Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
“Scotty,” the largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton in the world, was discovered by an elementary school teacher in Saskatchewan’s Frenchman River Valley in 1991. It took twenty-three years to excavate the bones and prepare the skeleton for study. Now Scotty has found a new home in the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, where the giant T. rex is the star of a new exhibition. As the largest and longest-lived T. rex ever discovered, Scotty offers fascinating research possibilities, and Dr. Scott Persons is the lead paleontologist on an in-depth scientific report on this unique fossil.
In Mega Rex, Persons distills these findings, plus thrilling details about the discovery of Scotty and the lives of tyrannosaurs, into an exciting illustrated account. The book covers topics ranging from the details of Scotty’s discovery and the process of digging up a fossil, to deciphering the meaning behind Scotty’s unusual features, including its large facial horns and many wounds. Persons engages dinosaur-obsessed kids with facts based on the latest discoveries that are challenging current ideas about the world’s most famous dinosaur species, including what it would feel like to pet a T. rex, how T. rex hunted, whether they were good parents, and if they had forked tongues like snakes.
Featuring profiles of paleontologists, field crew members, museum artists and other members of “team rex,” and over 150 images including illustrations by Beth Zaiken and over thirty photos, Mega Rex offers an in-depth look at a new superstar of the fossil world and new insight into tyrannosaurs and the world they inhabited.
About the authors
Dr. W. Scott Persons IV is a paleontologist and instructor at the University of Alberta. He has taken part in fossil-hunting expeditions throughout the badlands of the American West, the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, the canyons of Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge, the pampas of Argentina, and the volcanic ash beds of Northern China. His work has been featured on the National Geographic and Discovery channels and in Smithsonian and Discover Magazine. He lives in Edmonton, AB, with his wife, Amanda.
Beth Zaiken is an artist and illustrator specializing in natural science communication. She has over a decade of experience creating large-scale murals, dioramas and reconstructions of modern and prehistoric animals in both traditional and digital media. She is a principal ar tist and the lead muralist for Blue Rhino Studio and her work can be seen in such institutions as the Panama Biomuseo, the Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre in Kuwait, the Royal Alberta Museum, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Chicago’s Field Museum, Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum, the San Diego Zoo, the New York State Museum and the Minnesota Zoo. Her work has also appeared in National Park Service publications. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“Mega Rex will delight the dinosaur-aficionado… And the Mesozoic novice will benefit from jargon-free prose, complemented by superb paintings by Beth Zaiken who captures the wet sub-tropical woodland of Scotty’s world.”
Dr. Bob Bakker, Curator of Paleontology, Houston Museum of Natural History, author
“Beth Zaiken’s artwork brings the dinosaurs to life, making the easy-to-devour text by Dr. W. Scott Persons IV even more engaging.”
Elliott Seah, author of Elliott’s Guide to Dinosaurs
“One of the best books about a single dinosaur, Mega Rex is also one of the most informative on current dinosaur research and how we understand the details of their lifestyles!”
Dr. Philip Currie, University of Alberta
“Take a journey back in time when central Canada was a tropical sea with the largest predator on the continent hunting along the shoreline. Readers of all ages will enjoy this amazing tale of good science in action.”
Bob McDonald, Host of CBC’s Quirks & Quarks
“An informative, delightful introduction to dinosaurs, told through the lens of Scotty, the ultimate survivor.”
Sabrina Ricci, from I Know Dino: The Big Dinosaur Podcast