The Monster’s Bones: The Discovery of T. Rex and How It Shook Our World by David K. Randall
published June 7th, 2022
In the dust of the Gilded Age Bone Wars, two vastly different men emerge with a mission to fill the empty halls of New York’s struggling American Museum of Natural History: Henry Fairfield Osborn, a privileged socialite whose reputation rests on the museum’s success, and intrepid Kansas-born fossil hunter Barnum Brown.
When Brown unearths the first Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils in the Montana wilderness, forever changing the world of paleontology, Osborn sees a path to save his museum from irrelevancy. With four-foot-long jaws capable of crushing the bones of its prey and hips that powered the animal to run at speeds of 25 miles per hour, the T. Rex suggests a prehistoric ecosystem more complex than anyone imagined. As the public turns out in droves to cower before this bone-chilling giant of the past and wonder at the mysteries of its disappearance, Brown and Osborn together turn dinosaurs from a biological oddity into a beloved part of culture.
Vivid and engaging, The Monster’s Bones journeys from prehistory to present day, from remote Patagonia to the unforgiving badlands of the American West to the penthouses of Manhattan. With a wide-ranging cast of robber barons, eugenicists, and opportunistic cowboys, New York Times best-selling author David K. Randall reveals how a monster of a bygone era ignited a new understanding of our planet and our place within it.
This is one of those nonfiction books that is set up like a story, which is always good to see. I read this on audiobook, and I quite liked the narrator! I’m not super interested in paleontology, but this book made me a brief expert. I learned a lot about the history of museums and paleontology. Four stars.