By Brian Switek

Brian Switek is the author of the blog Laelaps on and an ecology & evolution student at Rutgers University. His scientific interests include zoology, paleontology, and the history of science, although extinct creatures with big teeth are often the focus of his attention. He also enjoys reading and wildlife photography.


Henry de la Beche’s “Duria Antiquior,” an image of the carnage that must have taken place on the shores of the ancient Dorset. Years ago, when touring dino-mation exhibits were all the rage, my parents took me to “see the dinosaurs” at the Morris Museum. I was terrified. I had seen dinosaur skeletons before, but the moving, roaring beasts sent me scurrying around the corner, peeking around it as if from a blind. My father walked up to a Triceratops and touched it to show me I was safe, but even though I was so excited about seeing dinosaurs I…