Bad Astronomy

Ankylosaur attack!

When I was a kid, I was so into dinosaurs that I wanted to be a paleontologist. Eventually, astronomy won out, but it was touch-and-go there for a while (my compromise: study giant impacts that wiped out the dinosaurs).

When I was that age, my dad used to make tape recordings and send them to relatives instead of written letters, so that family members could hear the voices of the kids. I remember quite specifically one day picking a description about the ankylosaur for my part of the “letter”. I talked about its clubbed tail, and how it used that weapon to fend off ravenous carnivores.

So back when I was 5 I would’ve loved to have had a book like my friend Daniel Loxton’s new work, Ankylosaur Attack. It’s a great, lavishly-illustrated hardcover for kids about the day in the life of a young dinosaur: feeding, watching pterosaurs, meeting up with other ankylosaurs, and then, of course, the T. Rex attack!

Daniel is an artist, so the book is illustrated with amazing photo-realistic images of the creatures, which I’m sure will get any dinosaur-enthusiast kid’s heart pumping. The story itself is based on current thinking in paleontological circles about dinosaur behavior, and it presents dinosaurs not as giant monsters but as inhabitants of the same world in which we live, just way back in the past.

Daniel’s last book, Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be, was fantastic, so I’m not surprised this one is so good, too.

It’s available on of course, and would make a great present for the holidays coming up. Thanksgiving is a traditional family get-together time in the US, so I’m sure there are kids who would love to get a copy of this and read it with the grandparents. Just a hint there.

You can follow Daniel on Twitter, or read his articles on SkepticBlog (where he’s written a few about what went into making the book).