Brian Switek




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Brian Switek

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Today’s alligators, crocodiles, and gharials are gorgeous animals, but you’d be hard pressed to call them cute. Chirpy little infants, maybe, but the exposed grins of the adults inspire more fear than adoring sighs. In the prehistoric past, however, there were crocs worth squeeing over. Alligatorellus was one of them.


I must admit that I hadn’t heard of Alligatorellus until last week. The two-fo...

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Published on September 29, 2014 17:41
Average rating: 3.96 · 785 ratings · 151 reviews · 3 distinct works · Similar authors
My Beloved Brontosaurus: On...
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 551 ratings — published 2013 — 7 editions
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Written in Stone: Evolution...
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 234 ratings — published 2010 — 8 editions
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Written in Stone: The Hidde...
0.0 of 5 stars 0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2011
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Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff
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Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
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Bully for Brontosaurus by Stephen Jay Gould
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In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall
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Bonk by Mary Roach
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Stiff by Mary Roach
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A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
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The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner
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More of Brian's books…
“I nurtured my dinomania with documentaries, delighted in the dino-themed B movies I brought home from the video store, and tore up my grandparents' backyard in my search of a perfect Triceratops nest. Never mind that the classic three-horned dinosaur never roamed central New Jersey, or that the few dinosaur fossils found in the state were mostly scraps of skeletons that had been washed out into the Cretaceous Atlantic. My fossil hunter's intuition told me there just had to be a dinosaur underneath the topsoil, and I kept excavating my pit. That is, until I got the hatchet out of my grandfather's toolshed and tried to cut down a sapling that was in my way. My parents bolted out of the house and put a stop to my excavation. Apparently, I hadn't filled out the proper permits before I started my dig.”
Brian Switek, My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs

“If an organised body is not in the situation and circumstances best adapted to its sustenance and propagation, then, in conceiving an indefinite variety among the individuals of that species, we must be assured, that, on the one hand, those which depart most from the best adapted constitution, will be most liable to perish, while, on the other hand, those organised bodies, which most approach to the best constitution for the present circumstances, will be best adapted to continue, in preserving themselves and multiplying the individuals of their race.”
Brian Switek, Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature

“In order to approximate dinosaurian physiology, the trio of scientists carried out the unenviable task of sticking thermometers in the cloacae of American alligators.”
Brian Switek, Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature

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