Switek, Brian. My Beloved Brontosaurus: on the road with old bones, new science, and our favorite dinosaurs
Science journalist and dinosaur enthusiast Switek here takes the reader on a road trip across America and through time, visiting museums, scientists, and important fossil sites and delivering a fascinating commentary on our changing understanding of just what dinosaurs were and what they were not. Each stop along the way serves as a jumping-off point for an examination of some part of dinosaurs and their behavior, appearance, evolution, extinction, and continued survival in the form of birds. One of Switek’s main themes here is the way in which the popular, mass-media view of dinosaurs has not kept up with the evolving science. The beloved Brontosaurus of the title is an illustration of this theme; the name “Brontosaurus” was discarded by scientists in favor of “Apatosaurus” a century ago, but still persists as the most popular name for the huge, long-necked creature.
This fascinating, and even humorous work of popular science holds obvious appeal for those who, like Switek, fell in love with dinosaurs at a young age and never fell back out; however, it should also be of interest to anyone who enjoys engagingly-written but information science writing.