a child In many ways, the book was similar to meeting a great friend who one hasn t seen in decades To return to those memories and create new ones was a joy.Briefly, Switek takes on what s new in the world of dinosaurs over the past few decades Following his discussion on the fall of Brontosaurus, he has chapters on what makes a dinosaur, a dinosaur how dinosaurs became successful how dinosaurs had sex how dinosaurs were born and how they grew how large could dinosaurs be what type of society did dinosaurs have the mystery and uses of feathers and color how vocal were dinosaurs and what did they sound like how to distinguish the gender of dinosaurs what types of injuries, parasites and diseases were dinosaurs prone to and how did dinosaurs go extinct All of these subjects make for fascinating reading The emerging picture of dinosaurs is one vastly different from what I grew up with These are no longer the lumbering, slow witted creatures of old The portrait that Switek paints is of a group of faractive and complicated animals then what was once the popular view I easily give My Beloved Brontosaurus my highest recommendation Oh, as an added feature, the hardcover s dust jacket unfolds into a two sided poster The front is a painting of several Apatosauruses with the author, while the reverse is a painting of the author and an Apatosaurus skeleton in a museum What fun 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 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 [ READ KINDLE ] ⚖ My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs ♪ Dinosaurs, with their awe inspiring size, terrifying claws and teeth, and otherworldly abilities, occupy a sacred place in our childhoods They loom over museum halls, thunder through movies, and are a fundamental part of our collective imagination In My Beloved Brontosaurus, the dinosaur fanatic Brian Switek enriches the childlike sense of wonder these amazing creatures instill in us Investigating the latest discoveries in paleontology, he breathes new life into old bonesSwitek reunites us with these mysterious creatures as he visits desolate excavation sites and hallowed museum vaults, exploring everything from the sex life 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 who suffered a second extinction when we learned he never existed at all as a symbol of scientific progress With infectious enthusiasm, Switek questions what we ve long held to be true about these beasts, weaving in stories from his obsession with dinosaurs, which 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 A most enjoyable read, following Brian Switek as he travels to museums and excavation sites to gain a better understanding of the dinosaurs He explores everything from the sex lives of the dinos to their feathers to their extinction It looks like it was the meteor that hit Earth that finished them off Interesting to think that without that meteor the dinos would still be dominating the planet while the mammals are hiding from them during the day, coming out only during the night Switek also A most enjoyable read, following Brian Switek as he travels to museums and excavation sites to gain a better understanding of the dinosaurs He explores everything from the sex lives of the dinos to their feathers to their extinction It looks like it was the meteor that hit Earth that finished them off Interesting to think that without that meteor the dinos would still be dominating the planet while the mammals are hiding from them during the day, coming out only during the night Switek also discusses why the famed Brontosaurus underwent a name change I visited the Field Museum recently and, while talking about the dinosaurs with someone, I could not bring myself to say Apatasaurus The big guy will always be Brontosaurus, the thunder lizard, to me s face it dinosaurs have been culturally demarcated as kitschy kid stuff triggers for nostalgia and ironic whimsy, but not a subject to take seriously.Unfortunately, Mr Switek isn t wrong A fascination with dinosaurs is practically a rite of passage for children I know I certainly spent the better part of my childhood obsessing over prehistoric creatures That same fascination as an adult, however, seems to be frowned upon and shamed Switek him s face it dinosaurs have been culturally demarcated as kitschy kid stuff triggers for nostalgia and ironic whimsy, but not a subject to take seriously.Unfortunately, Mr Switek isn t wrong A fascination with dinosaurs is practically a rite of passage for children I know I certainly spent the better part of my childhood obsessing over prehistoric creatures That same fascination as an adult, however, seems to be frowned upon and shamed Switek himself mentions these dinosaur loving adults are seen as littlethan oversized