Weird Dinosaurs: The Strange New Fossils Challenging Everything We Thought We Knew

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.

Dinosaurs are just a fun topic by themselves and thanks to the Jurassic movies they’ve become even more popular so I was very grateful to have found this book written with a very fluid writing style as that made it easier to share information with my kids.

We all loved this book especially as I also used it as an educational tool to open new doors for them. Geography lessons were created by looking up the various locations mentioned through Google Earth and Google Images. Science lessons lent themselves easily because this book opened up new avenues as we were able to talk about various climates, weather patterns, landscape conditions, and animal information. History was done by learning about paleontologists, what they do, who were some of the more well known, and about cultures in the various places dino bones were found.

 It would’ve been nice if more pictures of the dinosaurs had been included but I just used Google Images to supplement what wasn’t in the book. This book overall is so incredibly full of interesting information in a very easy form it just made it a lot of fun to read. I would recommend anyone with a even passing interest in dinosaurs check this out.

 Thank you to Netgalley and Columbia University Press for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from

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