256 pages, 26 colour illustrations
From the outback of Australia to the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and the savanna of Madagascar, award-winning science writer and dinosaur enthusiast John Pickrell embarks on a world tour of new finds, meeting the fossil hunters working at the frontier of discovery. He reveals the dwarf dinosaurs unearthed by an eccentric Transylvanian baron; an aquatic, crocodile-snouted carnivore bigger than T. Rex, which once lurked in North African waterways; a Chinese dinosaur with wings like a bat; and a Patagonian sauropod so enormous it weighed more than two commercial jet airliners. Other surprising discoveries hail from Alaska, Siberia, Canada, Burma, and South Africa. Why did dinosaurs grow so huge? How did they spread across the world? Did they all have feathers? What do sauropods have in common with 1950s vacuum cleaners? The stuff of adventure movies and scientific revolutions, Weird Dinosaurs examines the latest breakthroughs and new technologies radically transforming our understanding of the distant past. Pickrell opens a vivid portal to a brand new age of fossil discovery, in which fossil hunters are routinely redefining what we know and how we think about prehistory's most iconic and fascinating creatures.
"This history of the discovery of some of the most outlandish creatures that ever lived, and the excitement of paleontological research, will be sure to both entertain and instruct. No other such historical narrative focused on weird extinct beasts exists."
– Spencer Lucas, author of Dinosaurs: The Textbook, Sixth Edition
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John Pickrell is an award-winning science writer and editor of Australian Geographic. He is also the author of Flying Dinosaurs: How Fearsome Reptiles Became Birds (Columbia, 2014).