children playing in the dirt.With My Beloved Brontosaurus, Switek sheds light on the world of paleontology and shows just how serious these scientists are Brontosaurus as I knew the beast a hulking pile of flesh and bone that bathed in Jurassic swamps never actually existed Almost everything about the monstrous creature its lifestyle, its skull, and, most regrettably, its name were human inventions drawn from prehistoric skeletons that actually supported a different form I had been fooled The dinosaur I met was a petrified museum zombie, shuffling on even though scientists had shot it down decades before.Brontosaurus, T rex, Triceratops All dinosaurs we fondly remember, right I, for one, remember that dark day when I learned Brontosaurus was the dinosaur that never was an error in labeling and classifying fossils led to this hulking beast being declared its own species, when in fact, it was an Apatosaurus all along Switek also felt a loss and openly discusses his feelings regarding one of the most beloved dinosaurs.At only 200 pages, My Beloved Brontosaurus is a lovely, bite size bit of pop science Each chapter is dedicated to a different mystery surrounding dinosaurs what color they were, their feathers, how they mated cue much immature giggling on my end , what they sounded like, just how the extinction came about Despite an abundance of scientific info and terminology, Switek has the ability to write in a way that I never felt lost or confused I didn t feel in over my head and I m sure that aspect alone will appeal to many people.Throughout the book I learned SO much Things I had never even considered were suddenly brought to the forefront and I was thrilled While I had been aware of certain dinosaurs having feathers I m looking at you, Mr Velociraptor I was shocked to learn that it s now speculated that the majority of dinosaurs had at least a coating of fuzz Sit back and conjure up an image of a fuzzy Tyrannosaurus charging at you.When I finished My Beloved Brontosaurus I was overwhelmed by the thought of just how little is known about these creatures and their time on earth So many significant discoveries were made in just the past two years alone Scientists have begun testing fossils to determine dinosaurs coloring and those images we re all familiar with It s now known that those dinosaurs werejuvenilesFrom birth to death, dinosaurs changed so rapidly that what were originally thought to be completely separate species are now thought to be one and the same Torosaurus, for example, is now being proposed as the fully formed, mature Triceratops.Interspersed with many Jurassic Park scenes in which Switek deftly separates fact from fiction , as well as a Star Wars moment or two, My Beloved Brontosaurus is a wonderfully smart book that can be easily digested with only a bare minimum of previous dinosaurs knowledge in fact, I think Switek would prefer the reader NOT to have those false, preconceived beliefs No longer are dinosaurs slow moving, dim witted mountains of flesh Make way for a new breed of creature agile, smart, capable of tracking prey I m pleased to say the age of the dinosaur is back.An added bonus is the SUPER AWESOME dusk jacket It unfolds to become a poster Reading this book, one is forced to ponder which theories relating to dinosaur lives will stay in vogue, and which will become extinct So I popped back to the Mesozoic Era the other day.Stepped out of the time machine and slammed headlong into a Brontosaurus Quite a feat to not notice it, given their enormity People doubt your species existence I broke the devastating news to the Brontosaurus, They say you re just an Apatosaurus Poor Brontosaurus hung its looooong neck in shame, alm Reading this book, one is forced to ponder which theories relating to dinosaur lives will stay in vogue, and which will become extinct So I popped back to the Mesozoic Era the other day.Stepped out of the time machine and slammed headlong into a Brontosaurus Quite a feat to not notice it, given their enormity People doubt your species existence I broke the devastating news to the Brontosaurus, They say you re just an Apatosaurus Poor Brontosaurus hung its looooong neck in shame, almost tipping over It burst into tears, and I moved on.I stumbled into a Stegosaurus, that horrifyingly huge herbivore with plates along its back, reputed to be the stupidest of the dinosaurs My curiosity about something rather, ahem, intimate got the better of me Hey there Walnut brain How on Earth do you manage it I asked Uh Eh Choo looking at, hairy thing I was just wondering how you manage You know To have kids Beats me Never knew where they came from neither Guh Thanks for nothing I moved on, hoping to learnabout social behaviours of dinosaurs Did they rear the young Did they herd Or were theysolitary With such variety in species, I couldn t hope to find out about all of them I stumbled into a group of Velociraptors, tiny nasty beasts, who eyed me hungrily Oddly, they were wearing feathery head gear, the trendiest around When I looked at them curiously, one of them nodded apologetically This head gear s been in fashion for, gee, maybe ten, fifteen years Oh fair enough, I mumbled Then a thought struck Hey Do you look after your kids as they grow up I inquired, peering hopefully at one of the taller ones, assuming it was an adult Shut up I d apparently chanced upon a sullen teen Good one It was just so hard to tell Are you a boy or a girl I asked ISN T IT OBVIOUS he she it huffed I didn t want to say No so I shuffled off, deflated.This really wasn t answering any of the questions that the book had speculated about at all I d read the book, I d been and SEEN the dinosaurs, and still I don t know anything Geez.I tried to think of something to comfort myself with, for my expedition hadn t been going so well at least now I know what colours dinosaurs were I should record that info somewhere if I remember Anyway So next I wondered how dinosaurs became or will become extinct.So I went to a place off Mexico First I noticed birds flying by Or do I mean avian dinosaurs Whatever Anyway Mexico There was the biggest construction site ever Dinosaurs digging the hugest crater Hehe, a cunning Tyrannosaur chortled to itself, wiggling its little arms for emphasis, which managed to emphasise exactly nothing other than the fact that the dinosaur had tiny arms All this iridium we re sticking in the ground here and across the globe will make for some swell speculation about how we disappeared I was shocked This was nothing like what I imagined EXCUSE ME I shouted up to the huge carnivore, I m from the future, and I m wondering how you all die You know, after all this What What do you mean he she it peered down at me, looking like he she it was trying to decide if I was interesting, or if I would, in fact, beinteresting once gobbled down I read about it, I elaborated In the future People will speculate about what happened Some crazies say aliens Most say a meteorite Some say a flood Global warming Volcanoes Some say you just got bored and gave up the ghost Some even say you just lost your sex drive The Tyrannosaur actually LOLed Which is most undignified of a dinosaur What s so funny Oh Em Gee, man You humans so crazy We ll never go extinct Huh Look, I m from the future, think I d know We re not extinct Dinosaurs live in your times Ever heard of Rupert Murdoch Donald Trump The Rolling Stones The library had quite a few copies of this book on display, so I picked one up When I was younger one of my biggest fears was that a giant T Rex would come stomping over the mountains, smashing the cities to bits, and then end up in my yard intending me for a snack.I haven t kept up too much with what is going on in the dinosaur world lately I have vague memories of raptors in Jurassic Park I thought are they new I remember when Brontosaurus was no longer a dinosaur And somewhere along The library had quite a few copies of this book on display, so I picked one up When I was younger one of my biggest fears was that a giant T Rex would come stomping over the mountains, smashing the cities to bits, and then end up in my yard intending me for a snack.I haven t kept up too much with what is going on in the dinosaur world lately I have vague memories of raptors in Jurassic Park I thought are they new I remember when Brontosaurus was no longer a dinosaur And somewhere along the way, I heard that dinosaurs had feathers.I was hoping that this book would catch me up to date on recent dinosaur findings and new trends of thought It did do that, but I had a hard time following the narration because this is basically a book of musings about dinosaurs as the author travels the country going to different sites.I need a timeline somewhere I can t remember from being a kid exactly when the Jurassic period occurred I m hazy on what Mesozoic means This books assumes you know a lot of that and he s basically just bringing you up to speed on a few new points I ended up a bit confused, skipping around from dinosaur to dinosaur, time period to time period I need to find another book now, one that goes from point A to point B to point C And one with bigger illustrations I can actually see Mr Switek is without a doubt infatuated with dinosaurs As someone who tries to notice and keep up with new discoveries and dinosaur news, I was excited to pick this book up Unfortunately Switek s child like giddiness for dinosaurs is replaced with a sour grapes, holier than thou adult view of the of the field This book could have been awesome but ended up being a big corprolite.